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A Christmas never to forget

by Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To reflect upon the need to remember others at Christmas.

Preparation and materials

This assembly is based upon the 2013 John Lewis Christmas advertising campaign. You will have to be able to show the television advert found at https://www.youtube.com/user/JohnLewisRetail.

You can also access it through www.johnlewis.com.

Assembly

  1. Reflect that with the arrival of winter some creatures move or migrate to warmer parts of the globe – others hibernate, meaning that they sleep through periods of cold weather when food is hard to find. Bears, for instance, find a cave or den in which they can sleep for as long as a hundred days without needing to eat or drink!

  2. Invite the children to imagine what it must be like to sleep for so long. What would they miss were they to hibernate for a hundred days? In conversation, establish that this would mean missing school, their friends, the wonder of winter frost and snow, and Christmas! Establish which Christmas activities would be missed the most.

  3. Go on to say that this is the theme of a Christmas advertising campaign. Explain that it tells the story of a bear who is friends with a hare. Invite the children to consider the moods and feelings that are conveyed by the animation. Using the link above, show the 2013 John Lewis TV advert: ‘The Bear and the Hare’.

  4. Invite the school community to respond to the story. How does it touch upon the meaning of Christmas? Reflect upon the feelings of Hare, who is sad that his best friend will miss the companionship and enjoyment that is shared at Christmas time.

  5. Acknowledge that separation is felt by many people at Christmas. Some of the school community will miss the company of members of their families. In such circumstances the friendship and understanding of others are important.

  6. Observe that the gift of an alarm clock from Hare showed that Bear was not forgotten. Christmas is a time to think of others – to show care – and, as the story shows, to awaken happiness.

Time for reflection

Imagine waking up and discovering Christmas for the first time! Be amazed and thankful!

Offer to God any sadness or loneliness you feel at this time of year. Be glad that Jesus came to show that no one is forgotten.

Remember that the best of friendship includes others. So try not to forget anyone who is alone or missing – both at Christmas and every other day of the year!

Prayer
Lord God,
awaken us
to see all that friendship can mean
and help us never to forget
to show care for others
this Christmas, and every day.

If time permits, show the advert again to allow further reflection.

Song/music

‘Christmas time is here’ (Come and Praise, 127)

Publication date: December 2013   (Vol.15 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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