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How do you cater for the Jehovah's Witness faith during Christmas? In consultation with parents, our JW child has made a 'winter' cake instead of a Christmas cake and a 'winter' card (green handprints to form a fir tree on black sugar paper with 'snow' added). He joins in with 'Christmas' role play e.g. grotto, reindeer etc.; the parents are not altogether happy about this but I have said that I do not intend to tell him he is not allowed to play in these areas! The mother has accepted this, but when Dad brought him in last week and the little boy made a beeline for the reindeer antlers, Dad told him to take them off. Almost everything at nursery reflects Christmas, but what else can I do for this little boy? He is well aware that Mummy and Daddy 'don't like Christmas' but just says it doesn't matter. Whilst I respect the parents' wishes, I need to include the child in activities. Any ideas?

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I only have experience of JW children in school rather than nursery. The one most recently was allowed to do Christmas play rehearsals and joined in and sang enthusiastically but was always absent for the actual perfomances. Similarly she joined in with anything going on in class such as card making etc. I think as they get older they become more aware of what they 'should/ shouldn't' be doing, so i can't give you much advice, other than to say how hard it would be to tell any child they can't do certain activities.

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It's really difficult as a practitioner to know what to do, isn't it? And, having studied with the Witnesses for a while, I know there is so much that really comes down to the individual family and how they are going to handle it.

 

Our little one has made a flower card instead of Christmas card, a tissue paper bauble, salt dough animals instead of Christmas shapes, misses the first and last songs for the Christmas show (Away in a manger & We wish you a merry Christmas) but joins in the rest (3 little monkeys, the wheels on the bus, 5 little snowmen), and won't actually come to the show or see Father Christmas after the show.

 

Role play, however, the only thing we've really done is add a tree to the home corner so the children can decorate it. Role play has been more about warm clothes in the dressing up and making sure the babies are warm enough especially when the children take them outside!

 

JW children we've had in the past have just not come to preschool or nursery for the last week of term when most of the Christmassy stuff has gone on. OR other children have joined in everything with parental agreement so it comes as a huge surprise to hear they are JW!

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we had 3 with us last year, so we decided to look at the spirit of christmas rather than the religious aspect that way they were all able to join with our celebrations without it being a problem..We decide not to do a nativity as the logistics of removing them was just too difficult and actually our celebration party was much more fun and far less stressful so we're doing the same this year even though we don't have any JW children.

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we had 3 with us last year, so we decided to look at the spirit of christmas rather than the religious aspect that way they were all able to join with our celebrations without it being a problem..We decide not to do a nativity as the logistics of removing them was just too difficult and actually our celebration party was much more fun and far less stressful so we're doing the same this year even though we don't have any JW children.

What sort of activities did you do to cover the 'spirit of Christmas'?

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What sort of activities did you do to cover the 'spirit of Christmas'?

We had a slant towards giving gifts and about the importance of families. We did things like friendship bracelets and cards for 'someone we love', we did make calendars but used images like penguins and polar bears and snowy glitter. We made sweets and gave them to a local residential home and 'kisses' from crossed over lolly sticks which we painted and these the children gave them to someone they cared for. I don't have the plans here but i know we focussed our stories on friendship and sharing. We had a flower shop and roleplayed making bouquets for each other ( we did have some fake holly/ivy and mistletoe in it as well). We made a photowall of 'our families' and talked about how families will be together at this time of year. hope that helps

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Guest pamgreen

I think it is a matter of working with the family,so that you can support their wishes but not impact on the rest of the children. One of may staff years ago was a JW I had worked alongside her for ages before i knew of her beliefs, her daughter also attended nursery and we just worked it between us. She finished nursery before the end of term, we did do a nativity but she did not join in.

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I have a little boy in my class. I give his parents key dates of Christmas events that they have the option of withdrawing him from e.g. xmas performance, xmas lunch etc. They understand that you have to accomodate other children and generally will work with you. Last year we did similiar to max321 and didn't go overboard on xmas and had just as nice a time if not better.

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