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Celebrate the Holidays like Cool Kind Kids

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Republishing a Cool Kind Kid article from Kidsville News by Barbara Gilmour--Tanner and friends explore how to apply manners and social skills to real life.

Thanksgiving Holiday Recollections

When the kids came into class, Ms. Gilmour welcomed them by asking them if they enjoyed their Thanksgiving break.  Tanner, Nicole, Rudy, Carmen, Stephen, Mario, and Truman the Dragon all wanted to be first to share.  One by one, they each shared what they did for Thanksgiving, including who they were with, friends and family they saw, and the food they ate.  The food was a big part of each recollection of their holiday.  Ms. Gilmour was pleased to hear about how thankful they all were.

Ms. Gilmour then said to them, "In the US, just about everyone celebrates Thanksgiving.  It's a holiday we all share, no matter what our religion is, or if we don't have a practicing religion.  It's a time for all of us to reflect on how much we have and to show gratitude and gratefulness for that."  Everyone agreed that Thanksgiving shouldn't be the only time of the year that we are grateful.

December Holidays

Next, Ms. Gilmour said, "In December, we have some other holidays.  Who knows what those are?"  Nicole was first to respond, "Christmas! my most favorite time of the year."  Rudy added, "Hanukkah!"  Carmen shouted, "Kwanza!"  "You are all correct," replied Ms. Gilmour.  She continued, "But does everyone celebrate one of these three holidays?"  The kids all started talking at once about which holidays they celebrate.  Tanner then said, "I know some kids who don't celebrate any holidays."  Stephen added, "Some people celebrate their religious holidays at different times of the year."  Rudy got all excited as he said, "Let's celebrate all holidays then we'll get more presents."  The kids all laughed, and Ms. Gilmour reminded the kids that most of the holidays we celebrate are religious holidays, so the focus is not on getting or giving gifts. Everyone agreed with her while looking at Rudy, who had a sly smile on his face as he said, "Just kidding!"

Religious Bullying     

Ms. Gilmour then asked the kids, "Have you seen kids in school being picked on or bullied because they may not celebrate the holidays as most other kids?"  Many hands went up.  Nicole was first to share, "My friend gets teased because she wears clothes that are different.  She also gets teased about the holidays she celebrates."   Tanner said, "My friend gets bullied because he has holiday days off that are different from the rest of us.  The other kids tease and yell at him because he gets more days off."  Truman had been quiet throughout most of the class, but then added, "My family are all dragons, so you know we get teased a lot.  We try to live with others and be accepting of those who are different from us.  Sometimes that is hard.  Because we are big, some are afraid to physically bully us, but they aren't afraid to pick on us and call us names.  We do enjoy our holiday gatherings with family and friends."  The kids jumped up and tried to hug Truman to assure him that he was loved and accepted by all of them, even though they had to hug his middle because he was so tall.

Be Accepting and Tolerant

Carmen stood up, with her hands on her hips, and said, "Why can't everyone be happy with what they celebrate and leave others alone?"  The kids all high-fived Carmen.  "Good point, Carmen," replied Ms. Gilmour.  "How do you think Cool Kind Kids should act in these situations?"  Rudy shouted, "Apply the Golden Rule."  Stephen jumped in with, "Treat everyone with respect!"  Nicole added, "Be kind and caring to everyone!"  Mario added, "Be accepting of everyone.  We are all different, but that's okay."  Tanner summed things up when he added, "If we all took the time to learn about all the different religions, customs, and holidays our friends celebrate, we might find that they aren't so different after all." Ms. Gilmour then challenged the kids, "Let's focus on all the things we have in common, not on how we are different.  Who stands with me to take this challenge for ourselves, but to also share it with our friends?" 
The kids all agreed, and fist-bumped each other as they left Ms. Gilmour, sharing different holiday greetings. 

  (C) Cool Kind Kid                                                                            

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