For kids that don’t celebrate Christmas, December can be a tough time of year. Many schools and classrooms have Christmas related activities that are meant to add joy, but can leave Jewish students feeling ostracized. Many families also opt to pull their kids out of activities that involve Christmas like music concerts that include Christmas carols. Here are some tips on how to request less Christmas in the classroom.
Timing is key. Teachers, administrators, and PTA’s are working hard to plan for upcoming months. The best time to talk to them about limiting Christmas in the classroom is in the beginning of November when plans haven’t yet been made.
Be Flexible With Your Expectations
While some schools will ask teachers not to have any holiday celebrations that may leave feeling excluded, most schools and many classrooms will have some sort of acknowledgement of the upcoming Christmas holiday. Christmas is everywhere and it’s just natural that it would spill into our schools. What is your goal? Perhaps the goal is to give other winter holidays some attention too or just limit the amount of Christmas related activities.
I don’t know what your plans are as far as “holiday” activities are concerned, but I wanted to reach out early to ask that there not be too many Christmas related activities. Our family doesn’t celebrate Christmas and for kids who don’t, this can be a very difficult time of year. It often feels like the whole world is participating in something that you’re not and I’d like school to feel like a safe place. If you will be talking about Christmas and would like to include a discussion of Hanukkah, I’d be glad to pass along some resources. We want everyone to have a good time.
- I know the holidays are coming up
- Limit Christmas activities
- Switch for other fun activities
- Share Hanukkah
- Request details because your family may not participate some activities
Winter-Themed Classroom Ideas
There are plenty of ways to have fun in December that don’t involved decorating Christmas trees in your classroom. Here are some fun and creative winter-themed classroom activity ideas.
More winter-themed activities
- Polar Bears
- Hot Chocolate
- Ice Skating
Symmetrical Snowflake Craft for Kids
Less Christmas-themed activities
- Elf on the Shelf
- Christmas Trees
- References to Jesus
- Christmas Present Wish Lists