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Celebrating Christmas

November 19, 2014


It’s that festive time of year again and the children in your service will no doubt be getting excited about the upcoming celebrations! Christmas provides a wonderful opportunity to focus on the children’s sense of identity and belonging, as well as a chance to make stronger links with their parents. 

MigrantFactNot all the families represented in your service may celebrate Christmas so it’s important to be inclusive in your programme around this time of year, and to expand on the children’s individual experiences and interests. Begin by finding out from the children, their families and your staff members which festivals, if any, they celebrate, and what they might like to share about their personal traditions.

Through listening to children as they play, through discussions at circle time and in connecting with parents, you as a practitioner can understand and explore ideas about celebrating different holidays, what it means to be a certain nationality and participating in festivities such as Christmas or Hanukkah for example.

Below we have provided some ideas that may help you to celebrate Christmas in your service in an inclusive and child-led way.


Christmas characterDecorations

To encourage children to share their experiences of celebrating Christmas and other holidays why not use circle time as an opportunity to start the discussion with a few open ended questions and leave time for them to think and respond:

snowflake Why do we decorate for Christmas? What other celebrations / times of year do we decorate for- ie birthdays,weddings..? 
snowflake Do you decorate your house at Christmas/in December? What with?- a tree? lights? Christmas ornaments? 
snowflake What could we do here in the preschool to decorate?
snowflake How will we make these decorations? 
snowflake How did your parents/grandparents/family decorate for Christmas when they were small? 

Building on children’s interests shows respect for their ideas and allows us as practitioners to extend their themes across the curriculum.

ChristmasTreeFacts copy


Christmas Songs

There is no better way of immersing yourself in the Christmas spirit at this time of year than through the singing of carols and popular Christmas songs.  There are songs of every kind to celebrate the festive season and introducing these to the children in your service can make Christmas celebrations all the more fun and enjoyable.

bauble Have fun trying out our Christmas tongue twisters with the children in your service.


Christmas Stories

There is obviously an extensive range of books that focus on theme of Christmas, we have selected a few of our favourites below.  Through telling stories and reading books that relate to the children’s lives in the here and now you can enhance their sense of identity and belonging by exploring their ideas about citizenship and their place in the world.

 Dear Father Christmas  Santasaurus

Dear Father Christmas

by Alan Durant (Author), Vanessa Cabban (Illustrator)

This Christmas story tells of the penpal friendship that Holly develops with Father Christmas.  Through a series of letters Holly learns about Lapland, magic elves and reindeer. This gift book comes with letters to read and and a special silver ticket from Father Christmas!

(This book is available through our shop at a cost of €5.89 for members and €8.50 for non-members)


By Niamh Sharkey

It’s Christmas in Dinosaur Town. Ollie wants a dinobot. Molly wants a dinocycle. Milo wants to meet Santasaurus and fly on his sleigh. Will their wishes come true? Read this supersaurus story and you will see!

(This book is available through our shop at a cost of €5.89 for members and €8.50 for non-members)

 Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star  twas

Suzy Goose and the Christmas Star

By Petr Horacek

When Suzy Goose decides that the Christmas tree is missing a star, she sets off on a journey to fetch the shiny star in the sky. No matter how far she travels, she never reaches it. But when she finds herself back at the tree, everyone has a beautiful Christmas surprise!

(This book is available through our shop at a cost of €5.89 for members and €8.50 for non-members)

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

By Matt Taveres (Illustrator)

Based on the anonymous poem from 1823, this beautifully produced nineteenth century-style edition of the popular poem boasts atmospheric and gorgeously tactile black and white illustrations.

(This book is available through our shop at a cost of €4.95 for members and €8.00 for non-members)

 Santa Fact2


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