Christmas is one of the best opportunities to invite people to guest events. It’s a wonderful time to share the joy of Jesus’ birth by carol singing on the streets, visiting peope home to home, holding events in schools, sports stadiums, pubs and community centres as well as in churches.
Families shopping during the 2019 festive season received two great giveaways telling the Christmas story. HOPE Together, Bible Society and Speak Life worked with The Entertainer toy shops to help customers appreciate the reason for the season.
The Entertainer chain is the UK's largest independent toy retailer and includes the Early Learning Centre stores. Each Entertainer shop has a nativity scene in its window at Christmas, and for the first time in 2019, The Entertainer nativity scenes featured the popular Early Learning Centre Happyland characters as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the Angel, the Wise Men and the Shepherds.
Telling the Christmas story
To tie in with these nativity scenes, Bible Society produced a special edition of its Christmas booklet - The Christmas Story in partnership with HOPE Together. Each family shopping for Christmas in The Entertainer stores from the start of December received a copy.
Shoppers also received a copy of the Christmas HOPE magazine, with a centre-spread featuring the Happyland characters telling the Christmas story. This 32-page magazine was packed with topical features to inform, challenge and entertain readers. The cover featured Tom Hanks, ‘the man behind the honours’; the Cats movie; Alisson Becker: the world’s best goalkeeper and Street Pastors ‘keeping clubbers safe this Christmas’ among other articles.
Speak Life animation
As well as the nativity scene in The Entertainer shop windows, The Christmas Story booklets and Christmas HOPE magazines, a specially-made Happyland nativity animation was made by the Speak Life team. The animation is available here to share on social media and to download for use in schools and churches. There are also additional resources for churches to use - download them from gochattervideos.com/happyland-nativity
Roy Crowne, HOPE Together’s executive director said, ‘We are thrilled to be working with these partners to offer a joined-up Christmas message. We hope that churches will take advantage of the amazing opportunity Christmas offers to visit local homes making Jesus known. We trust that these resources will help people to talk about Jesus and to invite people to celebrate Christmas at their local church.’
All the printed Christmas resources are available on the HOPE Together shop for individuals and churches to order.