This year for our Christmas Party we are going to be having a Las Posadas Celebration.
What is Las Posadas?
Las Posadas is Spanish for lodging, or accommodation, which in this case refers to the inn in the story of the nativity of Jesus. It uses the plural form as the celebration lasts for a nine-day interval (called the novena) during the Christmas season, but for us... we are going to only celebrate on December 19th.
This story has recently grown in significance with the Latino Christian community due to many immigrant families seeing themselves in the story of Mary and Joseph as they traveled to a foreign city only to be rejected, but through the pain of this rejection comes the birth of a Messiah.
That is why we are going to celebrate this story. Not only does this unique Christian celebration have meaning as an old tradition for protestant and catholic latino families, but for almost 1/3 of our students... they see themselves in the story.
It speaks to them.
What's the Plan?
The youth group will begin the night by gathering outside the front doors of Ridgeview Elementary. Your students will not be allowed into any building until we all walk around the neighborhood passing out cookies to the neighborhood.
How do cookies connect to this?
This is actually my favorite part, and it takes a little imagination. In a traditional Las Posadas the kids of the church community lead the adults through the neighborhood as they walk to the church. The children will carry a baby through the neighborhood and all the way to the nativity scene at the church. As they go they will have a house actually play the Inn keeper and will play-act the innkeeper rejecting Mary and Joseph. The church community, lead by the children, will continue on to the church and gather around the nativity scene as they place the Christ-child in the manger.
We will actually start our night with this celebration.
We will meet up at the front doors of Ridgeview Elementary, the doors will be locked. Our students will have to gather outside and wait (There will be hot chocolate available). At 7:05pm we will pass out the cookies the church has brought for our neighbors and walk throughout the neighborhood passing them out. We will eventually walk to the church where we will have a reading, a prayer, and a party.