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It’s a Gift

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider why we give each other gifts.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need to prepare a group of children to act out the story of the wise men visiting Jesus, found in Matthew 2. Alternatively, ask some children to read the story during the assembly.

  • More information about Christmas shoebox appeals is available at: and


  1. Encourage the children to share their memories of Christmas presents that they particularly enjoyed. Ask which presents were their favourites and why they particularly liked them.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Invite the group of children to act out the story of the wise men visiting Jesus, or ask the children to read the story found in Matthew 2.

  3. Encourage the children to think about the gifts that were given to Jesus. Ask the children if they know what gifts are normally brought to new babies. Do they think that gold, frankincense and myrrh are good gifts for a baby? Why would the wise men have brought those gifts?

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. If the children have been involved in a Christmas shoebox appeal, ask them if they think that they would have been excited by the contents of those boxes if they had received one on Christmas Day.

    Ask the children if they would have been happy to have received soap, a toothbrush, some toothpaste and a hat for a present. Point out that gifts like these are very precious for children in countries where war, famine, poverty and disease make these practical things into exciting gifts.

    If the children are not familiar with Christmas shoebox appeals, you may wish to put a plan in place to use a shoebox appeal as part of your schools Christmas celebrations next year. More information is available at: and

  5. Ask the children the following questions.

    - Why do we give people presents?
    - Do you give presents to anyone?
    - What are your reasons for giving presents?
    - How do you choose what to give?

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Encourage the children to suggest presents that they might give to a familiar adult (maybe a member of staff). Ask them why they would choose a particular present.

    Ask the children if they have ever given a present and seen that the receiver loved it.

  6. The Bible tells us that it is better to give than to receive. However, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy getting presents ourselves. It means that in our hearts, we should be people who love to give to others; we should want to bring people joy and happiness; we should be generous.

  7. Christians believe that Jesus was God’s special gift to the world. They believe that he is the greatest gift and that God gives generously.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to sit quietly for a moment while they think about gifts that have been special to them. Ask them to think about the person who gave those gifts.

Dear God,
Thank you for all the people who are generous to us.
Thank you for the memory of gifts that we have received at birthdays and Christmas.
Thank you for the gifts that we are given every day: our food, our clothing and our friends.
Please help us to be generous.
Please help us to think of others, especially those who are in need of basic things like food, water and clothing.

Publication date: January 2018   (Vol.20 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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