We like celebrating birthdays at church, and since Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’s birthday, we were happy to give out party bags to everyone who attended last night’s carol service. The bags contained a cracker, a bow for presents, a straw, a Christmas card and an answer sheet and pencil, along with a chocolate.

Someone had fun with the bows!

We also had a variety of prizes for all the games, just like at any birthday party! (Most were chocolates, in keeping with the theme of the Nativity play, but there was also a star candle and some star-shaped baubles to win.)

Here are some more jumper photos (or T-shirts or ties…)

Rapt attention on the jumper catwalk:

Mark welcomes Linda from the Great Houghton Methodist Church to the service:

After the service, we enjoyed mince pies and other refreshments, though not everyone was pleased to see Stacey with her camera!

Some people, however, couldn’t get enough of posing for photos!

The pudding and the reindeer:

A few special mentions and thanks must also be made. Special mentions go to Pat whose amazing singing hat kept us all amused; to Diane for her ease and style on the catwalk (an alternative career in modelling is clearly beckoning!); and to Garry, whose sheer stubbornness in sewing 200 LED Christmas lights (not to mention a dozen baubles) on to an old jumper defeated his thrift in refusing to buy a new jumper.

Thanks go to Gemma who wrote the majority of the Nativity play and whose creative energy fuelled the party bags and celebratory theme; to Stephen B., whose idea for the Christmas jumper competition added a lot of fun to proceedings; to Stephen T. for singing while dressed as a Christmas pudding (surely a first for that song!); to Stacey, for her willingness to be the church photographer and to all who participated in the Nativity play and music. Thanks too to everyone who attended and whose spontaneity and willingness to have fun made the evening so very special.