Wednesday, December 10, 2008

St. Nicholas vs. Santa- a Fight to the Death!!!

OK!  OK!  Not really!  I was trying to grab your attention, so don't send me nasty comments and threaten me with coal in my stocking!  Actually, what I wanted to write about was something that happened last week.   In an effort to help the munchkins better understand the meaning of this season of Advent, and to help prepare their hearts for Christmas, I've been doing some special things with them.  We've been observing the Jesse Tree, and last week we postponed our usual Religion lessons and instead, learned about the life of St. Nicholas.  brian rocks because he - sorry... Brian took over my Mac when I had my back turned.  See what I'm dealing with here?!  Rest assured that he was dealt with accordingly!  Anyway, as I was saying before...  Each morning we are reading from the Old Testament and placing an ornament on the tree that represents what we read that day.  Here is a picture of Brian "hanging" an ornament on the Jesse Tree, it was taken a few days ago at the beginning of Advent.  What we are trying to do is place a little more emphasis on the CHRIST part of Christmas.  The munchkins have really surprised me with how much they are getting out of this.  They seem to be making the connection between the Old and New Testaments, and it's been wonderful for me to be able to dive a little deeper into the prophecies of old that for told of Christ's coming.  That being said, kids are what they are: KIDS, so you know that there have been some typically crazy moments.  

Like when  I was trying to give them some background information on Ole' St. Nick, and all they could do is goof off and be distracted and ask ridiculous questions.  One question was "I wonder who would win in a fight to the death- Santa or St. Nick?"  Or another good one was, 

"If St. Nicholas is dead, then does that mean that Santa is dead, too?" 


"He's a GHOST?"

"NO, you have to be dead to be a ghost! And there's no such things as ghosts, anyway.  Can we please get back to learning about St. Nicholas now?"

"You mean there's no such thing as Santa?"

"AHHHHH!  You boys are driving me nuts!  Stop asking ridiculous questions and let me finish this so we can do our project for the day!!!!!"

Needless to say, the next day I came up with some busy work for them to do while I taught them the rest of the week.  They colored pictures of St. Nicholas while I talked about him the rest of the week.  It helped to hold their attention while I conv
eyed the info I needed to.

At the end of the week they all made hand puppets of St. Nick.  They turned out SOOO cute!  Here's a picture of them: 

From left to right: JP, Grant, Brian, and Celine.

I think they did a great job, and over all they got a lot out of learning about the life of St. Nicholas.  Like when they wrote letters to Baby Jesus, asking Him to help those less fortunate than them.  Some of the things the requested were for Jesus to be with those who were hungry, homeless, lonely, those that didn't know Jesus, and for everyone to "have the best Christmas ever!"  These letters made me tear up!  They were so sweet, and you really could see the kids thinking about the needs of others.  Lastly they made Advent promises to God, telling him how they would show God that they love Him.  

I loved this unit.  I got as much out of it as they did!  Next we tackle the end of the second quarter!  Once that is done then I'll begin a Unit on the Sacred Mass.  My hope is that they will better understand what it is we do during the Mass, and in turn help them to better assist while at Mass.  I can only imagine what they will come up with next.  Strike that- I DON'T even want to imagine what they will com up with next.  All I can say is that it is NEVER a dull moment around here!

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