Christmas Kids Activities 2023
On Saturday, December 16th, we organised Christmas Activities for the children of our parish. Our small parishioners and guests gathered at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington to pray, play games, do Christmas-themed crafts, and have pre-festive fun together.
We began with a shortened version of the Paraklesis service to the Theotokos specifically aimed at teaching our children how and what they can pray on their own. Father Boniface led the opening prayer and let the children take the main role in reading and chanting. A short group work followed the service. Children were invited to reflect on what, for whom and how they want to pray to God, Theotokos and saints. The result was an extensive list of petitions suggested by the children, which Father Boniface included in the service at the end of the event.
Then, it was time for games and crafts, prepared with love by our great volunteers from St George’s Activities Team. Firstly, children, divided into age groups, competed in 5 games, such as “stick the nose onto reindeer”, ping-pong cups, bows in a bowl, “antlers and rings”, and others. Three people in each age group who scored the most points across five games received the prizes at the end of the day.
Afterwards, we had some snacks generously offered by the ladies of our parish. Then we proceeded with multiple Christmas-themed crafts. Children could design their Christmas tree decorations, make Christmas cards, assemble different figures from building blocks, etc. The “star of the day” was the face-painting station, where children chose from 19 beautiful designs to be painted on their faces. The station worked from the first minutes of the event up until the very last guest!
As crafts progressed, we overheard that Santa was somewhere around. Children sang Christmas songs so loudly and joyfully that Santa could not resist stopping by our place and bringing gifts for every child. After Santa departed, the prizes for competitions were awarded, and the winners of the ruffle lottery were announced. We thank everyone who participated in the ruffle, as all the money raised is donated to our church. Thank you, and God bless you for your kindness!
We finished the day with a shortened Vespers service, at the end of which volunteers from among the children stepped forward to say the litany, compiled from their petitions during group reflection. It was a beautiful service, and all adults were moved by our children’s care and willingness to pray for others, especially those struggling in different difficult life circumstances worldwide.
It was a lovely event in anticipation of the beautiful, glorious and holy Feast of Nativity of Christ, which is just one week ahead. We want to thank every volunteer who helped prepare activities and food, arranged the room, and helped during the day. Special thanks, as always, go to the Antiochian Society of Britain for sponsoring the event and organisational support. Finally, we thank our little guests and their parents for attending the Christmas Activities and making this day special. We wish you all a peaceful remainder of the Nativity Fast and a joyful Feast! God be with you!
*We do not publish most photos from the day for privacy and child-safeguarding reasons. If you want to request photos of your child with Santa, please get in touch with Nemr Elias @ +447742971444. Thank you for your understanding!