MORE Christmas Wrapped Up!
Christine Wright, Scripture Union, 2007

£11.99 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Combining years of Scripture Union experience with exciting new ideas, this book will give you almost everything you need to get the most out of Christmas.

What do you get?

Resource book containing drama, songs, rhymes, quizzes, assembly outlines, games and Christmas parties.

Available from Scripture Union.

Who is it for?

Follows on from ‘Christmas Wrapped up!’. For children young and older, options for all ages, including all-age services with adults and family activities too.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Good. Glossy, A4 resource book with a black and white interior. Pages can be quite dense with information though. Resources for photocopying at the back are clear and sizeable.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Each activity begins by giving a short sentence on what the activity is appropriate for or what it is about. For example, ‘A short talk based on…'. Most sections then also have a longer aim which is subtitled but this is not the case in every activity.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Accessible as individual activities but leaders would need to sift through and put together a session looking at the different ideas.

    Who could lead it?

    Children's workers, with the support of helpers. As this resource is specifically for Christmas, it is important that an experienced children's worker is leading to ensure children understand the significance of Christmas.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Good. Games, quizzes, puzzles, cooking ideas and songs are included for a variety of ages. All of these are relevant to Christmas, both by relating to the true Christmas story and by relating to traditions we have made for Christmas. For example, making angel cakes!

    How good is any digital material?

    None directly related to the resource, but some websites are mentioned as supporting material.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Depends on the aim of the session. This resource contains ideas for all sorts of different contexts specifically, rather than having a range of activities which you then choose to apply. There are ideas from engaging families to all-age talks, assemblies and nativity services. There are ideas for community outreach and Christmas projects. The preparation cannot be narrowed down due to the vast variety of contexts and ideas; but having said this, most of what you need resource-wise can be copied from the pages or collected in a household (for example, four hats to facilitate one version of a Bible talk). Sessions can last 10 minutes to a full day if required, and is otherwise dependent on how much material the leader chooses to use!

    Is there website support? Links?

    None directly, but links are given for other Christmas ideas and resources.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The resource does this well in specific sessions and layouts. For example, in the sessions for assemblies, storytelling is interactive to keep children engaged. In sessions for all-age services, there are sections for songs and crafts. Some service layouts even go so far as to state in their subheading that they are ‘interactive'. There are also a range of creative suggestions for prayer and praise.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Very well - a huge range of options are provided to help children engage with the material. For example, children may learn about Jesus by a sketch performance, or by answering questions about who He is. They learn by making food which is relevant to the Christmas story and by making crafts like shepherds or angels.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Extremely adaptable given the range of activities and different specifications given. Most resources have a range of activities which can be incorporated as the leader chooses, however this resource goes one step further by having every option of context for Christmas and clearly defining which is which. Short talks, service layouts, nativities, shoe box outreach, crafts and prayer mean all areas are covered for all ages.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Varies depending on the layout used. Application of material is done in a structured way in service layouts and assemblies, allowing children time for reflection, application and response.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Depends on layout chosen and context of session. For example, short talks are 100% Bible-based, assemblies are around 50% Bible based and service layouts are approximately 40% Bible based.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Very well across the board. All focus on the importance of Jesus at Christmas and present this in exciting and engaging ways. Sketches, dramas, talks, interactive talks, readings and completing crafts all make this possible, as well as time for reflection and application.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Specifically applies biblical material to everyday life in the context of Christmas. For example, children are asked to consider what the birth of Jesus means to them. Most application to everyday life is to do with challenging attitudes, and understanding who Jesus is - especially as this resource is also intended for people who do not attend usually church so are learning from the basics the principles of Christianity.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, it is an open resource which does not include any rituals/prayers/traditions of any denomination of Christianity in particular.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Not explicitly, as all sessions are based around the foundations of Christianity so it does not go in to much depth in order to be accessible.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Very well in the specific sense of teaching people the significance of Jesus and the importance of God's grace and mercy for his people. It encourages people who may not go to church to engage with a concept which may not have ever been known to them.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    By reminding Christians and teaching non-Christians about the birth of Jesus and the reason why God had to send His Son, this resource goes to the very core of Christianity and lays out that God did all this because He loves us. It is not an easy thing to understand a God who chooses us and loves us and wants the best for us, so this in itself is enough to challenge non-believers and allow believers to engage with a truth they may have become too familiar with. Christians can reconnect with the awe of this baby being born.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    In a way relevant again for Christmas themes, and with connecting with our community specifically. For example, by encouraging churches to make Christmas boxes for children in need around the world.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    There are five talks specifically labelled ‘short talks for evangelism' which enable leaders to confidently talk to a congregation about the story of Christmas.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Very well. The very nature of Christmas enables Christians to engage with people who do not normally go to church. This resource provides ideas for how to do that well. For example, school assemblies are included, as are activities for families to do at home. There are layouts for nativities for all people to get involved with and opportunities for making Christmas gift shoe boxes for children further afield than in the immediate community. The talks remind people too that Jesus is for everyone, and there are ideas for volunteering in your community.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    This is mostly by the session on ‘Operation Christmas Child' where shoe boxes are made for children in need around the world.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    A mention of global mission in some Bible stories, plus a general emphasis on Jesus being for all people, reinforce the idea that we need to be talking to those around us and further afield about Jesus.

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