To reflect on the idea that celebrations such as Christmas mean so much more when shared with others
by Gill Hartley
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To reflect upon the idea that celebrations such as Christmas mean so much more when shared with others.
Preparation and materials
- (optional) A selection of Christmas items, such as decorations, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, etc.
- If you have them, show the children the Christmas items you have brought in. Introduce the items as things which helped you celebrate Christmas. Remind the children what it was that Christians were celebrating at Christmas, i.e. the birthday of Jesus, the Son of God. Include people of other faiths who might use the holiday period for a family get-together.
- Ask the children to tell you about their Christmas (and/or holiday): Did they enjoy it? What did they do? What did they have to eat? What presents did they receive? Ask them if they did all this alone. Ask them to imagine what it would be like to spend Christmas alone - would it be as much fun?
- Ask the children to think back to the last birthday party they attended. Was it fun? Why was it fun? How many people were there? Could you have a birthday party on your own? Why not? Try to bring out the idea that celebrations need other people to share the fun with.
- Retell the story Jesus told about a special party from Luke 14.16-23, either in your own words or in the version below:
The Special Party
by Gill Hartley
(based on Luke 14.16-23)
Once upon a time a man decided to throw a big party. He invited lots and lots of people. He spent a long time getting everything ready - he wanted it to be the best party ever!
When at last everything was ready, he sent his servant out to tell everyone he had invited that it was time to come to the party. But they all made excuses and said they could not come. One said, 'I've just bought a field and I need to go and look at it - I can't come!' Another said, 'I've just bought a pair of oxen and I want to try them out. I can't come!' A third one said, 'I've just got married! I certainly can't come!'
The servant went back to his master and told him what had happened. He was angry that his friends would not come to his party and so he told his servant to go out again into the streets and alleyways of the city and invite all the beggars he met to come to the party. The servant rushed off to do this and the people came - the poor, the blind, those who were ill and those who could hardly walk - but even so the room was not filled, there was still space for more.
So the master sent his servant out again and said to him, 'This time, go into the country lanes and look under the hedges for all those who are sleeping rough and tell them they've got to come. I don't want my house empty for my party! I can't have a proper party unless my house is absolutely full!'
- Go over the main points of the story again with the children, emphasizing that the man knew he could not have a proper celebration without people to share it with. Link this to their own experience over the Christmas period as referred to above.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to join you in saying a responsive prayer. Ask them to join in each time you say the words 'we say', with the words Thank you.
For the fun we share together at special times such as Christmas and birthdays, we say
For party games, for special food, for presents and for exciting parties, we say
For all our friends and families who help us to have fun and to enjoy special times, we say
For everyone who helps people who are on their own, are lonely and have no one to share things with, we say
Finish with a practical example of celebrating together: let the children vote on a favourite song and enjoy singing it together!