Happy Holidays

coolWhen Tanner, Nicole, Rudy, Carmen, Stephen and Truman the Dragon cameinto class they were all excited to tell Ms.Gilmour about their Thanksgiving vacations. Everyone talked at once. She waited until the kids quieted down, and calmly said, “Happy Holidays.” They all started to laugh. Tanner said, “We met outside and knew that you would ask us about our Thanksgiving holidays. So we decided to tell you that we all had turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.”

The kids all thought this was very funny.

Ms. Gilmour then said, “I guess I surprised you by what I said.” “Yes, you did,” they all said. She continued, “What holidays do we have in December?” Nicole raised her hand first, “Christmas, my most favorite holiday of the year.” Rudy added, “Hanukkah is in December, too.” Carmen then said, “And, so is Kwanza.” Ms. Gilmour then explained, “In this country almost everyone celebrates Thanksgiving, usually with turkey dinner.” She winked at the kids as she mentioned turkey dinner. “But the holidays in December are very different in that some people celebrate one holiday and others celebrate another. Each family has its own customs, beliefs and traditions.”

Nicole said, “My family has a tradition of going to church on Christmas Eve, and then I put milk and cookies out for Santa.” Rudy said, “At my house we celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah. I get a gift every night. How cool is that?” After Rudy said that he looked at Ms. Gilmour and said, “I know that isn’t the reason we celebrate. We also talk about what the holiday means.” Ms. Gilmour responded, “No matter what your faith or what holiday you celebrate, it isn’t about the gifts you get.” Carmen added, “But if you do get gifts, always remember to thank whoever gave you a gift in person, and if the gift was mailed and you didn’t get to see them, write a thank you note.” Everyone said, “Ugh!” But they all realized that a thank you note was the polite way to let the person know that you got the gift, and that you liked it.

Truman the Dragon hadn’t said much so far, so Ms. Gilmour asked him what he was thinking about. He said, “We’re talking a lot about having fun holiday celebrations with special food and lots of gifts. But I feel sad for the kids who won’t have all those things this holiday season.”

Ms. Gilmour then looked at the class and asked, “What can we do to help kids who may not have such a nice holiday?” All hands went up.

Stephen shared that his family helps needy families in their neighborhood. Nicole added, “We prepare food at our local soup kitchen.” Tanner said, “My family collects things we don’t need all year, then we donate them to the shelter.” Carmen added, “I go through my toys and give some to other kids.”

Truman high-fived each of the kids as he said, “I feel better now that we are being Cool Kind Kids.”

Note to Parents from Ms. Gilmour:
Bullying is the #2 epidemic in the U.S. In addition to these Cool Kind Kid articles, we endeavor to provide up-todate research, articles and other news on this topic on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/coolkindkid. We post Barbara’s Anti-Bullying Tips on Mondays, Tanner’s Tuesday Tips, Cool Kind Kid Challenger Tips on Thursdays, and Oliver’s Tips for Kids on Fridays. We also post Shocking Sunday Stats to keep this issue in the forefront of people’s minds. We’d love to post stories and photos of your kids being Cool Kind Kids, and how you have successfully dealt with bullying. To send photos and stories, and give your permission to post, go to: info@ coolkindkid.com.

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