The girls’ book club met this week, and it was all about Christmas as we talked about Andrew Clements’ The Last Holiday Concert.
It’s a great story about a boy who ends up in charge of his middle school’s holiday concert just as the music teacher is laid off. We had a great discussion about the teacher’s reaction to the news, the way that the teacher motivates his students and is ultimately inspired by them, and then about ways to bring hope and joy to others, since that ended up being the message chosen by the students for their program.
The girls each made brainstormed ideas for things to spread those particular messages around town, and then we chose a few common themes to put into action right away.
We started off with a foam kit for making snowmen. We decided to turn them into Christmas cards, and the girls wrote messages of hope on them. Some were handwritten on the back, while others had foam-sticker messages right on the snowmen’s tummies.
My Big Helper and My Little Man are passing out these cards to people as we’re out and about this month. Grocery store clerks, restaurant wait staff, fellow shoppers – anybody might get a ‘Merry Christmas!” and be handed a snowman. Most people seem pleasantly surprised, and some quite happy, to be handed a card.
The girls also rolled out some gingerbread I had made ahead. They took turns cutting out cookies and ornaments both.
Then they wrapped the bottoms of a few pizza boxes with Christmas paper, a project that turned out to be much harder than expected.
After baking the cookies, they painted them with happy messages in a white icing and filled the trays. We delivered one tray to our local fire department and the other to the library we visit. Both were met with happy smiles.
The gingerbread ornaments were decorated with simple white paint and red ribbons. These, like the snowmen ornaments, we’re passing out to people we meet.
While time didn’t allow for putting together their own concert or Christmas performance, the girls did a great job of choosing activities that would spread hope to the people we meet this season. I wish that we could have passed out their creations together, but time didn’t allow for that, either. Instead, I heard lots of giggles as they learned to roll out the gingerbread, attempted to paint icing only where they wanted it, and tried to get snowman arms to stick only to snowman bodies.
They are many activities that you could do with Andrew Clements’ The Last Holiday Concert, and these are only a few. If you’re a fan of Clements’ and his creative takes on school activities, you’ll love The Last Holiday Concert.