In my RS lessons with Year 2 this half term we have been thinking about ‘Celebrations’. We spent the first few weeks learning about the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. The children loved listening to the story about the miracle of the oil and especially loved playing the Dreidel game with chocolate coins!
This week we started thinking about Advent and its importance in preparing the minds and hearts of Christians for the wonderful celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day. We looked at images of the Advent Crown and learned the significance of the candles as well as looking at a real Advent candle and Advent calendar. The children reflected on how their excitement grew with each opening of a door on the calendar or burning away of a number on the candle and with Nativity rehearsals just around the corner (for which they all have speaking parts) the first signs of that excitement are already bubbling away.
We also talked about whether Advent calendars should have a picture of Father Christmas on or pictures of the Nativity. After much discussion the children decided perhaps it should have a bit of both because “Father Christmas helps us celebrate Jesus’ birthday”. This led to thinking about the giving of presents to each other on someone else’s’ birthday as we don’t do this usually. I was delighted that the children understood it is symbolic of how the Magi brought gifts for baby Jesus and would be what Jesus would want us to do because “it is kind”. One child then commented, “I know Father Christmas makes Jesus happy by bringing all the children presents but who gives Father Christmas a present?” As you can imagine, after the children had internalised this thought and realised perhaps Father Christmas doesn’t get any presents, there were soon many declarations of what they might give him this year. However I then told the children that the children’s happiness is probably the only present he really wants, just as Jesus wanted everyone to be happy, kind and generous towards each other.
(Advanced apologies to all Year 2 parents if you have since been badgered to add another present to the ever growing Christmas list!)
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