Happenings, Youth & Kids

Throwback: How we celebrated Christmas 2023 in 3 different ways9 min read

Making it an occasion for everyone.

A few months ago, five of us – Alan, Pong, Denise, Francine, and Zhen Wei – attended three different types of Christmas services. 

One service was goofy and fun – filled with youths, packed with praise songs, and ending in a shower of confetti and a cameo by The Grinch.

Another service embraced the cosiness of the season, welcoming new faces with fresh cinnamon rolls and captivating us with heartwarming stories shared onstage.

Meanwhile, the third kind of service – which took place at night – set the stage with blacklights, and a live DJ set, culminating in a heartfelt message about overcoming loneliness.

Despite their wildly different styles, all of these services took place over one weekend, and in the same church!

Why three different styles? We wanted to create a Christmas experience that didn’t just cater to different demographics, but to different vibes. (Age ain’t nothing but a number, right?) Here’s how it all went down: 

Vibe #1: Christmas Youth Service:

Dance productions, carnival games & food, goofy Christmas fun with friends – for youth, by youth.

Denise: Pong! I heard you didn’t go for your usual service over Christmas…. 

Pong: That’s right – I went to the youth service to accompany a young person (and anyway, I’m not that old!). 
Denise: What was that like!

Pong: Being in the service definitely brought out my ‘inner youth’, especially during the praise and worship, where everyone sang and danced with pure joy. I couldn’t help squeezing into the mosh pit with them when we were praising God together. 

Pong: And as a young adult, I was blown away that the planning team behind the services was 14 to 17 years old! On top of fun segments like a Christmas dance production, there were also deep moments, like worshiping God together, as well as meaningful and interesting ones, like a Q&A with our youth pastor, Pastor Ee Loo.

Denise: What kinds of questions did the youths ask? 

Pong: It was actually Pastor Ee Loo that did the asking, the youths were the ones sharing! One girl talked about her struggles with self image and how she overcame that through her relationship with God. Another boy shared how he found friends that really cared for him even when he was initially acting ‘too cool for them’. 
Francine: Yeah, I was there, and their stories stuck with me too. Although each of them went through different journeys, they came to experience the same joy and love in church. I felt inspired by how their lives changed from that point and how they grew in sharing that joy and love with others.

Francine: Pastor Charleston’s Christmas message encouraged me just as much. Using Bible stories, He showed us that though sometimes we may feel alone in our circumstances, Christ too stood alone from time to time. Jesus understands and loves us, and wants to go through life with us. 
Pong: How about you, Denise? Which service did you go for?

Vibe #2: Home for Christmas:

A mug of hot cocoa, acoustic songs, and sitting by the Christmas tree & fireplace – for lovers of cozy Christmas gatherings.

Denise: As someone whose idea of Christmas vibes is a knitted blanket and a cup of Swiss Miss, I attended the services themed ‘Home For Christmas.’ 

Alan: Me too! 

Francine: Sounds like I totally missed out. Fill me in! 

Denise: The service opened with a couple of segments to break the ice – a funny Christmas video produced in-house, gifts dished out from the stage, and we even got a chance to pass cinnamon rolls and Christmas candy to our friends and family who joined us that day. 
Francine: I’m curious – aside from cosiness, what else went into ‘Home For Christmas’?

Denise: Drawing from the book of Ephesians, Pastor Garrett shared a message about the fullness of God’s love – it is wide, long, high, and deep. It is unconditional, unchanging, and unlimited! It’s not just a “cosy” kind of love, but it is the type of love we long for when we think of home. 

We also got to hear life stories from young people, including a pair of sisters, who experienced the love of God amidst challenges growing up.

Alan: As I was hearing the message and the life stories, I became more aware of just how much God cares for every single one of us.

Pastor Garrett also encouraged us to pray for each other toward the end of the service, which was a pretty touching way to close the night. Even my friend who visited remarked that “the whole experience felt just like what home should be.”

Pong: I agree! But… that was not the end of Christmas, right? I heard a “Xmas” service took place right after “Home for Christmas”. 

Vibe #3: Xmas

A DJ set, cool lights, and dancing the night away together with homies – for those who enjoy wholesome fun paired with genuine friendships.

Zhen Wei: I didn’t know Christmas could be THIS cool. I was so surprised walking into church being greeted with a live DJ. They really put the “PARTY” into Christmas parties.

We all gathered to the front of the auditorium to vibe to the music together.
An electrifying dance production then followed!

Francine: That night was a core memory. There was a sense of freedom in the atmosphere – I felt like I could truly express myself in celebration of Christmas! My friends and I felt right at home!

Zhen Wei: Me too! And it wasn’t just the music, but we got to hear life stories about finding friendships and purpose from pre-university students who were searching for genuine friendships and meaning in life.

Pastor Lynette also shared about how with Christmas, we do not have to feel helpless through the ups and downs. I was so encouraged knowing we can put our trust in God.

Francine: I felt that! My friends and I also prayed for one another after we shared some of the struggles we were facing in our lives. We found faith to believe that we could overcome our obstacles with God! 🥹 I love how we could just be real with one another and with God. X’mas was wholesome as much as it was cool! Thank you X’mas planning team – and thank you to the whole team behind the Christmas services! It was definitely a Christmas For Everyone!

Christmas 2023 might have been the first time we experimented with 3 different types of services, but it won’t be the last – experience it for yourself over Easter 2024, where we’ll be running 3 different service styles!

Find out more and save a seat here.

You May Also Like