A Whole Holiday Celebration

A Whole Holiday Celebration

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As we all know an important aspect of SEL is inclusivity, and the holiday/winter season is a great time to demonstrate inclusivity in the classroom and home. Being inclusive means acknowledging and understanding the many cultures our students come from. It is important to recognize each student’s cultures to make them feel welcome and a part of the classroom community. The brief article by Simply Special Ed and Time and Date lists the many different holidays from December 2021 to February 2022. However, it is always important to talk to your students about what holidays and celebrations are important to them and their culture.

This is also an important time to discuss what holidays mean to students personally and to help them recognize the overall cultural importance of holidays. Edutopia offers great discussion questions to use in class to get at the meanings of holiday celebrations. The article brings up the point of understanding the emotional connection to holiday celebrations – where some celebrations provide warm feelings of joy and others celebrate the solace in remembrance. Another wonderful question the article suggests is asking the students “what is the most important part of the celebration?” This aspect is very subjective and allows students to see the similarities in their celebrations instead of strictly looking at the differences. 

 “Considerations for Inclusive Holidays and Observances” by ADL also discusses the importance of including multiple holidays into the classroom. This article mentions the importance of not assuming what holidays students celebrate, instead emphasizing it is important to let the students tell you what holiday they celebrate, or if they celebrate any holiday at all. It is also important continue to be respectful of the fact that each family is different and one may not be spending the holiday with their parents, but perhaps their grandparents or their aunt and/or uncle. Likewise, keep in mind not everyone may be able to celebrate in the most grand or lavish way, but the holiday is still just as meaningful and better shared with that in mind.

We hope that this inspires you to learn more about other holidays and bring them to your classroom for all your students to learn more about.

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