By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — In March, while most people were thinking of spring, Jenny Lusty began planning one massive Christmas party.
The children’s minister at Alameda Church of Christ, Lusty has been working on Jingle Jam since then, and she hopes that the Norman community will join her from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday for the big reveal.
The free celebration is open to the community and will feature crafts, bounce houses, hot chocolate, cookies, pictures with Santa and a family photo booth. The event is being tagged by organizers as a Christmas party for the whole family.
“It’s something that families can do together and come out and celebrate what Christmas is about,” Lusty said. “Kids are bringing their parents to church. It’s just something for the whole family to do together. Something that your teenagers will like but something that still appeals to kids with Santa Claus and doing things with their mom and dad.”
Lusty said for the first 30 minutes of the celebration, the choir will perform.
“We will sing our a cappella songs, about four songs that we sing, and the whole congregation joins in. They are kid-friendly songs. It’s not the normal just sit in your pew and listen; it is an interactive kind of thing,” Lusty said.
The evening also will incorporate a traditional Sunday activity at Alameda of watching a live drama story about the Bible.
“Instead of just reading it, they actually get to see that in action, and it really makes the Bible come to life for them. You’ve heard these stories a million times as you’ve come to church, but this way you’re seeing how it can apply to your life.
“The whole thing is about having joy. Because joy is choosing to be happy, even when things don’t go your way, which adults can even take part,” Lusty said.
Lusty got the idea for Jingle Jam while attending a children’s ministry conference in Georgia. This is the first year for the event.
“It’s something we are hoping to build on in the future. We are just getting the basics this year and see how it goes. We hope it’s something that people look forward to every Christmas. Something that their family’s tradition that they come and do an activity together and everyone walks away with a smile on their face. And they didn’t have to plan it,” Lusty said.
Alameda’s congregation, Lusty said, has been very supportive of the idea of Jingle Jam.
“They are excited about it, and excited that we can reach out because we don’t want to just keep our walls up; that’s not the point of it,” Lusty said.
Working with the thought that December can be a hard time for families, Lusty is hoping that Jingle Jam will be a time for families to relax and enjoy the season.
“I’m hoping that people walk away with a sense of we did this together, this was a fun event. I just hope for that moment, that they had time together to not worry about Christmas presents or the food. I’m hoping to give them a night of non-stress and fun,” Lusty said.
For more information on Jingle Jam, visit alamedacofc.org. Alameda Church of Christ is at 801 E. Alameda St.
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