The Gift of Giving at Christmas
Spreading love and kindness
by Hannah Taylor
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To consider what makes Christmas special and how we can bring joy to others at this time.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the following YouTube videos and the means to show them during the assembly:
- ‘Postcards of kindness’ by Age UK, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luiG3WagYBA (1 minute long)
- ‘Orla’s story – Secret Santa 2020’ by Action for Children, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZtwVkl_8Vo (1 minute long)
- Optional: if you wish to find out more information about Christmas charity campaigns that are running this year, go to:
- Crisis at Christmas, a campaign to support those who would be homeless and alone at Christmas, available at: https://tinyurl.com/fz24scj9
- Home Instead, which operates a Christmas gift-giving scheme for the elderly, available at: https://tinyurl.com/7xrjkxkt
- Christmas means something different to all of us. For many, it brings joyful memories and celebrations, whereas for others, it may bring back painful memories. Some may choose not to celebrate Christmas at all.
- Let’s take a moment to think about our own experiences of Christmas. What brings us joy and happiness?
Let’s not focus on what might be waiting for us under the tree. Instead, let’s think about socializing; sharing meals and parties with family and friends; spending quality time with the ones we love; feeling comfortable, warm and relaxed; smelling pine needles and Christmas dinner; or even the joy of giving to others.
- Now let’s think of things that may affect Christmas negatively for us. It could be the loss of a loved one, loneliness, arguments or feeling like we don’t belong. When things like this make us sad, what might help?
If someone reaches out to us and listens to how we are feeling or takes the time to ask if we are OK, we often feel a bit better. It matters that people listen to us and show us that they care. It can lift the feeling of sadness and help us to realize that we are not alone.
- A simple act of kindness can go a long way. An elderly person may only leave their house every few days to get some shopping, so smiling at them or engaging them in conversation could make their day.
Show the video ‘Postcards of kindness’ by Age UK.
Ask the students to consider how they might help an elderly person this year.
- Show the video ‘Orla’s story – Secret Santa 2020’ by Action for Children.
Ask the students to consider what they could do to make this Christmas special for someone who is in need.
Time for reflection
Acts of kindness don’t have to be huge to be effective! They can be as simple as opening a door to let someone through or helping a child to feel the magic of Christmas by donating toys and games to a children’s hospital or charity. Other ideas include:
- sending a card to a local care home
- making small packages for the care home residents as a surprise at Christmas
- filling a Christmas sack of kindness and leaving it with a note for someone to find. It could be filled with Christmas goodies such as mince pies and then refilled and passed on to someone else
- becoming a secret Santa for someone vulnerable
Let’s take this time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas: love, hope, kindness and togetherness. Let’s also think of those who struggle at Christmas. How can we all work together to make Christmas a special time for everyone within our school and community?
Love brought Jesus to earth, and love brings us together this Christmas.
May this Christmas be filled with kindness and joy.
May the memories that we make warm our hearts for many years to come.
May we also be instrumental in making good memories for others.
‘My only wish’ by Jessica Simpson, available at: https://youtu.be/31mm6cpTtdo (3.55 minutes long)