Ways to spread joy at Christmas

10 Ways to Spread Joy at Christmas

Being able to spread joy at Christmas is one of the reasons I love teaching so much! Whether it’s for my students or my fellow teachers and staff, I love doing things that make other people happy! Christmas is a magical (and crazy!) time in schools and you can share the Christmas Spirit with others in so many ways! If you want easy ideas to add holiday spirit to your school, I have 10 creative ways to spread joy at Christmas!

1. Decorate to get into the Christmas Spirit!

A little bit of tinsel here. A string of lights there… In the blink of an eye, you have set the tone for Christmas Spirit! A little bit goes a long way, so don’t feel like you have to go overboard here.

Two girls decorating a Christmas Tree.
  • Wrap your floor lamp post with tinsel garland
  • Place a strand of lights around your whiteboard or bulletin board
  • Let your students make paper snowflakes and hang them together as garland along your walls or in your windows.
  • Put up a small Christmas tree and allow students to bring in an ornament from home to decorate with!

Any festive touch you can add will create the joyful Christmas spirit you are looking for!

2. Find a Mascot to Spread Joy at Christmas

Nothing brings a smile to a student’s face like having something in your classroom that is different and unusual! So why not bring in an animatronic stuffed animal that lights up, sings, and dances?

A singing snowman to bring joy at Christmas.

You can find funny animals at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot. Even Hallmark has a line of plushy singing Snowmen that they sell every year!

Keep your Christmas mascot in a place where students can see it, but not touch it. Every day at the end of class, if students have worked hard, have a quick dance party with your kids!

As fun as Christmas in the classroom is, it can also be stressful. A little singing and dancing is just the festive break your students (and you!) might need each day!

3. Play Music to Spread Christmas Joy

Every day, I played soothing music in my classroom. It set such a peaceful tone for the day and added to the calm atmosphere of my classroom.

During the Christmas season, I liked to switch it up a bit by playing Christmas music! In the mornings before school starts, try a festive station on IHeart Radio! I personally love the IHeart Christmas station, but they have several to choose from!

Keep the volume low so that the music isn’t super distracting. Students should hardly be able to hear it, but don’t be surprised if you hear them humming or quietly singing along! 

4. Make a Joyful Noise!

Kids playing Christmas songs on the guitar.

Each of your students have a voice (and aren’t afraid to use it!). Teach your students that they can use their voices to spread joy at Christmas by sharing a song!

Have your students choose 2 Christmas songs to sing as Christmas carols to other classes! Practice singing the songs for a few minutes each day until students have learned the words. You can even display the lyrics on your Smartboard or give students printed copies and turn this singing into reading fluency practice!

The week before Christmas Break, schedule a time each day that your class is available to come sing to other classes. Ask your fellow teachers to sign up to have your class come by their room to sing. Now, get ready to spread that Christmas joy!

Make sure at some point in the week, your little carolers sing to the Cafeteria Staff and the Front Office too!

5. Wear Your Christmas Spirit!

One of the quickest and easiest ways to spread joy at Christmas is by wearing it! Throw on an ugly Christmas Sweater and a fun headband or hat! 

Teacher wearing an elf hat to spread joy at Christmas.

When other people see Rudolph antlers on your head, you might inspire them to add some festive attire to their wardrobe!

If you’re nervous about donning a Santa sweater, start small! Try cute Christmas socks, a festive bell necklace, or simply wear “normal” red and green clothes!

It’s all about sharing the joy of Christmas with your clothing, but that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy or wear something that’s out of your comfort zone. Unless going crazy is your thing! If so, then totally go for it!

6. Share Sweet Surprises!

One afternoon while students are hard at work, surprise them by handing out a sweet treat they can actually eat in class! Try treats such as different flavors of candy canes, Dum Dum suckers, Hershey Kisses, or gum/Blow-Pops.

In my experience, treats that last a while tend to keep students quiet because they are focused on eating instead of talking! Your kids think you’re the best teacher ever because you gave them candy and you get quiet working time! Everybody wins!

7. Give Back to your Community

Show your students that the holidays are more than just twinkling lights and stories about Santa!  

Kids making cards to spread joy at Christmas.

Many people are in need of kindness and a little help this season. Help your kids feel the joy of giving to others by choosing a charity to donate to!

  • Collect needed personal items for a local women’s shelter
  • Make Christmas cards for the hospital or nursing home in your area
  • Donate canned food and pantry items to the food bank in your town

If you want to go out and do something on your own, consider meeting a need that a student or faculty member has. Put a Christmas card containing money or a gift card anonymously in a struggling co-worker’s office mailbox. Go in with other faculty members to buy a Christmas Tree for a needy family in your school that doesn’t have one.

