Today, we had our Hangtime Half Day Christmas Party.  The students at our two local schools had a half day for conferences, so we took advantage of this and hosted the kids for a few hours.  I had originally planned on having twenty students or so, so you can imagine my surprise when we ended up with 38.

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They really are all so good.  So besides it being a little louder, everything went really well.  We fed the kids English Muffin Pizzas, with apples and pretzels.  And they all did a great job of eating lunch all together.

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Afterwards, Jeremy took a group to the youth room to play some sort of hybrid football game with a red four square ball.  I didn’t get it, but the kids were having a blast.  I’m so thankful that when we return to Hangtime after the break, we will be able to use the elementary school gym for our Sports and Games workshop.

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Elsewhere, girls made Christmas ornaments.

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And others just hung out.  Which is a theme that we have at Hangtime.  We love to give the students an opportunity to hang out with each other, which is something that they love to do.

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Before our lesson time, many of them gathered for a quick group picture.  After telling them a few times that they would have to move closer, I just gave up and clicked away.  I cannot tell you how wonderful these kids are to me and our leaders.  I so look forward to spending a few hours with them each week, encouraging them and telling them how much God loves them.  We worked through the Nativity story today.  Because while Santa and Elves are nice, there is nothing greater than the story of Jesus’ birthday and how he brought hope to a broken and hurting world.  For a group of 38 Kindergarten through 6th Grade students, they did a great job listening and I’m so proud of them.

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And afterwards…

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We went upstairs to play a Christmas gift game.  The kids renamed it the Whale Elephant Gift Exchange.  Because some of them are fans of whales?  I’m not totally sure, but it made them happy.

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Now, had I planned ahead, I would have had them all bring a small gift to play the game with.  But because I decided last minute to do this particular game, I instead gave myself the fun feat of finding 40 small gifts around my own home.  I warned them in advance, that some would be cool and some might be weird.  And they were okay with it.

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We had so much fun playing the game.

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Presents were opened and swapped and enjoyed.

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My favorites were the toilet paper (which I told them they should value, because toilet paper is weirdly expensive) and the microfiber dusting cloth.  Their favorites were the movie theater box of Nerds and a pink sock monkey.  All in all, we got through the game with lots of laughs and minimal tears when gifts were swapped.

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And afterwards, we had just enough time to decorate a few Christmas cookies before parents came and our afternoon of Christmas fun was over.

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A huge, huge thanks to all of the leaders and kids who joined us today for our Hangtime Half Day Christmas Party.  We will look forward to seeing our Hangtime kids again in a few weeks after the break!

Written by lauraherr8

I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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