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is traditional nativity necessary?

(20 Posts)
batmanandrobin Mon 17-Nov-14 21:44:22

i am a preschool teacher and have been left in charge of the christmas show this year.

bit of context.. we do a show each year, nothing big, some dancing, singing and slight storyline for older ones to speak lines.. it's brilliant! i love doing the show, so do our children and it preps everyone for christmas smile

this year however we have a handful of children whose families are Jehovah witnesses. we have tried christmas shows rather than the nativity before, however in general been the traditional story, cast and songs.

i fancy doing something different in respect for all families to be comfortable and enjoy the show.. are the families who aren't JW's going to be annoyed? is the traditional story important?

the children are ages 2-5yrs. thank you!!!

TouchOfNatural Mon 17-Nov-14 21:48:37

Yes ... otherwise it's not a Nativity?

If the JWs didn't want their child to join in they needn't. Why make all the kids not enjoy the fun and trueness of the nativity for the sake of a couple? Would you change the meaning/trueness of a Diwali celebration to make it all inclusive? No, it's Diwali smile

It's important that we as adults and the children, learn about each other and other faiths and a nativity is a great time to do just that. It doesn't need watering down, it needs telling.

MaybeDoctor Mon 17-Nov-14 21:52:26

I think that a simple nativity is the best - was never a fan of the 'Santa's lost reindeer' type of show.

MothershipG Mon 17-Nov-14 22:10:34

No, of course it doesn't have to be a nativity! There is no law about it. My DC survived all their years at Primary without a single one.

Although I have no idea what you would have to do to keep the JW's happy? What is their issue with nativities?

squiggleirl Mon 17-Nov-14 22:30:01

I don't think a traditional nativity is necessary in pre-school. My kids creche never did a nativity. They alternate every 2nd year, with a Christmas play the other year, and a whole load of Christmas songs the next.

DD is in school now has a child in her class who is a Jehovah's witness. Her family don't celebrate Christmas, and she takes no part in any of the Christmas activities in school, so it may not matter what you do, the children's parents may not want them taking part.

batmanandrobin Mon 17-Nov-14 22:38:37

interesting comment suggesting they may not take part anyway- thank you!

in reference to 'keeping them happy'.. it's is part of our equal opportunities policy about making sure everyone feels welcome. i have recently taken on a managerial position so am keen to make a good impression that's all!

do you think it would be too insensitive to ask prior to organising anything if the JW's families would be attending regardless as to what show was? i don't want them to feel i am asking them not to be you know?

thanks guys!!

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 17-Nov-14 22:41:01

I don't think they will participate. So fill your boots on traditional stuff.

justhereforchristmas Tue 18-Nov-14 01:20:19

i have a friend from school who is a JW, when we were doing christmas activities she would get to spend that time in the library, as children we never thought anything of it and even to this day she says she never felt that she was different or not included.

MothershipG Tue 18-Nov-14 06:42:35

I didn't think they'd take part in anything, that's what I meant by keeping them happy.

Good on you for wanting to try and be inclusive but I'm not sure how you could do that in this instance.

bigbluestars Tue 18-Nov-14 06:55:01

I think it's important to recognise that christmas for many in not a religious festival- it is a secular or even pagan festival, for many it's not about the nativity at all.

I think the central theme of christmas is one that can be shared by all- hope in darkness, a new dawn, a time to give and think of others.

Having said that my DD's last christmas show at primary was a musical Burke and Hare, the body snatchers, lots of kids played corpses or anatomy students- they loved it!!

CrimboHornedSnowflake Tue 18-Nov-14 06:59:07

Ask the parents if the JW children will be involved. Their answer will sort it for you

LadyIsabellaWrotham Tue 18-Nov-14 07:03:20

I'd check with the JWs before doing anything to please them. I suspect that like most JWs they'd boycott anything involving the C word, but might be prepared to turn up to a "Winter Festival" (maybe? Not an expert here). the question is then whether that compromise would lose something important to the school. Depends how much Christmassy stuff you do each year. Would their DC have to sit out of a lot of lessons and rehearsals?

OwlCapone Tue 18-Nov-14 07:03:59

I think it's important to recognise that christmas for many in not a religious festival- it is a secular or even pagan festival, for many it's not about the nativity at all.

Equally, I think it is important to know the origins of "Christmas" regardless of why you personally are celebrating it.

In answer to the OP, I also don't think the JWs would participate and I don't think this would be a problem for them

OwlCapone Tue 18-Nov-14 07:04:59

When I say the origins of Christmas, I mean the reason it's Christmas. I realise there are other festivals at the same time.

bigbluestars Tue 18-Nov-14 07:07:43

"Equally, I think it is important to know the origins of "Christmas" regardless of why you personally are celebrating it.
"

The origins are varied and a mixed bag though, certainly some later christian influence but riding strongly on the backbone of an pagan/celtic festival.

Where I live in the UK Christmas was banned by the christian church for 400 years, only becoming a public holiday in the 1950s. THe church considered it too pagan to be recognised and anyone caught celebrating could be prosecuted.

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 18-Nov-14 07:31:32

It isn't necessary but I wouldn't not do it because some children are jw.

See what the children want to do.

bigbluestars Tue 18-Nov-14 07:33:33

I would suggest that the majority are not practicing christians either.

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 18-Nov-14 07:33:38

bigblue, Christmas is about as Pagan as it gets. I honestly believe we are essentially a Pagan country with a thin veneer of Christianity papered over the top. grin

Hakluyt Tue 18-Nov-14 07:35:38

Talk to the JW parents and ask what you could do that their children could take part in. Some are stricter than others.

bigbluestars Tue 18-Nov-14 07:42:58

As I understand it most JW don't celebrate christmas because the consider it to be a pagan festival.

My family are deeply religious ( not JW) and although they celebrate christmas they leave out the "pagan" aspects- no christmas tree, no santa, no mistletoe or stockings, no reindeer or yule logs.

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