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The journey: An Advent and Christmas assembly

To reflect upon the cost of care and giving.

by Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To reflect upon the cost of care and giving

Preparation and materials

  • This assembly focuses upon the John Lewis 2012 television advertisement that can be found and downloaded at
  • You will need to be familiar with the content of the commercial. It features the adventures of a snowman who wishes to show a snowwoman how much he cares.


  1. For KS2 children, begin with an 'ice-breaker' Christmas cracker joke:
    How do snowmen get around? Answer: They ride an icicle!

    For KS3+ observe that it's not always easy to find the perfect Christmas gift, and giving is one way in which we can demonstrate our care.
  2. Go on to refer to the snow-people featured in the 2012 John Lewis television advertisement. Invite everyone to watch it (1'.30").
  3. Explain that the advertisement is entitled 'The Journey'. Invite the school community to discuss the storyline. Ask: 'What does it tell us about care and giving?' Observe that whether we are buying or making a Christmas gift, or simply helping a friend, it costs time and trouble to show that we care.
  4. (Especially for church schools) Discuss how the Christmas story might also be entitled 'The Journey'. It tells of Mary and Joseph's journey into the unknown to bring the world the gift of Jesus. How did they feel? Wise men also faced difficulties and dangers on their long adventure to present their gifts. Why did they travel so far?
  5. In conclusion, refer to a story telling how a boy in Africa gave his teacher a Christmas gift. It was a beautiful seashell. "Where did you get this?" she asked. The boy explained that he had walked to a far-off beach to find it. Amazed and surprised, the teacher said: "You shouldn't have gone so far just to find a present for me." The boy smiled. He replied: "The long walk is part of the present."
  6. If time permits, view the advertisement for a second time before a time for reflection.

Time for reflection

An imaginary story starting with the making of two snowmen shows what it can mean to care and give.

Now let's get real!

How far will we go to show concern for someone else?

Might learning to care and give be the making of us?

Loving God,
You have given us life
Help us to give a little more love
this Christmas and always.



Carol: 'We three kings of Orient are' (Hymns Old & New, 537)

'The Gift' from Songs for Every Christmas (Out of the Ark Music).

Music to end: Reprise 'Power of Love' sung by Gabrielle Aplin

Publication date: December 2012   (Vol.14 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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