As I'm sure you are aware, there are less than three weeks until Christmas break! For some of us, that seems like an eternity. But what if you thought about it this way: there are less than three weeks to show your learners Christ-like love before they go on break. To share with them the true meaning of Christmas. To get them in touch with that Holiday Spirit. You know, the unseen spirit. The one hidden behind, between and amongst the gift giving, baking, decorating, merry making, and heavily expectant busyness. We've thought up some ways to invite that holiday spirit in and wish to share them with you. However and whomever you lead, these activities foster the holiday spirit in the heart of both leaders and learners alike.
Bless a Learner a Day
Consider writing a learner’s name per day on a calendar (like the one above) and find a way to intentionally bless them on their name day. It doesn’t need to be a gift. It doesn’t even need to be something you say directly to them. It could be praying for them. Speaking out on their behalf to another. Cleaning their desk. Slipping a note into their backpack. You get the idea. And I’m sure you have some of your own. We’d love to hear back with some of your favorite ways you blessed your learners this season.
Meaning of Christmas Discussions
Start each day with a discussion about the meaning of Christmas. Use it as your morning message, a journal prompt, or a discussion invitation. For Christian prompts, check out these Bible verses with conversations starters from Jules and Co. For secular prompts, check out ours (above and a printable version here).
Kindness Countdown Challenge
Countdown the days until Christmas break with a kindness challenge. Ten days to Christmas break, display a visual. Look at the picture above for some ideas. Or, print off one of these kindness challenges: Santa’s beard, The Gift of Kindness, or use a coloring page to write the challenge on daily. Each morning, reveal the day’s kindness challenge. Here are our top ten favorite kindness challenge ideas, but feel free to use your own:
Catch them in the Act
Of being kind, that is. Jot a note to let learners know their gift of kindness did not go unnoticed. Consider pairing this activity with the Kindness Countdown or use it as a stand alone. Print the version above here (Wolfe Stew logos removed) or make your own. Gift tags might work nicely. Then you could slap it (gently) right on their shirt where they'll wear it as a badge of honor!
Secret Holiday Pals
Outsource kindness by having secret holiday pals. Shared by Genia Connell via scholastic.com, learners randomly choose (or you could assign) a secret pal. But instead of gifts, learners perform random acts of kindness for their secret pal throughout the season. Brilliantly, Genia hints that if their secret pal is the sole recipient of kind acts, their identity will not remain secret for long. But, if several learners benefit from their kindness, concealed identities prevail. The result: Genia’s classroom floods in acts of kindness.
Make positive presents. Mike Millard, shared by Education World, leads learners in exchanging compliments instead of presents. To make this uplifting, spirit of the season gift for your learners follow these steps:
- Create a class list with a few lines of space between each learner.
- Learners record a compliment unique to each classmate, then return it to you.
- You type up a page of compliments for each learner full of all the positive things their classmates said about them.
- Once distributed, these positive presents promise to produce a more pronounced effect than anything a box could contain.
Donate to a Charity
Donate, on behalf of the class, to a charity. Education World suggests instead of spending money on your learners this year, donate to a charity. Invite learners to choose the charity with you, then hang the response from the donation in your room. Want to get more involved? Visit Education World for more curriculum tie-ins.
For your learners, your teammates, your administration, yourself. Pray. Each morning. You know your community well and are therefore suited for targeted prayers, but here are some Bible verses that might weave nicely into your prayer tapestry.
I leave you with this thought: academics are important, but more important is letting learners know they are loved. Christmas is the perfect season for this! Showing love points people back to the One who is Love. Let’s help our learners meet Christ in unexpected places this holiday season.
With Love from the Kitchen,
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