As teachers, though, we must be mindful that not all our kids celebrate the same holidays. Hanukkah is not a Jewish “equivalent” for Christmas, nor is it the most important of Jewish holidays. Most white families don’t celebrate Kwanzaa but many communities have events to broaden those perspectives, such as the ones advertised through WRAL News. There are a multitude of excellent books and other resources on celebrations during December; the teachers I know carefully plan activities for this last week of school that reflect the diversity of our communities.
Although most kids are ecstatic to have two weeks off school, some kids I’ve taught are apprehensive about vacations or even dread them. For them, school is the place where regular meals were provided and where they benefit from a structured and predictable environment. I have even seen those kids cry when it was time to leave for a holiday. While some families will be taking extravagant vacations, others will be struggling to find child care. Many schools now have holiday food drives and our community has several food donation programs.
If you haven’t already contributed, if you haven’t already reached out, if you haven’t already shared in some way, it’s not too late! No matter what you celebrate, the holidays are a great reminder to reach out to those in need.