Each Christmas Eve, most congregations will gather for a service that normally involves carols and candlelight, with lights dimmed and voices raised in song. Meanwhile, the lights are still burning bright in several places where people are working on Christmas Eve.
In 2014, Oxford Christian Church, Georgetown, KY, began an annual project to let those working on Christmas Eve know they are remembered and loved by God. “A few days before Christmas that year, we had the last-minute idea of delivering small packages of cookies to those working on Christmas Eve. We had no idea what kind of support we would get since it was so close to Christmas at the time. I announced the idea, made a plea for baked goods for the packages, and simply said we would distribute however many we received. The donations came pouring in. We had a small group assemble the care packages on December 23, and when we were finished, there was a large table full of packages. Folks picked them up following our Christmas Eve Service and delivered them on their way home that night,” said Rev. Chris Cash, pastor.
This year will be the fifth year for the project. Each year, care packages of cookies and brownies are delivered to gas stations, hotel front desks, restaurants, drug stores, and nursing care facilities. Platters of cheese and crackers and desserts are delivered to fire stations and the police departments. Donations are received a few days before Christmas, then a group gathers to assemble around 50 total packages and platters. Each package includes a label with the destination & address, along with a tag or sticker with a message: “This Christmas, please know that you are remembered and loved! May you know the love and peace of God today and every day!”
While working on Christmas Eve night might be more significant for some people more than others, the emphasis of the project has simply been to let those working know they are remembered and loved on a night when many are gathering with family or friends. Church members who have dropped off packages on their way home from the service have shared how responses from the recipients have included surprised smiles, thanks, and on more than one occasion, tears.
When the good news of the birth of Christ is announced by angels, it’s delivered to ordinary shepherds working out in the fields. It seems fitting that on Christmas Eve night, a reminder of God’s love should be shared with ordinary people working out in the community as well. This is one of the ways Oxford Christian Church has committed to sharing the love of Jesus with the community of Georgetown.