This lesson plan is written in the exact way that lesson plans are written in Newport-Mesa with: Objectives, Learning Outcomes, Introduction, Student/Reader Activity, Evaluation and Homework.
If you follow the plan I promise you will feel great!
Students/readers will remember their favorite Christmas.
Students/readers will understand the concept that it really is better to give than receive.
Students/readers will learn to distinguish between character traits that are explicitly called out in a story and character traits that they infer from a story.
Students/readers will understand the true meaning of Christmas through their own experiences.
Students/readers will relate their own experiences in the comment section.
I was 18 years old and it was my second or third year working at the Orange Belt Emporium, which was the best and only department store in Pomona.
It was two or three weeks before Christmas and being crazy for the holiday, I thought it would be a great idea to talk the whole store into doing something great. Most of the women I worked with were old…not older…old, and sometimes pretty cranky. They worked on commission, and I had "street cred" with them because I gave them my sales so that they could get their impossible commission money.
Regardless, they were not enthusiastic about my big idea. The older women in cosmetics, lingerie, fabrics, household goods and even the elevator lady went negative. The boys in shoes were cautious but okay, and the guys in toys were all for it.
We found out that one of the women who worked in the office had neighbors who were in trouble. One of their three children was very ill and they had to go to a hospital in Los Angeles three times a week. They had no money and were not going to have a Christmas.
After hearing the story, my cranky crew in sportswear and the entire third floor said yes, and dug into their pockets. The guys in footwear were all over it. Cosmetics was in. The guys in toys started subtly making some toys "lightly used" and created quite a grouping. Even the greedy owners showed some mild enthusiasm and gave a small amount of cash. The small older woman in sportswear who lived in a trailer gave more than they did. Isn’t that always the way?
By Christmas Eve, we had a crazy amount of money and purchased clothes, food, toys (the toy department had a lot of lightly-used toys), a tree, ornaments, and a gazillion brand new dollar bills. The lady who worked in the office got her neighbors out of the house Christmas Eve and five of us opened the door to one of the most depressing apartments I have ever seen.
It took us a few hours to decorate the tree with ornaments and dollar bills, nestle in the beautifully wrapped presents (thanks to the gift-wrapping department), and put the huge turkey and the rest of the food in the refrigerator before we tiptoed out.
We walked out kind of weepy but so happy and excited for this family, and went directly to church. It wasn’t planned to go to church, but it seemed right.
The day after Christmas, the woman from the office told everyone at the store that her neighbors opened the door and couldn’t believe what they saw. They laughed and cried, and we laughed and cried hearing about it.
But here’s the best thing…the very best thing: They never knew who had made their Christmas. They never found out.
Best Christmas ever.
Students/readers will evaluate their own favorite Christmas memories and write in the comment section if they are brave enough.
Students/readers will be evaluated on their comment’s honesty, humanity, relevance, and humor following the precept that it truly is "better to give than receive."
Watch It's a Wonderful Life three times.