Christmas may be the premiere holiday in Christian circles, but how do we make children of other faiths feel included during this time of year when it seems everywhere we look are Santa Claus visits, stockings on fireplaces and presents under decorated trees?
Holidays are not universal, and each deserves its own respect. Perhaps alongside the traditional Christmas plays and glitter-covered gifts for family members, we need to teach that other religions have other high holidays – and some of them don’t occur in December.
Placing the lessons alongside Santa and a manger scene includes children otherwise left wondering where the beliefs taught at home fit in the world around them.
By connecting the overarching themes of the holidays in each religion or cultural celebration, educators can demonstrate that celebrations are a show of pride in family and community. Teaching about their similarities helps draw the connections between the human experience around the world. Demonstrating their differences begins the teaching of tolerance.
Four tips for educators to promote diversity and inclusivity during Christmas
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