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By Kellie Herdade, Youth Minister & Outreach Coordinator
Festival of Gifts is a long-standing tradition that every member looks forwards to at Christ Church Cranbrook. But what is Festival of Gifts? This beautiful service is a reenactment of Jesus’s birth story. This includes everything from the shepherd in the fields tending to their flocks to the three Wisemen. There are even live animals involved!
But why is this event so special? Towards the end of Festival of Gifts, the congregation is traditionally invited to donate toys during the nativity scene. After the services, we sort through all the gifts in a room and invite our partners to come and “shop.” Partners include: Samaritas, Oakland Family Services, Children’s Village, Detroit Rescue Mission, Micah 6 Community, Baldwin Center, and Lighthouse of Oakland County. Partners take what they need for their organization and distribute the toys to kids within their communities. The children are the ones who really benefit from Festival of Gifts. It is an amazing experience to see!
Due to COVID-19, we needed to change the way Festival of Gifts runs this year. Initially, we planned to have online and outdoor, in-person services. However, after the recent directive from our bishop, we decided to offer two drive-through iterations of Festival of Gifts. This way you can tour the live nativity scene from the comfort and safety of your vehicle and listen to the narration on your own phone. We are asking everyone to bring an unwrapped toy you can hand to our youth at the last station. You may also present gifts beforehand through our Amazon wish list.
Being able to drive through the grounds of the church and watch this live nativity scene brings a whole new experience for everyone! We can’t wait for you to join us, as we believe this will bring some peace, joy, love, and hope to all who attend.
If you want to experience this amazing event, join us on either December 12th or 13th from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Bring your family and don’t forget your gifts! We hope to see you there!