Keep your eyes open, and I’m sure you’ll find someone who could use your Christmas giving spirit!

8. Have a Dress Up Theme Day!

One of my favorite things to do before Christmas is to have a Theme Day! Choose a theme or two and allow your students to dress up!

Kids wearing pjs at Christmas.

Read holiday books and complete activities that go along with your theme! A few fun ideas include:

Polar Express Day– Students wear pajamas! Read the book The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg, then watch the movie adaptation! For an extra special treat, drink hot chocolate or apple cider while watching! Afterward, compare and contrast the book and the movie!

Grinch Day– Students dress up like a Who! Read the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, then watch your favorite movie adaptation. I love to serve “Grinch Punch” (lime sherbert mixed with Sprite and green Hawaiian Punch)! Review Theme (a central meaning or true idea about life) by asking students what lesson the Grinch learned in the book.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Writing and Craft Activity.

Ugly Sweater Day– Students wear their favorite ugly Christmas sweater or clothes! Ask students to design and color their own ugly sweaters on paper, then try to persuade the class to buy their sweater!

Check out this amazing resource in my TPT store- Ugly Christmas Sweater Text Evidence Google Slides Activity! It has everything you need to make Ugly Sweater Day fun AND educational- a Google Slides Text Evidence Coloring activity (with student printables), Ugly Sweater Art activity, and persuasive writing Sales Ad!

Theme Days are so much fun in the classroom and are sure to spread joy at Christmas!

9. Make Christmas Ornaments!

Upper Elementary students like to seem as if they are grown up and too cool to get excited about Christmas, but they still do like fun holiday projects just like the younger grades! One of my favorite activities to do with my kids was make Christmas ornaments!

Making Christmas ornaments out of clay or flour dough is a lot of fun. Painting popsicle sticks, gluing them into the shapes of stars or snowflakes, and sprinkling them with glitter is cute too…

WIsh Box Christmas Ornaments made out of paper.

Honestly though, my favorite Christmas ornaments to make in the classroom are Wish Box ornaments (especially if you’re looking to make as little mess as possible)!

Students color and cut cube templates, then fold and glue the templates into a tiny box.

They make a special Christmas Wish, write it on a star or heart, and fold up their wish, placing it inside the ornament before closing it up! Their secret Christmas Wish is safely hidden inside their ornament!

Not only are these handmade Christmas ornaments adorable, but they are sentimental and full of the Christmas Spirit! You can grab these Wish Box Templates in my TPT Store!

10. Play Santa for the Teachers and Staff!

As a teacher yourself, you know how exhausting it is to teach in December! A little bit of kindness can go a long way to spreading joy at Christmas! Try playing “Santa” for the rest of the staff! 

Santa bringing gifts
  • Place cookies from your local bakery out in the teachers’ Workroom. Or bake them yourself if you have the time.
  • Take some leftover Christmas decorations to the Workroom and jazz the place up!
  • While your students are at PE (or another Special Class), surprise another teacher by watching his/her class for 15-20 minutes. Your teacher friend can hang out in your quiet room while you read a few Christmas books to their class! You might need to coordinate this with their assistant or another team member so you don’t interrupt an important lesson!
  • Invite another teacher to bring their class to your room. Have your students partner read Christmas books to their students while your teacher friend takes a break in the workroom!

What you choose to do doesn’t have to cost a penny! Just think about what you wish someone would do for you and make it happen! You might just be a teacher’s Christmas Wish come true!

Ready to Spread some Christmas Joy?

Some of these ideas are super simple and some require a bit of time and energy to do. Choose a few of your favorite ideas to try and watch yourself be filled with joy (and Teacher Sparkle!) this Christmas!  

Free Christmas Resource for Teachers

Just remember that spreading joy should be fun, not stressful! Do what you can to make others happy, but not at the expense of putting too much on your plate.

Whatever you choose to do will be enough!

In the spirit of spreading joy at Christmas, I made a free Mini Survival pack of Christmas Pages for you to share with your students! I hope these pages bring you a bit of peace and quiet (and give you a break of a few minutes)! Grab them here

Pin These School Christmas Ideas

Save this post to your favorite Teaching or Christmas Pinterest Board so that you can use these ideas every year. There are a hundred ways to spread joy at Christmas and you don’t want to miss a single one! 

Pinterest Pin of kids spreading joy at Christmas

If you have any questions or want to bounce any ideas off a colleague, I’m here for you! Teacher Sparkle always grows when it has other Teacher Sparkle to share in the excitement! 

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