The Moral of the Story
Christmas is around the corner and many children across the UK will be flicking through the Argos catalogue finding the presents they are going to be nagging for this year. Although this may be a favourite past time for all youngsters around Christmas, there is a significant lesson to be learnt. It is important that we teach our children to be gracious when receiving gifts, even when it is almost a mandatory event in certain circumstances such as Christmas or birthdays. Despite them already assuming they will be receiving everything they have wished for, being on Santa’s ‘nice list’ or not, we must teach them that an act of kindness or gratitude can go a long way. We may taunt and tease the younger generation, insisting that ‘Santa Claus has been watching their behaviour all year’, but it is essential that we explain what type of behaviour is good behaviour and what will not be tolerated.
Educational and Enjoyable
TeacherBoards Community have created some useful Christmas list templates that you can use at home or in the classroom. The first list includes a ‘reasoning’ process that must be filled in before it is sent off to Santa (or to mum if the surprise has been spoilt). This reasoning process means that children must fill in different reasons or scenarios that show they deserve the gifts they are asking for and are willing to put effort in to receive them. In the classroom, you can use this template as a fun Christmas related lesson plan, which helps ensure children will work harder in the classroom to show they are capable of the tasks they have set themselves.
One example of this could be ‘I deserve this present because: I will/have handed in my homework in on time all term.’ This helps children set tasks for themselves over the winter period which can be beneficial to you and for them. These educational based tasks can help children work on aspects of their learning that they may be struggling with by taking a certain amount of time out to read a book, or to spend two nights a week practising spelling, and so on.
Home and Away
Alternatively, if you aren’t using the templates in a school environment, you can ask them to create a different sort of ‘reasoning process’ that can relate to housework or behaviour outside of school. For example ‘I will keep my room tidy and organised’ or ‘I will be kind and polite to everybody I meet, hurtful or inappropriate comments will not be accepted’. This will teach that not only is good behaviour essential, but what good behaviour consists of and how to achieve it.
You could argue that children have grown to expect presents for Christmas, good behaviour or not, but it can be beneficial for them to understand that hard work can pay off. It is difficult for children to reform a spoilt attitude once it has been embedded in them and even if you are able to give them everything they want, it might not be what they need.