At the Heart School we are passionate about creating beautiful and meaningful Christmas memories for young children. When they have long hours in care, and less at home or out in the community, it is really important our settings provide them some of the childhood magic that is the festive season. But what about our adults? Couldn’t they do with some Christmas magic of their own?
If we also pay attention to the adults in our setting, we can remove some of ‘bah humbug’ around the Christmas season for them. If they feel truly joyous around this time, the children will ‘catch’ that enthusiasm. How we are has such an effect on our young children, and if we are plodding along, ‘doing’ Christmas because we have to, they sense that.
For it to be a magical time, they want us to share in the magic, not just provide it.
So what can we do?
We can pay attention to the adult areas in our settings as well. Places for parents and teachers can also be decorated with beautiful Christmas treasures, lights and trinkets. If we can recreate some of what they would’ve experienced themselves as children, that is even more special.
More ‘retro’ or traditional touches will go directly into the heart accounts of those adults who have wonderful memories to link them to.
We can use beautiful words, uplifting stories and quotes which remind us all that Christmas isn’t about consumerism and commercialism.
Love, kindness, family, goodwill, and service - the true spirit of this season need to be brought back to the fore.
Even the most reticent adult can rekindle their love affair with Christmas when they see it as a time of meaning, and about celebrating the best of our human qualities.
Food is such a multi-sensory experience, and is a wonderful to add Christmas touches. How special would it be to offer little tasting nibbles out for parents, a morning tea for the team, or a heart centred Christmas pot luck dinner for teams, and one for parents? Think again of memory-inducing offerings, and encourage others to contribute their family traditions and stories.
What about your team?
A Christmas focused heart meeting for your team can unite you, inspire you to give your all to the season, and get to know each other more as you share personal stories, insights, and even challenges for this time of year. As always in heart meetings, the setting and tone are crucial, and Christmas provides an amazing theme to go festive with.
The joy in giving and receiving
We know Christmas isn’t about gifts, but we also know that there can be joy in receiving an unexpected something. A ‘secret santa’, one gift swapped amongst staff can be a special way to share, to give, receive, be create and have a wee treat.
If giving, and service are a strong value amongst you, it is also a fabulous time to group together and help others with support and donations. Inviting parents to contribute also brings the spirit of helping to them. Many people giving just a little can have a big impact.
Christmas is not just for the children
When we talk about putting the heart back into Christmas, we don’t just mean for the children.
Let’s bring the sparkle and joy back for adults too. Engage your team and parents in the festivities, treat them to a feast of beauty and kindness too. Let them experience something other than feeling a drain on the wallet and an increase of pressure.
A beautifully prepared, festive environment, with seasonal treasures and trinkets will create a sense of joy, wonder and magic for children AND adults.
We have created a beautiful toolkit full of ideas for bringing magic and wonder to the Christmas season. You can download the Heart of Christmas here.