Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

Kids Didn’t Always Get Presents on Christmas

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

christmas presentsThe “Can Dos” were all sitting around at their classroom tables, during recess, talking about what they hoped to be getting for Christmas.

Miss Pat couldn’t help but overhear their conversations. She decided to make a history lesson out of celebrating Christmas in colonial days. She thought the class would be surprised to learn a few things about the giving and getting of presents.

Miss Pat called the class to order and said she had a story to tell them. Since the “Can Dos” love her stories, they sat quietly and listened as she began her story.

“A long time ago, before our country was a country, the first settlers celebrated Christmas very differently than we celebrate today. In some of the colonies, where our original settlers lived, they didn’t celebrate Christmas at all! In the colonies where Christmas was celebrated it was a holiday that lasted 12 days, with a big party on the last day called 12th night. The parties were mostly for adults.

Children got to participate in special meals that were eaten during the holiday time but they usually didn’t receive Christmas gifts.

In the southern part of our country, colonists made giving presents a part of the Christmas celebration when they gave gifts to servants and others who worked for them. In some southern colonies children also received gifts. It wasn’t like today though. Each child got only one gift. It was usually something practical or considered special treat that a child would enjoy. It was rarely a large gift.

As the years went on and more immigrants from different countries came to our country they brought with them their Christmas customs. One such custom that we all love is displaying and decorating  a Christmas tree. Immigrants from Germany made this custom popular in our country. Gift giving, especially gifting children, became more popular and children began to receive more than one gift in celebration of Christmas.”

The “Can Dos” all sat quietly, looking at Miss Pat, then Hector raised his hand and, when called on, said,”Boy I’m glad I didn’t live in colonial days”!

The class all agreed, thinking how lucky they are to be living now and not when kids didn’t get gifts on Christmas!


You Know What You Want for Christmas; What Are You Giving ?

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

During recess, Miss Pat overheard the “Can Dos” talking about what they want for Christmas.

When recess was over, Miss Pat said, “I overheard some of your conversation about what you all want for Christmas, but I didn’t hear any thing about what you are giving anyone at Christmas. Let’s talk about the spirit of Christmas for a few minutes. Can anyone tell me what the spirit of Christmas is?”

Yundi raised his hand and said, “It’s about giving, not getting.” The class all looked at him funny. Hector said,”That can’t be right!  It’s about kids getting stuff they want.” Kathy shook her head slowly and said, “I think it is about giving. My grandma starts talking to us in August about doing chores to earn money to buy presents for my mom and dad.” Miss Pat smiled and said,” Yundi and Kathy are right. It is about giving, that is why you get presents because the people who love you want to give to you.”

Miss Pat asked, “Who wants to share with the class what they are giving to their parents for Christmas”?

Nellie raised her hand and said, “Grandpa Dooley took a picture of us and we made a frame for it in crafts class at the community center. We sent it to our mom. She can’t come home for Christmas, cause she’s in the Army, far away.” Everyone was silent for a minute or so. Then Miss Pat said, “That is very thoughtful of you and Willie. I know your mom will be so happy when she gets your gift.”

Bobby raised his hand and said, “I earned enough money from doing chores to buy my mom a fancy key chain and my dad soap on a rope”!

“Those are wonderful gifts children, but some of the best Christmas gifts don’t cost any money at all.

Can anyone think of gifts that don’t cost money, but your parents will love to receive,” asked Miss Pat. Jay raised his hand and said,”I am going to give my parents the gift of a month of sweeping the floor after dinner, emptying the trash and reading a bedtime story to my little brother.” Arthur J smiled and said,”I know what I’m going to give them …a report card with all A’s. They’ve been asking for one of those for a long time!”


Santa Questions

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

On the last day of school before santaChristmas recess, the “Can Dos”are having a hard time paying attention in class. All they can  think about is the long vacation ahead and, of course, Santa.

While most of the “Can Dos” are going to be home on Christmas day, some of them are  going to be spending the holidays with family who live far away.

Hector is worried that Santa won’t know where to bring his gifts on Christmas Eve. He is going to spend Christmas at his grandma’s in Puerto Rico.

Jay has the same worry. Will Santa know to come to the Indian reservation where he is visiting his grandparents?

Annie is afraid Santa won’t bring her the new basketball she wants. She hasn’t been doing her best in school the past few months. Lately, her mom is always having to remind her to put her toys away. Annie is not sure if Santa always knows when children are naughty or nice.

Eulyn isn’t sure if Santa got the letter she wrote him last month. She just has to get the two-wheel bike she wrote him about.

Bobby is hoping that Santa will bring a gift for his mom. He didn’t save up to buy her anything, so when Bobby visited Santa at the mall, he asked Santa to bring a gift for his mom that he could say was from him. Santa didn’t say yes. He said we’ll see. What does that mean?

