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EveryDay Learners: Learning the true spirit of Christmas

By Amber Majdali - Special to the Daily Herald | Dec 2, 2023
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Christmas bears are shown at a United Way Welcome Baby holiday party.
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Santa greets those attending a United Way holiday party presented in partnership with Nu Skin in 2021.

One of the more popular Christmas films watched among families is “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which is based on the book by Dr. Seuss. As many know, the overarching theme of this story is learning the true spirit and meaning of the holiday. In a moment of reflection, the Grinch asks this thought-provoking question: “What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more?”

More often than not, children focus on the most exciting part of Christmas: presents. As with helping their children understand the purpose of having gratitude during Thanksgiving, many parents hope to teach their kids about giving and not just receiving. When teaching any lesson, books can be an incredible tool for conveying vital principles. For a few ideas, here are some books that share the true meaning of Christmas:

  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss: Teaches that Christmas can exist outside of things bought from a store.
  • “The Joy of Giving” by Jan & Mike Berenstain: A brother and sister learn that while they can still be excited to receive gifts, joy can also come from giving to others, especially those in need.
  • “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg: Friendship and believing in magic.
  • “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore: Simple but cute poem about the magic that can be felt at Christmas.

While these books are valuable, it is more important to realize what you can do in connection with simply reading. Take time to teach the principles of the stories before, during and after reading these books. Ask your children what they think they can learn from the story. Discussing the lessons you learn frequently helps instill them in children. Do activities that complement the lesson such as providing service around your community, donating to various charities and organizations through avenues like the Giving Machines, and doing nice things for friends and family to strengthen relationships.

Learning is encouraged by example and repetition. Being that role model for your child, and including them in the process, will help them discover more meaning behind the spirit of Christmas. Happy holidays!

United Way of Utah County is on a mission to help promote literacy and healthy child development. EveryDay Learners has several programs such as HelpMeGrow Utah, Welcome Baby and South Franklin Community Center to support these efforts. Visit us at unitedwayuc.org to learn more about these programs or find any of them on our Instagram pages.


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