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16 Inclusive Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season at School

Winter-time traditions your whole school will love.

December is in full swing! Think beyond the holiday party and find time to make sure holiday inclusivity happens at your school. It’s easy to create special seasonal traditions for your school—events kids will look forward to year after year. And better yet, your school can do this while still being inclusive of a variety of traditions and cultures in your community, just like these schools!

1. Host an all-school seasonal read.

 

This is such a sweet idea. There are many wonderful inclusive seasonal reads that your community will love. At your next all-school assembly, pick one student to unwrap a short book, and then have a special guest read it in front of the whole school! 

2. Get some Sneaky Cards.

Everyone has the capacity to spread kindness at this time of year. Sneaky Cards are super fun cards that give the holder a special joy-boosting mission. 

3. Celebrate with staff bingo.

Joyful adults create fun and productive learning experiences for kids. What could be more joy inducing than all-faculty bingo? Announce numbers between periods and give away awesome prizes!

4. Popcorn bars are easy to make and fun to eat.

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Get some cute, seasonal bags so teachers can grab their popcorn and go. This is a cheap and easy treat with big returns.

5. Let the band play.

What a great idea! Students are no doubt already practicing for their winter concert. Why not give them another chance to show off? Bonus points if you post the pictures on Twitter!

6. See something, say something.

Gratitude is the best gift. Is someone knocking it out of the park these days? Is there someone whose kindness makes you smile every day? Now is the moment to recognize them and say thanks.
 

7. Host a holiday food drive.

Do good by supporting members of your community who need extra support. Make it into a competition and reward the winners with a pajama and hot cocoa day!

8. Send a joy email each day.

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Here’s a brilliant idea! For one week, document joy all over your building. Ask teachers and other staff to contribute pictures. At the end of the day, send out a joy dispatch to your whole community. 

9. Set the tone with fun accessories.

That’s right. If this is your thing, December is your time to shine! Wear all your loudest and most whimsical holiday sweaters, and watch the instant smiles.

10. Make a selfie station.

Harness the power of the selfie! Bring in winter-related props to make a selfie station that celebrates the season! Make a hashtag on social media to find what your community creates. Collect, print, and then display them in the hallways!

11. Celebrate the outdoors.

Wait until January to stay inside. December is for enjoying the season! It’s easy and fun to organize outdoor activities that celebrate the season!

12. Music can enhance the celebration.

Jazz up passing time with holiday music! Each day, create a new playlist that includes the Frozen soundtrack or holiday music from around the world.  Let kids and faculty get in on the fun with chances to make musical requests. 

13. Show gratitude on wheels with a snack cart.

One thing is for sure: This is one of the busiest times of year. As much as they want to, it might be hard for teachers to make it out of their classroom for even the smallest reprieve. Take your show on the road with this brilliant snack cart and hand-deliver some goodies. 

14. Movie time is magical.

Everyone loves a movie day. All-school film viewings are a great way to build memories together! Kids never forget these kinds of experiences. 

15. Create a thank-you-note station. 

We all know that small gestures have a big impact. Offer your team an opportunity to say thank you to one another by setting up a thank-you-card station. Keep the cards seasonal to maximize inclusivity. 

16. Breathe. 

After you have set a joyful tone for this sweet time of year, take a second and enjoy it. It only happens once a year! 

Join our Facebook group Principal Life for more conversation about and insights into the challenges of school leadership.

Check out this, too: 12 Great School Principal Gifts That’ll Spruce up Your Office

Posted by Anne Rubin

Anne Gomez Rubin has been a dean and teacher in Minneapolis, MN, since 2016. She tweets about education, intersectional feminism, and tacos on Twitter at @annegrubin .

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