What do you think boys and girls? Will Santa find Hector and Jay on Christmas Eve, even if they are not in their own homes?

Does Annie have anything to worry about?

Does Santa bring gifts for adults, or just for children? Does Bobby need to make his mom a gift?



The History of Mother’s Day

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Grandpa John walked into the kitchen while some of Orrie’s friends were having a snack; he was just in time to here Hector say, “Where did the idea for Mother’s Day come from? Orrie looked at Willie, Willie looked at Bobby and then they all looked at Grandpa John.

Grandpa John pulled up a chair, sat down and said, “Okay, this is what I know about Mother’s Day:

In seventeenth century England, Mothering Sunday was celebrated each year on the fourth Sunday of Lent (the 40 days of fasting before Easter). Christians honored the church in which they were baptized, known as their Mother Church. Mothering Sunday soon began to honor human mothers, too. British servants and employees, who worked far from home, received time off to visit their moms and share a family meal.

American colonists didn’t adopt the tradition of Mother’s Day, possibly because they were busy trying to survive in their new homes.

The idea of celebrating Mother’s Day in the U.S. began with Julia Ward Howe, who became famous during the Civil War as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Howe thought wars were a waste of young men’s lives, and she called on mothers to protest the killing of their children in wars.

In her Mother’s Day Proclamation, Howe wrote, “We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”  In the 1870s, women’s groups in over a dozen American cities observed Howe’s holiday, Mother’s Day, but the idea didn’t really catch on until the following century.

In 1908, Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for an official Mother’s Day in memory of her own mother, an activist and social worker who hoped that the contributions of mothers would someday be recognized. Anna Jarvis was determined to make her mother’s wish come true. She petitioned the superintendent of the church her mother had attended and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at a church service in Grafton, West Virginia. Jarvis gave carnations—her mother’s favorite flower—to each mother at the service. Later Jarvis and her supporters lobbied for the creation of an official Mother’s Day. In 1914 her dream came true when President Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.”

Grandpa John smiled and said,”That’s why every May we celebrate Mother’s Day by doing something special for our mothers. I hope you boys have something special planned for your moms and grandmas for this coming Mother’s Day!”

 Source: History4kids


Are You Ready for Mother’s Day?

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

can do kids are sitting around tables in the classroomMiss Pat knew if she started to talk about Mother’s Day the class would perk up.

It was Wednesday afternoon, just after lunch, and the “Can Do” Kids were having a hard time concentrating on their reading assignment. Miss Pat saw Willie fidgeting in his seat. Hector was scribbling in his notebook. Annie and Eulyn were whispering to one another. “Class”, said Miss Pat, ” I want to have a discussion that I think will be important to all of you.”

The class all looked up and came to attention. Miss Pat asked, “Who knows what day Sunday is?”

“It’s Mother’s Day,” shouted out most of the class.

By the looks on Hector and Arthur J’s faces Miss Pat could tell they forgot Mother’s Day was Sunday.  She couldn’t help thinking it was a good thing she brought it up.

Miss Pat asked, “Who wants to share what he or she is going to do for his or her mom and on Mother’s Day”?

Orrie raised his hand and said, “I saved some money that I got for my birthday and bought my mom a box of her favorite chocolates. I bought my grandma a box too.” The class clapped and Miss Pat said, “That is very thoughtful and generous of you Orrie. I know your mom and your grandma will be so pleased. “

Nellie and Willie shared that their mom was still home on leave from the army, so they were going to make her breakfast in bed with all her favorite foods. Again the class clapped. Then Yundi said he was going to ride his bike to the Chinese bakery and buy his mom her favorite dessert…custard tarts. He plans on paying for them with the money he earned from helping with chores around the house. Wendy wrote a special poem for her mom, all about what a great mom she is. Everyone thought these were special ideas.

Hector said, “I forgot Mother’s Day was coming up and I don’t have any money for a gift.” Arthur J. said, “Me too. I forgot and now I feel bad and I don’t know what to do.”

Miss Pat smiled and said, “Maybe the class can give you some ideas.”Annie raised her hand and said, “Why don’t you make your Mother’s Day cards and write how much you love them. Mothers love to hear that.” Maria suggested giving them a present of helping around the house for one week. “How would that work, asked Arthur J. “Simple,” said Maria, “just make a card that says…My Mother’s Day Gift to You Is Helping Around the House for One Week.  Then list all the things you will help with such as: Cleaning off the table, emptying the trash, sweeping the kitchen floor and putting the folded laundry away.”

“Wow, that’s a pretty big gift,” said Hector. “I wish I had saved money and bought flowers or candy.” The class all shouted out, “Oh Hector!”

Miss Pat said, “I am glad we had this talk. You all have some great ways to remember your moms and grandmas on Mother’s Day!”