Christmas Value

Christmas Value

In the opening chapter of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge weighs up the cost of Christmas, and finds it lacking in value:

“What’s Christmas-time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, and not an hour richer… Much good it has ever done you!”

The cost of Christmas can be very high. Not just in monetary terms, but the time we expend in all our preparations too. Is it worth it, for just one day?

Put on the spot, Scrooge’s nephew responds:

“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited… [Christmas is] the only time I know of… when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys… though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good”

It is true, that people’s hearts seem to soften at Christmas, if only for a brief spell.

There is that amazing story of the opposing soldiers, in the Second World War, who, on Christmas day, left their weapons in the trenches, and met in no man’s land, to sing ‘Silent Night’ and wish one another a merry Christmas.

Despite the financial burden of Christmas, more people in the UK donate to charity in the month of December than any other month of the year.

It is as though people become more aware, not so much of the value of Christmas, but the value of other humans.

One thought has really struck me this year, as I’ve contemplated the birth of Jesus. The thought is that, when Jesus took on a human body, it wasn’t just for Christmas. It wasn’t even just for 30 odd years. It was forever.

He rose from the dead, as a man. And even now, he sits at the right hand of God the Father, fully human, able to empathise with all that we are going through, and speaking to the father on our behalf.

So I guess it makes sense that, at Christmas-time, we get a deeper sense of each person’s worth, and an increase in empathy for our ‘fellow-passengers to the grave’ – because we in turn are reminded how valued and appreciated each of us are by God.

In the birth of that tiny baby, God revealed to us how valuable people truly are to him, by binding himself to humanity for eternity. O holy night!

Silent Night

A couple of years ago we went through the first year of the ‘Five In a Row’ curriculum, where you take a book and read it each day for 5 days. Then you pick out different lessons from the writing, illustrations, history, science, etc.

In the build up to Christmas this year, we decided to do our own ‘Five in Row’ style studies with the book ‘Silent Night’ by Brigitte Weninger, based on the making of the traditional Christmas Carol.

After our first read, we took out our atlas and globe and located Austria and the town Salzburg. The carol was written in the aftermath of a terrible volcanic eruption that impacted the whole world, so we also found where the volcano was.

The two eldest boys were then tasked with a research project, to find out about the eruption and present back to us, while the rest of us read more generally about volcanoes.

They started with a red food colouring, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar eruption from a cardboard volcano. The eldest even had the younger ones make Lego people to place around the mountain.

Then they presented all the facts of the disaster, which was followed by a comic style illustration of the eruption, and finally a quiz.

They prepped all this in about an hour, talk about proud mummy moment!

The next day, I picked out some resources to look at from this unit study guide from Whole Child Homeschool.

We watched this folklore story that blamed the broken organ on a cold, hungry mouse, finding shelter in the bellows.

Afterwards, we had a look inside the silent night chapel, built where the original once stood using this 360 tour.

We also listened to the carol in its original German, and then listened to Bing Crosby’s version, which apparently is the fourth best selling song of all time! This then lead to the children asking about the number 1 best selling song, which we discovered is also Bing Crosby, White Christmas. We then went through this list of the top 30, and the kids asked all kinds of questions!

The next day we looked at how organs work. Both the insides, and how to play them. We found some great videos on you tube, we especially enjoyed this one from Classic FM. Then the kids drew pictures and wrote narrations of what they learnt.

Finally, after noticing the reference in the book to pulling out the stops on the organ, we discussed the idiom ‘pull out all the stops’ and researched other musical idioms – of which there are quite a lot!

Of course our study involved a lot of singing, and attempts at playing the carol too.

It was a relatively relaxed unit study, as we’ve been winding down for Christmas this month, but we all learnt so much.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas full of peace, joy and empathy!

Want more?

Sign up today and receive emails when new blogs are published.

We don't spam! Read the privacy policy for more info.

2 Replies to “Christmas Value”

  1. I love this we never did in depth studies so young when I was at school Well done all!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *