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Christmas Trimmings




~ Coordinating Units ~

Reindeer Snowmen Mmmm ... Gingerbread


The Polar Express The Grinch Christmas Around the World The Nutcracker

As a SPED K-2, sometimes K-3, resource teacher, I have the same students sometimes for as many as 5 years straight. So I do not do the same themes each year. That's one of the reasons that I've really keyed in on taking a huge theme like Christmas and breaking it down into smaller themes.  So now I just teach one of the smaller type units.  For instance, last year  we did The Nutcracker and the year before, Reindeer. This year we're going to do Gingerbread. Some years we'll do Christmas, but it will exclude any of the activities for Gingerbread, Reindeer, etc. That way I can still do Christmasy time themes, but they're not the same things year after year.

As for the time I spend teaching a unit, I've got soooo much material, I can easily spend the whole month of December on that one unit, so that's what I do (it's a short month anyway).



 ~ Books ~


The Night Before Christmas ~ Little Golden Books

Santa's Book of Names ~ David McPhail

How Santa Got His Job ~ Stephen Krensky

Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? ~ Jan Brett

First Grade Elves ~ Joanne Ryder

Santa's Christmas Surprise ~ Jamie McIntire

The First Christmas  (pop-up classic) ~ Playmore, Inc.

Tale of the Christmas Mouse (easy reader) ~ Judith Fringuello

Santa's Cookie Surprise (easy reader) ~ Janet Craig

Dear Santa (tradebook Literacy 2000) ~ David Drew

The Littlest Christmas Elf ~ Little Golden Book

My Christmas Treasury ~ Little Golden Book

The Christmas Promise ~ Lee G. Smith

Christmas Stories & Poems ~ Troll

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad ~ Mercer Mayer

The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear ~ Stan & Jan Berenstain

Clifford's Christmas ~ Norman Bridwell

Heathcliff's Night Before Christmas ~ Robb Lawrence

Spot's First Christmas ~ Eric Hill

The Christmas Tree Book ~ Carol North

Christmas Bear ~ Georgina Russell

The First Night ~ B. G. Hennessy

Santa's Secret Helper ~ Andrew Clements

Laura's Christmas Star ~ Klaus Baumgart

The Christmas Pagent ~ Jacqueline Rogers

A Wish for Wings That Work ~ Berkeley Breathed

Christmas Trolls ~ Jan Brett

Country Angel Christmas ~ Tomie dePaola

The Crippled Lamb ~ Max Lucado

The Christmas Witch ~ Steven Kellogg

Jingle the Christmas Clown ~ Tomie dePaola

Find Santa Claus (look and find) ~ Publications International, Ltd

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear ~ Audrey Wood

Jingle Bugs ~ David A. Carter

A Christmas Tree in the White House ~ Gary Hines

Gus and Grandpa and the Christmas Cookies ~ Claudia Mills

Dragon's Merry Christmas ~ Dav Pilkey

The Gift of Christmas ~ Philemon Sturges

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale ~ Aaron Shepard

Santa Cows ~ Cooper Edens

Christmas Always ~ Peter Catalanotto

Mother Hubbard's Christmas ~ John O'Brien

The Worst Person's Christmas ~ James Stevenson

Sofie's Role ~ Amy Heath

The Jolly Christmas Postman

Five Little Christmas Trees ~ William Boniface

Santa's Snow Cat ~ Sue Stainton

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer ~ Robert May

The Night Before Christmas ~ Jan Brett

Bear Stays Up For Christmas ~ Karma Wilson




~ Poems ~


Dear Santa:

Here's some milk and cookies

That I have left for you.

There are enough for Rudolph,

I hope he likes them too!

~ Author Unknown ~





A time for wishes.

A time for all

The girls and boys

To fill their hearts

With Christmas joys.

~ Author Unknown ~



Trim the Tree

Let's trim the Christmas tree!

Make some paper chains.

Cut a row of paper dolls

And get some candy canes.


String some snowy popcorn.

Paint some pine cones bright.

And don't forget a golden star

To glow with Christmas light.

~ Pearl H. Watts ~



Sleigh Bells
Sleigh bells are ringing,
Santa's on his way.
Children are singing,
Soon it's Christmas Day!

~ Author Unknown ~

Christmas Tree
If I were a pine
With needles lean,
If I were a fir
With branches green,
Do you know what
I'd want to be?
A shimmering, shining
Christmas tree!

~ Author Unknown ~


Christmas Wreaths
Our Christmas wreaths
Are fat and round
Made of woodsy things
We found.
We tied brown cones
Upon the green
And stuck red berries
In between.
Upon the wreath
For our front door
We tied a ribbon from a store.

~ Author Unknown ~



Santa Claus is big and fat
He wears black boots
And a bright red hat.
His nose is red
Just like a rose
And he "ho ho ho's"
From his head to his toes!

~ Author Unknown ~



Five Christmas Candles

Five Christmas candles

With flames so gay,

Dance and flicker

On Christmas day


Five Christmas candles

With flames so gay

Melt away

On Christmas Day.

~ Author Unknown ~



Christmas Star

Twinkle, twinkle, Christmas star,

Way up high is where you are.

Shining there for all to see,

On top of our tree.

Twinkle, twinkle, star so bright,

Shine up there till morning light.

~ Bonnie Woodard ~



A Sunny Christmas

(rhyme: Jack and Jill)


There is no ice.

There is no snow,

At Christmas time in Florida.

But I can play

In the sun all day,

On Christmas day in Florida!

  ~ Nancy Biddinger ~



Christmas Candles  

Christmas candles burning bright,

Shining in the winter night.

Shining there for all to see,

Christmas candles for all to see,

Christmas candles one, two, three.

Christmas candles burning bright,

Shine until the morning light.

~ Author Unknown ~



Santa Claus's  Ride

Santa Claus went for a ride







and got back in time for a snack of gingerbread cookies and hot  chocolate

and a long cozy nap.

~ Author Unknown ~




A bundle is a funny thing,

It always sets me wondering;

For whether it is thin or wide

You never know just what's inside.

Especially on Christmas week,

Temptation is so great to peek!

Now wouldn't it be much more fun

If shoppers carried things undone?

~ Author Unknown ~


Santa Claus will soon be here, (pretend to tap watch)

So stamp your feet and give a cheer! (stomp feet and raise fist in air)

His elves have been working (pretend to hammer)

Both day and night

So he'll be ready for that Christmas flight! (hold arms out like plane)

Oh, yes, I see him!  He's ready to go! (shade eyes with hand)

Can you hear him? Ho, ho, ho! (cup behind ear)

~ Sarah Booth ~


*Note: You can also use this with a Santa mask made from a paper plate and cotton.  If you use the mask, put it up when it says "He's ready to go!" and "Ho, ho, ho!"


What Shall We Give the Children?

What shall we give the children

Christmas is almost here!

Toys and games and playthings,

As we do every year?

Yes, for the magic of toyland

Is part of the Yuletide lore,

To gladden the heart of childhood,

But I shall give something more.

I shall give them patience,

A more sympathetic ear.

A little more time for laughter,

Or tenderly dry a tear.

I shall take time to answer

More of the questions they ask.

Time to read books together

And take long walks in the sun.

Time for a bedtime story

After the day is done.

I shall give these to my children

Weaving a closer tie.

Knitting our lives together

With gifts that money can't buy.

~ Author Unknown ~



Oh, I took a lick of my peppermint stick

And I thought it tasted yummy!

It used to be on my Christmas tree,

But I like it better in my tummy!  Yummy!

~ Author Unknown ~


I'm A Little Christmas Tree

I'm a little Christmas tree,

Glittering, glittering merrily!

A star at my head,

Gifts at my feet.

And on all my branches,

Candy canes so sweet!

~ Author Unknown ~


This Little Present

The little present is for Mary.

This little present is for Ted.

This little present is for Harry.

This little present is for Ned.

This little present cried,

"Boo, hoo, hoo!  Please put me in a Christmas stocking, too!"

~ Author Unknown ~


Who Makes Christmas Fun?

Who makes Christmas fun?

"Frosty, Frosty, are you the one,

Who makes Christmas so much fun?"

"Oh no, no, no.  It's not me.

Who makes Christmas so merry!

I sing and play each snowy day,

But with the sun I melt away!"


"Rudolph, Rudolph, are you the one,

Who makes Christmas so much fun?"

"Oh no, no, no.  It's not me,

Who makes Christmas so merry!

On Christmas Eve, I light the way,

But home I go with Santa's sleigh."


"Santa, Santa, are you the one,

Who makes Christmas so much fun?"

"Oh no, no, no, it's not me,

Who makes Christmas so merry!

I do bring gifts to girls and boys,

But Christmas is much more than toys!

Christmas is peace, laughter and fun,

And sharing love with everyone!"

~ Author Unknown ~



It's hard to think of anything,

But Christmas in December.

There's so much to look forward to,

And so much to remember.

~ Author Unknown ~

(* this poem goes in our Poetry Journal with a Christmas tree at the bottom for them to color *)



December Celebrations
Every year at just this time,
In cold and dark December,
Families around the world
All gather to remember,
With presents and with parties,
With feasting and with fun,
Customs and traditions
for people old and young.
So every year, around the world
In all lands and nations,
People of all ages love
December celebrations!

~ Helen H. Moore ~




~ Songs ~


Here's a little Candle

(tune: "I'm a Little Teapot")


Here's a little candle dressed in white,

Wearing a hat of yellow light.

When the night is dark, then you will see

Just how bright this light can be.

Here's a little candle straight and tall,

Shining it's light upon us all.

When the night is dark, then you will see

Just how bright this light can be.

Here's a little candle burning bright.

Keeping us safe all through the night.

When the night is dark, then you will see

Just how bright this light can be!

~ Author Unknown




(tune: Jingle Bells)


C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S is here

That's how we spell Christmas

It's the best time of the year!


C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S is here

Oh what fun we'll have today

With all our friends so near!

~ Author Unknown



Where is Santa?

(tune: Are you sleeping?)


Where is Santa? (hands behind back)

Where is Santa?

Here I am! (arms out in front, making a belly shape!)

Here I am!


Merry, Merry Christmas!

Merry, Merry, Christmas! (keep arms up through the rest of the song!)

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

~ Author Unknown



Happy Christmas Day

(tune: Jingle Bells) 


Ring the bell, ring the bell,

Christmas time is here.

Ring the bell, ring the bell,

Give a great big cheer!


Light the lights, light the lights,

Happy Christmas Day.

Light the lights, light the lights,

Shout a great big, "Hurray!"

~ Carla Skjong



We'll Decorate the Tree

(tune: The Farmer in the Dell)


We'll decorate the tree.

We'll decorate the tree.

Heigh-ho, it's Christmastime,

We'll decorate the tree.


The presents we will wrap,

The presents we will wrap,

Heigh-ho, it's Christmastime,

The presents we will wrap.


Carols we will sing,

Carols we will sing,

Heigh-ho, it's Christmastime,

Carols we will sing.

~ Author Unknown



Christmas Song

(I'm A Little Teapot)   


I'm a little snowman, round and fat,

Here is my scarf and here is my hat.

When Christmas comes around just hear me shout,

"Here comes Santa. You better watch out!"


I'm a little light bulb, round and bright,

Here is my twinkle; oh, what a sight!

When Christmas comes around just plug me in,

And watch me blink again and again.


I'm a little Christmas tree, short and green,

Here are my branches, the cutest you've seen.

When I get all decorated, hear me cheer,

"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

~  Vivian Sasser



I Ain't Gettin' Nuttin' For Christmas

I broke my bat on Johnny's head.

Somebody snitched on me.

I hid a frog in sister's bed.

Somebody snitched on me.


I spilled some ink on Mommy's rug.

I made Tommy eat a bug.

Bought some gum with a penny slug.

Somebody snitched on me.



I ain't gettin' nuttin' for Christmas.

Mommy and Daddy are mad.

I ain't gettin' nuttin' for Christmas,

'Cause I ain't been nuttin' but BAD!


I put a tack on teacher's chair. 

Somebody snitched on me.

I tied a knot in Susie's hair. 

Somebody snitched on me.

I did a dance on Mommy's plants,

Climbed a tree and tore my pants,

Filled the sugar bowl with ants. 

Somebody snitched on me.



I won't be seeing Santa Claus. 

Somebody snitched on me.

He won't come visit me

Because somebody snitched on me.

Next year I'll be going straight! 

Next year I'll be good.....just wait!!

I'd start now but it's too late! 

Somebody snitched on me. 


~ Anne-Rachel Music Corp



Little Green Tree

(tune: "I'm a Little Teapot")


I'm a little green tree in the house,

Here is my trunk,

Here are my boughs.

Decorate me now with lights so fine,

Then plug me in and watch me shine!

~ Billy Taylor



Santa's In His Shop

(tune: Farmer in the dell)


Santa's in his shop

Santa's in his shop

What a scene for Christmas

Santa's in his shop


Other verses:


Santa takes a drum.

The drum takes a doll

The doll takes a train

The train takes a ball

The ball takes a top

They're all in the shop.

~ Author Unknown



There's A Little Elf

(tune: "If You're Happy & You Know It")


There's a little elf that's sitting on my nose,

There's a little elf that's sitting on my nose.

He is sitting on my nose,

Then off away he goes.

Now there's no little elf on my nose.


There's a little elf that's sitting on my knee,

There's a little elf that's sitting on my knee.

He is sitting on my knee,

Just watch and he will flee.

Now there's no little elf on my knee.


There's a little elf that's sitting on my head,

There's a little elf that's sitting on my head.

He is sitting on my head,

Then away he goes to bed.

Now there's no little elf on my head.

~ Author Unknown



Christmas Colors

(tune: "Three Blind Mice")


Red, green, white; red, green, white.

Christmas colors, Christmas colors.


Red is the color of holly wreaths.

Green is the color of Christmas trees,.

White is the color from stars so bright.

Red, green, white; red, green, white.

~ Deborah Roessel



Christmas Bells

(tune: "The Muffin Man")


Oh, do you hear the Christmas bells,

The Christmas bells, the Christmas bells?

Oh, do you hear the Christmas bells

That ring out loud & clear?


Oh, can you see our Christmas tree,

Our Christmas tree, our Christmas tree?

Oh, can you see our Christmas tree?

It fills the room with cheer.


Oh, do you smell the gingerbread,

The gingerbread, the gingerbread?

Oh, do you smell the gingerbread?

I'm glad Christmas is here.

~ Maureen Gutyan



There Was A Man

(tune: BINGO)


There was a man in a big red suit

And Santa was his name-o. 

S - a - n - t -a     

S - a -n - t - a   

S - a - n - t - a

And Santa was his name-o!


additional verses:

2. He has a big white fluffy beard.

3. He rides a sleigh of 8 reindeer.

4. He has a sack all filled with toys.

5. He brings the toys for girls and boys.

6. He'll come again another year.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

~ Author Unknown


* Use the first verse of this song to reinforce letter identification by writing the letters on a board, chart, or in a pocketchart and pointing to them as you sing.  It might also make a cute addition to a Christmas program by having students hold up, or pop up with the letters as they're sung.


Old St. Nicholas

(tune: Old McDonald Had a Farm)


Old St. Nicholas had a tree, (form tree with arms)

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

And on that tree he had some horns, (blow horns)

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

With a toot toot here ,

And a toot, toot there.

Here a toot.

There a toot .

Every where a toot, toot.

Old St. Nicholas had a tree,

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!


more verses:

lights-------flash flash

candy canes-------yum-yum


bells---------ring ring

birds------peep peep

stars------twinkle twinkle

snowflakes-------flutter flutter

~ Author Unknown



O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your branches green delight us.


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your branches green delight us.


They're green when summer days are bright;

They're green when winter snow is white.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your branches green delight us.


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

You give us so much pleasure!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

You give us so much pleasure!


How oft at Christmas tide the sight,

O green fur tree, gives us delight!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

You give us so much pleasure!

~ Author Unknown



(Tune: Auld Lang Syne)

It's Chrismas time around the world,

You'll hear the Yule bells ring.

It's time for giving, time for love,

It's time for hearts to sing.


Merry Christmas to you one and all,

Goodwill and happiness,

Good health throughout the coming year,

May all your days be blessed.

~ Author Unknown



Ring the Bells

(tune: Row Row Row Your Boat)


Ring, ring, ring the bells,

Ring them loud and clear

To say to people everywhere

That Christmastime is here.

~ Karen Vollmer




(Old MacDonald Had a Farm)


Who laughs this way Ho Ho HO!
Who drives a sleigh through sleet and snow?
His hair is white, his suit is red
He wears a hat to cover his head
Who brings toys to girls and boys?

~ Author Unknown


Deck the Halls

Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

Fa la la la la la la la la


*for a great phonemic awareness activity or a phonics lesson, change the beginning sound of the second line on each verse.  For instance ..


Deck the halls with boughs of holly,

Ca ca ca ca ca ca ca (or however many of those sounds are supposed to be there! :) )


Santa's Coming

(tune: Frere Jacques)


Santa's coming,

Santa's coming

Sleigh bells ring,

Sleigh bells ring,

It is Christmas Eve.

It is Christmas Eve.

Ding, ding, dong.

Ding, ding, dong.

~ Author Unknown


(tune: Frere Jacques)

Are you sleeping?

Are you sleeping?

Santa Claus, Santa Claus?

Christmas bells are ringing.

Christmas bells are ringing.

Ding, ding, dong.

Ding, ding, dong.

~ Author Unknown


I'm A Little Pine Tree

(tune: I'm A Little Teapot)

I'm a little pine tree - as you can se,

All the other pine trees are bigger than me.

Maybe when I grow up - then I'll be,

A great big merry Christmas tree!

~ Author Unknown


We Wish You A Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas, 

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Good tidings we bring to you and your kin,

Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Oh, bring us a figgy pudding,

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding,

Oh, bring us a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer.




We won't go till we get some,

We won't go till we get some,

We won't go till we get some, so bring some out here.




We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


Here Comes Santa Claus

Here comes Santa Claus!

Here comes Santa Claus!

Right down Santa Claus Lane!

Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer,

Are pulling on the reins.

Bells are ringing, children singing,

All is merry and bright.

Hang your stockings and say your prayers,

'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.


Here comes Santa Claus!

Here comes Santa Claus!

Right down Santa Claus Lane!

He's got a bag that is filled with toys,

For the boys and girl again,

Hear those sleigh bells jingle jangle,

Oh what a beautiful sight.

Jump in bed, cover up your head,

'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

~ Author Unknown





Sounds Like Christmas!:  This activity was an adaptation of one I saw elsewhere.  The students match the picture cards to the gift with the correct beginning letter.  The gifts are made from a piece of construction paper folded, but not exactly in half.  That gives the top edge of the gift to add the bow.  The construction paper was glued together on the very edges, but could just as well be stapled for more durability.  The bows are purchased mini-bows that were stuck on, then stapled as well, to keep them from coming off.  The key to making this activity is to make sure your cards protrude from the top when stuck in the gift.  If not, then the student will have to fish around inside and likely will tear the edges apart.

Recently, when using this activity one-on-one with a student, to keep his interest but still reinforcing the letters/sounds, after we finished putting the cards with the presents I began letting him try to remember what the picture was in the gift.  I kept emphasizing the sound of the letter, and if he couldn't remember, I'd show him a small portion of the picture and again remind him of the sound.  If he still didn't get it, then I'd pull the card out a little further.  I kept repeating the process until he could identify the picture. 


 Can you guess what's in this gift? :)

(scroll to the bottom of the table for the answer)

Christmas Puzzles:  These are a couple of cheapy Christmas puzzles that I purchased for our Christmas Center.  My students often have visual perception difficulties, so puzzles are something that they have problems with. 

Puppets:  The patterns for these puppets came from Alphabet Puppets published by Teacher's Friend Publications.  Creating puppets like these really work on their cutting skills and also their ability to follow directions.



Santa's Underwear:  This idea also came from my favorite Media Center Specialist!  It's too cute and as soon as I heard she was leaving her teaching position as a Kindergarten teacher, I asked for it! :)

This is Santa's red underwear!  Cut out two pieces from red felt.  Cut a small slit in the back piece, along with an attachable flap.  Then match up the front with the back and staple them together.  Glue just the top of the flap on over the slit.  We used the gold glitter glue to cover the staples.  Then add a gold cord bow, and 3 tiny pom-poms.  Then print out the following poem and staple or pin it to the front of the underwear on the right shoulder (not shown). 

We looked for a stocking

But we couldn't find a spare

So we ended up stuffing

Santa's red underwear!

Then insert several pieces of candy in the slit in the back of the underwear.  The other teacher hung hers from the ceiling.  I hung ours in the hall on a clothesline with mini clothespins.  They would look precious hung on a bulletin board displaying a mantle and a fireplace.  On the last day before Christmas Break, I sent one home with each student.

After completing the project, I realized that Santa might not be caught dead in these fru-fru underwear, so next year I'm going to experiment with just adding red sequins or tiny red or white buttons down the front.  Hopefully trying to make them look a little more mannish! :)

Stocking Color Words:


Stocking Surprise:  Another file folder activity from Carson Dellosa.  Students sort picture cards into a long "o" stocking or a short "o" stocking.



TLC type Santa:  This Santa was definitely inspired by the TLC Santa, but we do it a little differently.  I don't have the time to put into the TLC type projects and I need something that my kids can do a little more independently.  So we provide them the pattern pieces already copied on to construction paper and they have to cut them out and put them together.  This in itself is often a struggle for some of my students even though I model with them how to put the project together and leave the model up for them to look at.  This is NOT how the TLC ladies intended their projects to be done, but it's what works best for me and my students.

Writing Prompts:  Use old Christmas cards as writing prompts.  Keep them in the Writing Center in a Christmas basket or small decorated mailbox.

Mailing Center:  Don't wait till Feb. (Valentine's Day) to set up your Mailing Center.  Do it now!  Allow the students to create Christmas cards for each other and school staff.  They can make cards from half sheets of paper or construction paper folded in half.  Have them draw a picture on the front of the card or glue on an Ellison Christmas die-cut and decorate.  They write their Christmas greetings on the inside of the card.  Provide them with examples to work from as well as a Christmas Word Wall or Word Bank (this can easily be done using a pocketchart.  See a picture of a similar thematic Word Wall on Old MacDonald's Farm)

You can also utilize old Christmas cards for this by cutting off the back section and letting the students write on the back of the front section.

A class mailbox, with individual cubbies, can be made from a cardboard box used to transport wine or liquor.  The box is already divided into cubbies for you.  You just have to add contact paper to the outside and label each cubby.  Be sure to inform the students of when the appropriate and inappropriate times would be for "checking their mail."

Christmas Puzzles:  Another good use for old Christmas cards is to use them to make puzzles.  Cut them into halves for simple puzzles, thirds for a bit more difficulty, and then 5 or 6 pieces for more advanced.  Laminate the pieces for durability.  Store in a shoebox decorated like a Christmas present (with the top wrapped separately).

Christmas Card Ornament:  Old Christmas cards make nice ornaments as well.  Have students choose one card from a selection of cards.  Then furnish each student (or person in the Center) with a wide mouth canning jar ring.  Let the student use it like a magnifying glass to find exactly what scene they'd like to see in their ornament.  After they've made their choice as to what part of the card they want to use for their ornament, help them to trace around the ring with a pen.  Then have them cut the picture out on the traced line.  Then slip the picture up into the ring as if putting it into a frame.  The picture should fit snugly but lie flat.  Once the fit is right, remove the picture and apply a small amount of glue around the inside of the ring lid and return the picture to its position. 

Hotglue a loop of red ribbon to the top as a hanger and then glue a sprig of holly or greenery at the base of the ribbon.

Pinecone Ornament: Find or purchase a small pinecone for each student (small but not one of the tiny ones).  Turn the pinecone upside down and hotglue a loop of twine to be used as a hanger.  Then hotglue a sprig of holly or greenery at the base of the twine.

If you prefer, the pinecones could be spray painted with gold paint prior to decorating.  Clear or white glitter could be sprinkled on the wet paint to give it some sparkle or the effect of snow.

Paperbag Santa Puppet:  Provide each student with a brown paper lunch bag.  Have them color the portion of the bag beginning under the flap red.  Have them cut out a triangular red shape for the hat (you may want to provide them a pattern to cut this from to be sure it's the appropriate size).  Glue the widest part of the triangle to the bag above the flap.  (the flap part is his face)  Then add cotton to cover the edge where the triangle is glued to the bag and at the tip of the triangle.  Then glue wiggly eyes on the flap, a red circle for a nose and two pink circles for the cheeks.  Using the cotton, make two eyebrows over the wiggly eyes.  Then use more cotton to form a beard and mustache.

Another Take-Home Project:  Copy a wreath shape onto cardstock and send one home with each student.  Encourage their family to creatively help them decorate their wreath.

Matching Games:  Use any of the Christmas die-cuts to make matching games for matching capitals to lowercase, matching rhyming words or rhyming pictures, or rhyming pictures to rhyming words, matching pictures to words, matching two words to make a compound word, etc.

Before school was out, we made a matching activity matching capital to lowercase letters by cutting out wreaths for the capital letters and red bows for the lowercase letters.

Matching word/picture cards:  Use die-cuts or 3x5 cards to make Christmas picture cards to match to word cards.  Use words such as:

sack bell bag bow toys car
bear block red green white light
tree wreath Santa reindeer sleigh snow
nose elf gift angel star truck
ball skates coat mitten hat holly
boots pants belt black stocking doll


Another Countdown Till Christmas:  Place the following poem on a bell with 10 links.  Remove one link every night.


The last 10 days to Christmas

Is the longest time of the year.

It seems as tho old Santa,

Never will appear.

How many days til Christmas?

It's mighty hard to count.

So this little paper chain,

Will tell the exact amount!

Cut a link every night,

When the sandman casts his spell.

And Christmas Eve will be here,

By the time you reach the bell.

~ Author Unknown


Handprint Santa:  Paint student's thumb and top part of palm red and the rest of the palm peach and the fingers white.  Have student extend thumb, but put the rest of their fingers together and press firmly on light blue construction paper.  When dry, use tip of pinky finger to add blue eyes, thumb to make red mouth and pointer finger to make white ball on hat and fur trim on hat.



Handprint Wreath:  Paint student's hand green and use to make a wreath by printing around in a circle.  When dry, add red berries using thumbprint.  Add the poem to the middle of the wreath.


My handprint made this wreath,

My thumb each berry.

I hope this helps you have,

A Christmas that's merry!

~ Author Unknown


Wreath Placemats: Use bell peppers cut in half and dipped in green paint to form a wreath on a  sheet of construction paper.  Add a red paper bow and laminate.


Sparkle Ornament:  Place a Christmas pattern underneath wax paper.  Trace the pattern with glue and sprinkle with glitter.  Once the glue is totally dry, gently peel the ornament from the paper and hang with a ribbon.


Shredded Wheat Wreath:  Mix one shredded wheat biscuit (the large size) with glue and green food coloring.  Form the wreath in a small margarine tub lid.  When dry add tiny red pom-pom, buttons, sequins, or beads for berries along with a red bow.


Holiday Candle: Glue a 5 1/2 inch by 2 inch white rectangle onto a red sheet of construction paper vertically (candle).  Use a black crayon or marker to make a short black vertical line on the top of the rectangle for the wick.  Glue on a yellow raindrop shape about 2 inches long for the flame at the end of the wick.  Then add green die-cut holly leaves around the bottom of the candle and across the bottom of the page.  Glue on red tri-cornered beads for the berries.


Christmas Sort:  Collect a number of small pictures that are Christmas related as well as some that are not (easily identifiable things like Valentines, Easter, Halloween, etc.).  Glue the pictures to index cards and laminate.  Have the students sort the cards into Christmas and Not Christmas.  If you'd like, you can turn it into a file folder activity by putting a Christmas scene on one side and and the same Christmas scene on the other side with a big red X through it, if your students will understand that.  Or, you can have them sort the Christmas cards into a stocking or Christmas basket.


Christmas Loot Bag:  If your students will be in need of a loot bag to get all their stuff home on the last day before Christmas break, let them create their own.  Provide each student with a plain brown grocery bag and let them draw a big Christmas tree on it.  Then have them use paint, markers, crayons, etc. to color their tree.  Then let them add Christmas lights to their tree using paint dots or Bingo dabbers.  Last, add presents under the tree.


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Christmas:  Make a spinoff book of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Use the same sentence frame work, but change it to say, "I'll meet you at the top of the Christmas tree." and use a Christmas tree instead of a palm tree.  Holographic red, green, silver, & gold letters going up that Christmas tree would look too cool! :)


Peppermint Shape Book:  Give each student a peppermint round.  Have them open it and then begin brainstorming words to describe the candy.  Record their answers on a chart and let them continue as they eat their candy.  Use some of the words provided to model writing sentences describing the peppermint.  Have each student then write or dictate a sentence about the peppermint on a piece of paper.  Type up each student's sentence on a page with a circle the size of a paper plate and type the sentence inside the circle.  Then have the students illustrate their page.  Use two white, cheapy paper plates and paint or color red spirals on them to resemble the peppermint rounds.  Use the plates as a cover for the class made book.


"I Want ..." Class Book:  Have each student dictate or write to complete the sentence frame "I want ..." by stating the one thing they'd most like to have for Christmas.  Type up each student's sentence on a page and have them illustrate it.  Bind the pages together to create a class book.


Trim A Tree Rhyming:  Barb has been exercising her Rhyming Dictionary again, and came up with a Christmas activity. She made enough rhymes for everyone in the class, and envisions giving each of them a picture on a Christmas ball (clipart), and when they hear their rhyming clue, they go up and stick their picture on the flannelboard (or magnetic board, or

Barb, you have some of the GREATEST ideas, thanks for sharing them with everyone! :)

If you have students who are readers (2nd graders), you could program the Christmas balls with the words instead of the pictures.  AND, since this is called Trim A Tree, if you had a large felt tree to add the ornaments to, that would be neat as well.  Or if you're using your white board and magnets, you could draw your tree up there and as the students add their ornaments they would be "trimming the tree", something that's hard to explain to them since most of them know it as "decorating the tree".

Trim the Tree With Me

1. A lump of coal would be shocking.

What will be in your Christmas (stocking)?

2. The reindeer worked hard, didn’t they?

Could you pull that heavy (sleigh)?

3. 3 balls and a carrot…that’s the plan,

if you want to build a good (snowman).

4. I just heard something that fell.

I hope it wasn’t our heavenly (angel).

5. I see peppermint on the train.

Would you like a candy (cane)?

6. I thought Santa forgot my kitten,

but it was hiding in my (mitten).

7. Something in the sky, over Atlanta…

do you think it was (Santa)?

8. We all know Santa is jolly.

Did you know that he grows (holly)?

9. Gifts are wrapped and on the shelves.

Have you seen the busy (elves)?

10. His boots are black, but his moustache is blacker.
He’s my friend, the wooden (nutcracker).

11. Snowsuit on, swimsuit off.

Ready to fly now? Go, (Rudolph)!

12. Drip, drip, drip…I hear a trickle.

The sun must be a melting a cold (icicle).

13. To all our friends, warmest regards.

Time to address the Christmas (cards).

14. See the children, squealing with glee,

opening their presents under the (tree).

15. The night is cold and the wind will blow.

How will Santa see through all that (snow)?

16. Delicious smells fill my head.

Can you smell the (gingerbread?)

17. Santa will visit good girls and boys,

but will he leave them lots of (toys)?

18. Bows and wreaths you can handle,

but please don’t touch a burning (candle).

19. Memories of loved ones will always be pleasant,

long after you’ve forgotten your favorite (present).

20. What’s Santa carrying on his back?

Is it really his Christmas (sack)?

21. I hope my house won’t be missed…

I know that my name is on his (list).

22. Plate of china, and napkin of silk.

Don’t forget Santa’s cookies and (milk).

23. Christmas is the season for love.

Can you see the flying (dove)?

24. Early on Christmas morn,

you will hear the sound of a (horn).

25. When Santa arrives, no one tells,

but you might hear the jingle (bells).

26. The Christmas season has beautiful sights.

 My favorites are the glowing (lights).

27. Christmas toys we should always share.

Who wants to play first with the (bear)?

28. Santa’s diet should be fat-free.

I hope he doesn’t get stuck in the (chimney).


printable rhymes and clipart download


* one ornament has a "hook" and the rest does not.  you can either remove that hook or draw hooks on the rest of the ornaments.  this was necessary to provide different colored ornaments.


Pipecleaner Wreath:  Thread red beads onto a green pipecleaner and twist ends together.  Space beads evenly around wreath.  Use a piece of red pipecleaner or red ribbon to create bow.  Simply hang over ends of branches on the tree; no need for a hanger.



GBM/Rudolph Puppet & Poem:  On one side, this puppet is the GBM and on the other he's Rudolph!  Copy the pattern onto brown construction paper and decorate one side as the GBM.  Then flip the pattern over and turn it upside down (where legs are sticking up and head is down) and decorate this side as Rudolph.  (The legs become Rudoph's antlers)  Use holly leaves and a red pom pom for the nose.  Then students use the puppets as they read the poem.  Shared by Billie P/CA  Thanks for sharing, Billie! :)

GBM/Rudolph puppet pattern & poem


(a toothbrush!)




~ Math Activities ~


Elf Work:  Have your students create their own  stockings while practicing their money skills to boot!  Provide each student with two red or green construction paper stockings.  Have them cut the stockings out, then help them to hole-punch holes around the edge of the stocking.  Take care to put the two sides together when punching the holes so that they match and not to put the holes too close together or too close to the edge.  Then provide them with green, red, white, or gold yarn to lace around the edge of the stocking; taping one end of the yarn with masking tape to provide a "needle". 


The next step would be to provide them with glitter, glue pens, puffy paint pens, or whatever so that they could form their name on the top of the stocking. 


The next day, after the stockings are dry, provide each student with a certain amount of money (play money will do) and have them "purchase" items to use in decorating their stocking.  Have a small store set up with decorating supplies for purchase.  You can use small throw-away bowls or berry baskets to hold the supplies.  Label each container with a price sticker so that the students know how much money the items cost.  For instance, you can use  Christmas stickers, sequins, strips of yarn or lace, small amounts of glitter (in treat bags or film canisters), tiny pom-poms and jingle bells, etc.


How much money you charge for the items and how much money you give each student will depend on their ability levels.  More advanced classes would get more money and each item would cost more.  For instance, they might receive $1 - $2, and each item would be 15 - 35 cents.  For less advanced classes, you might give them 10 cents or 10 pennies, and charge 1 or 2 cents for the items.


The students LOVE doing this, and it's a great way to have some fun and practice those money skills!  The "store" premise can be adapted for many other types of Christmas activities such as decorating ornaments, a tree, etc.


Candy Cane Patterns:  Use red and white beads, or even red/white/green if you prefer, and red, green, or white pipecleaners to for make patterned candy canes.  Cut each pipecleaner in half.  Each student gets a pipecleaner half and slightly bends one end of the pipecleaner so that the beads don't slide off. Then have them put the beads on in a pattern such as an AB pattern (red/white/red/white ...) or AAB (white/white/red/white/white/red ...) or AABB, ABB, or even ABC, AAABBC.  How advanced you get with the patterns would depend on the students' ability levels. 


Also, this could be a Center activity where each student creates their own pattern and identifies and describes it to you, a TA, or in a written response.  Or, you could have cards in a stocking with a pattern type written on each card and have the students draw a card from the stocking and create that particular pattern.


Once the patterns or completed, have the students bend the free end of the pipecleaner up so that the beads don't slide off and then bend the end of the pipecleaner to form the "hook" of the candy cane.  These can either be used to decorate a classroom Christmas tree (yes, there are still schools around that allow this) or sent home to be placed on their own Christmas tree.  If you're going to do the latter, you might want to save them until the day school is out for Christmas break and send them home as decoration on a gift from yourself tied up in the bow.  I try to purchase those $.97 stockings each year and fill them with small items as their Christmas gift.  The candy canes would travel home well in these. :)


Unifix Candy Canes: A similar Center idea would be to provide a stocking filled with cards with a pattern type written on each card.  The students would then use Unifix cubes to create the straight type candy canes.  You remember them, the ones that you use to be able to buy at Christmas that were HUGE and only cost 50 cents! :)  I think you can still buy them, but I don't imagine that they're still 50 cents.  Of course, you could provide a small candy cane or peppermint for all those students who successfully created their Unifix "candy cane".


Stocking Stuffers:  Use those small felt stockings to reinforce counting.  These stockings are very small, so when your students stuff them with candy canes, the canes will stick out the top.  If you can't find stockings this small, you can make your own stocking from either felt or construction paper die-cut stockings.  You can dress them up by lacing around the edges with yarn and adding cotton or white felt to the top to create "fur". 


Program the front of each stocking with a number.  Students count out the correct number of candy canes to match the number and stuff them in the stocking.


Stocking Sequencing:  When the stockings above are not in use, you can let them play a dual role in reinforcing number sequence.  Hang a mini "clothesline" on the bottom of a bulletin board along with clothespins and the students can hang the stockings in the correct order.


You could create an interactive bulletin board by putting a paper fireplace and mantle on the board along with some pushpins.  Hang a flat-sided basket at the bottom of the board on the "floor" and place the stockings in the basket.  The students could practice hanging the stockings on the mantle in the correct order.


You could also program the stockings with 1st, 2nd, 3rd or first, second, third, etc.  More advanced students could use this activity with stockings with random 2 or 3 digit numbers and sequence them smallest to largest or largest to smallest.  You could also have them order odd numbers or even numbers; counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s.


Candy Counting:  I found a pattern for a candy jar somewhere (probably in a Mailbox book) with a sprig of holly at the neck.  (And I guess it could be a cookie jar as well.  This particular mat didn't make it home with me for the holidays so that I could scan in the picture.)  I copied one per page onto 20 sheets of light blue construction paper and colored the holly and ribbon.  Each jar was then programmed with a number.  Students count out the correct number of individually wrapped peppermint rounds into each jar.


Candy Jar Mats:  You can also use the candy jar pattern from above to make addition math mats.  Place two jars side by side with a plus sign in-between.  Students place the correct number of candy in each jar to work each math fact.  For instance ...


2 + 2= 


Student would place two pieces of candy in the first jar and two pieces of candy in the second jar.  Then count all the candy to find the answer. 


You can also make vertical math mats for working vertical math problems.


Fact Mats:  The mats could also be used to reinforce creating and writing facts.  Give each student a mat with a specific number of pieces of candy and have them write as many addition facts as possible using the candy pieces.


Story Mats:  The candy jar pattern can also be used for working story problems.  For instance ...


Jan put 5 pieces of candy in the jar.  Along came her brother and snitched two of the pieces.  How many pieces of candy does Jan have left?


Students would use the mats to put in 5 pieces of candy as you read the problem, then remove 2 pieces to find the answer.


More advanced students could use the mats to work the problems that you'd written on numbered index cards.  Then they'd record their answers on an appropriately numbered response sheet.  You could also have them write the number sentence as well as the answer. 


Even more advanced students could use the mat and a specific number of candy to create and record their own story problems, along with the answers.


Candy Cane Counting:  Copy two candy cane patterns (minus the stripes) onto white construction paper.  Cut out and glue each candy cane onto a half sheet of red or green construction paper.  Using a red marker, add a specific number of stripes to each candy cane.  Make as many candy cane mats as needed.  (5, 10, 15, 20)  Program 3x5 index cards cut in half with a number to match the stripes on each candy candy.  Laminate all.  Students count the stripes on each candy candy and match to the correct number card.


Triangular Trees:  Christmas trees offer a good opportunity to reinforce the concept of triangles.  You can have students create a Christmas tree using a green triangle glued onto a piece of construction paper.  They can add on a tree trunk and presents with markers or bits of construction paper.  Provide them with sequins and metallic cording to decorate their trees. 


You can also reinforce rectangles (tree trunk) and squares and rectangles (presents) and well as circles (sequins).


Cone Trees:  Cone trees are excellent for reinforcing the cone shape.  Each student will need a waffle type cone (ones with the straight edges), green frosting and M&Ms or other round type candies such as Skittles, a craft stick, and a small paper plate.  Have each student turn their cone upside down on the plate and totally cover it with the icing.  Then add the candy as decoration.  Recipe cards for this can by found in The Mailbox Dec/Jan Kindergarten 2001 - 2002 (I was using this idea years before seeing it in The Mailbox)


Another Cone Tree:  Another type cone tree can be made from old magazines.  I remember making these in Jr. High.  Take a magazine and fold the right hand corner of the page straight into the binding of the magazine.  This should form a sharp point on the left side of the page at the top.  Crease the page well.  Keep doing this through the whole magazine.  The magazine should start to fan out and look like a tree.  When all the pages have been folded, including the covers, spray paint green.


Measuring:  Provide students with different size Christmas trees and have them measure them using standard or non-standard measurement.  The trees can be photocopied onto construction paper, then added to half sheets of construction paper.  If you want to make really big trees, you can add them to different sizes of poster board. 


Sequencing:  Students can also use the trees above to order them from smallest to largest and vice versa.


Shape Sort:  Divide a file folder into 4 columns and place a die-cut rectangle, circle, square, and triangle at the top of each column.  Provide students with picture cards of Christmas items to sort into the appropriate column.


Circle - cookie, wreath, candy. lollipop, ball, ball ornament

Square - different types of gift boxes, block, cookie

Rectangle - different types of gift boxes, cookie

Triangle - Christmas tree, cookie


Cylinders:  Use an assortment of candles to reinforce the concept of cylinders.  Students can use them to sort, sequence, count, add, subtract, etc.


They can even create their own "candles" by painting toilet tissue rolls and using red and orange washable markers to add color to a coffee filter.  Then place the coffee filters on a brown paper bag and spray them with water.  The colors will begin to bleed together, so there's no need to have the students color the whole filter.  Once the filters are dry, have them scrunch them up from the center and stuff them into the end of the toilet paper roll.  You might want to add a line of glue to the top if you don't want the "flames" to fall out.  The candles can also be glued to a small paper plate as a base if desired.  If doing this, you can dress them up by adding sprigs of holly and hot gluing it on.


Candy Cane Patterns:  Candy canes are perfect for working on AB patterning.  After working on some of the other more hands-on-type activities, we advance to using the candy cane pattern below for a couple of additional patterning activities.  The student is provided with a candy cane such as the one below, but it's totally white.  They're also provided with red and white rectangular shapes with they glue onto the candy can pattern to form the colored candy cane.


If needed, this activity could be made easier by providing the student with a COLORED candy cane and the colored rectangular shapes and they'd just have to match the colors and glue them down.


Another day they would be provided the totally white candy cane pattern again, then they're to color the candy cane in the AB pattern using crayons or markers.  If needed, you can leave the model (that's what this is) on the board for the students to use when coloring their candy cane.





Holiday Counting Mats:  Students count out holiday counters to match the number on the card.




Counting File Folder Activity:  This is a file folder activity that we made using the Ellison die-cuts.  Students count how many berries and match to the correct holly leaf.  The other picture shows how we store the pieces on back of the file folders.  When taping them on, we use two strips of clear packing tape and insert our hand inside the bag so that it leaves some excess room for the students to be able to stick their hand in the bag without tearing if off the file folder.  This storage system seems to work very well for us.  BUT, you won't get the same results using scotch tape because it's much too fragile.




Light Patterns:  Use the pattern from the "Name In Lights" activity above to create a math patterning activity as well.  Create an assortment of lights and provide them as well as twine, leather thongs, or yarn with a stiff "needle" of masking tape attached to one end.  Anything that would be stiff enough for the students to string the lights in a pattern.  They can create their own patterns or you can specify what type of pattern by indicating the pattern to be done on a programmed light (the light would say AB, or AAB, etc.)  The student would then create a pattern of the specified type.  For others who aren't to the creating stage, they could copy a pattern already supplied for them or extend a pattern already started.  You might even make pattern cards using the light pattern for them to copy or extend.

Santa Mats:  These counting mats were made from purchased notepads.  I just programmed each page with a number and had them laminated.  My suggestion would be though to glue them onto construction paper or cardstock and then laminate them.  The laminated only pages are somewhat flimsy.  The kids just count out the correct number of Christmas counters to match the number.



Tree Mats:  I made the pattern for this myself.  Each tree fits on half a sheet of construction paper turned horizontally.  The students count out enough Christmas lights for the tree to match the number.  The Christmas lights came from Big Lots and were sold on a strand of gold cording.  My aide cut them off the cording, as well as some mini-ornaments that came the same way.  I also purchased a bunch of miniature wrapped presents to use with these mats as well, or when time allows, I'll make mats with decorated trees to use with them.

Counting Activity:  These trees were made from Ellison die-cuts and are "decorated" with mini stickers.  The students count the stickers and then find the star with the appropriate number to finish trimming the tree.


Stocking Patterns:  We made a lot of these Ellison die-cut stockings to use for patterning.  After we finished gluing the tops on the stockings, we laminated them for durability.  Some were programmed to be used for specifying types of patterns to be done.  Then there are plenty of stockings to use for patterning.  Students can even use them to create their own patterns as there are several other colors as well.



These were created to be used in a pocketchart or on the table or floor.  One example:  I have 3 stockings in the pocketchart.  Each one is labeled.  One is AB, one is ABB, and one is AAB.  Students will choose from 4 colors of stockings to create the AB and ABB pattern.  They will extend the AAB pattern that I've started.  You could even put the stockings in the pocketchart in the specific patterns and have the students match the stocking with the pattern indicator to the patterns.  This is a great way to differentiate your activities.


These stocking indicators are even more basic that the first ones.  The A stocking shows students that the A part of the pattern will be red, and the B socking shows them that the B part of the pattern will be green.  This also helps some of those students who haven't quite caught on yet about what the "A/B" thing is all about.

Candy Cane Graphing: Provide, or have parents send in, different kinds and flavors of candy canes.  There are many available now.  Put them into a Christmas basket and have each student choose one.  Have the different flavors/kinds already listed on a large graph.  Have students identify or show one-by-one which candy cane they chose and either indicate it on the graph, or actually tape the candy cane to the graph.  (You can indicate the chosen candy canes by either coloring in squares or even taping on candy cane cut-outs to form a pictograph)  After discussing the graph and which type was chosen more/less, etc., let the students eat their candy cane.

Candy Patterns:  You can also use the different kinds of candy canes referred to above (along with other types of Christmas candy such as tiny candy canes, peppermint rounds, etc.) to pattern.

Yes/No Graph:  Provide a T-graph for students to indicate their answer for the question ... Do you like peppermint?

Cookie Counting:  Make several types of Christmas cookies using construction paper or felt.  If using construction paper, laminate the cookies and add magnets to the back.  The felt cookies can be used on the felt board. 

Divide a large cookie sheet or the felt board into grids and label them with a number 1 - 10 or whatever numbers you're working on.  Program each square with a felt or construction paper number.  Students count the correct number of cookies into each square according the number.

Estimation Jar:  Fill a small jar with multiple small Christmas oriented items such as small candy canes, peppermints, ball ornaments, wrapped Christmas candy, mini Christmas erasers, etc.  (Only one kind of item goes in at a time though)  Beside the jar, place a small container and a stack of small notes and a pencil.  Have students write their name on a piece of paper along with their estimate at how many items are in the jar and place their paper in the container.  Once everyone has had a chance to make an estimate, remove the estimates from the container and graph the answers.  Then reward the student(s) who guessed correctly with some of the candy.

Christmas Tree Bingo:  Make a pattern of a tree and then trace milk jug tops onto it to make circles.  Copy the tree onto green construction paper.  You should make as many copies as you'd like bingo cards.  Afterwards, program the circles with numbers using a Sharpie marker.  Laminate.  Use the milk jug tops or peppermint rounds as the markers when playing.

You can play the traditional way by calling out a number and if the student has that number on their card, then they cover it with a marker.  Or, you can call out addition or subtraction facts, and if the student has the answer to the fact on their card, then they cover it.  Which ever way you decide to go, you'd need to have some way of keeping up with what you'd called out; whether you write the numbers down as you go, or you use pre-programmed cards.

One Tree, Two Trees: use this rhyme in your pocketchart and Poetry Journals to reinforce number words.  Make a second set of cards with the numbers and have students match the numbers to the number words.  You could also make a book to go with it as well.


One Tree, Two Trees

(One Potato, Two Potatoes)


One tree, two trees,

Three trees, four.

Five trees, six trees,

Seven trees more.

Eight trees, nine trees,

Ten trees to decorate.

Let's get busy,

It's getting late!

~ Author Unknown


Christmas Count:  Victoria, at Kinder Korner, made a song chart for this chant and posted it on her website.  I used the chant to make a song chart (or should I say Chant Chart) of my own because I have a student who's still having difficulty identifying the numbers 6 - 10.  So when I made my chart, I made the numbers in red, and the rest in green (or black, I can't remember).  Then I added decorations.  Anyway, the student who needs the number reinforcement says the numbers when we do the chant, and the rest of the group says the words ... kind of like a "sound off" thing.  And this particular student thinks this is real neat because he's "special" and it helps him out because he's also very shy and the youngest of the group. :)


1, 2   I'll wait for you

3, 4,  With toys galore

5, 6   Santa come quick

7, 8   Don't be late

9, 10  Merry Christmas, again.

~ Author Unknown


We also added it to our Poetry Journals as well.  So I added the coloring book clipart to the bottom for them to color.


Morning Meeting:  During Morning Meeting, we do an Ordinal activity and a Patterning activity each day.  I have cards programmed with ordinals through tenth and 10 different cut-outs.  These go in the pocketchart.  I pick the card from the front of the stack and the students identify which cut-out is that ordinal place.  The cut-outs that I use depend on the skill and themes that we use.  So you can see in the picture that the cut-outs are for shapes and Christmas.



The pattern for December is AAABBB, so our pattern for this week was to extend the AAABBB pattern of red light, red light, red light, green light, green light, green light.  The pattern is posted by the number (the number signifies the sequence of the task in our Morning Meeting routine) and then the pattern is extended on the next row.


Odd/Even: Sort mini presents labeled on the bottom with a one or two digit number into EVEN or ODD stockings.


10 Days of Christmas: Print out each counting worksheet from these links and compile into a 10 Days of Christmas book.  (you can do one page a day and learn the song verse)  Sing the song verses below to the 12 Days of Christmas.  To sing the song, I'd suggest making a pocketchart version so that the students don't have to try and turn pages while they're singing.  When finished, they'll have their own book to read and count, and be able to sing the song as well.  Note: when I printed the pages it cut off half of the numbers on bottom.  Test and make adjustments before printing pages.


10 Days of Christmas


On the first day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, a Santa in a red suit.


On the second day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, two Christmas gifts and a Santa in a red suit.


On the third day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the fourth day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the fifth day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 5 ornaments, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the sixth day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 6 Christmas trees, 5 ornaments, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the seventh day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 7 gingerbread people, 6 Christmas trees, 5 ornaments, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the eighth day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 8 hanging stockings, 7 gingerbread people, 6 Christmas trees, 5 ornaments, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the ninth day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 9 flying reindeer,  8 hanging stockings, 7 gingerbread people, 6 Christmas trees, 5 ornaments, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


On the tenth day of Christmas my teacher gave to me, 10 candy canes, 9 flying reindeer,  8 hanging stockings, 7 gingerbread people, 6 Christmas trees, 5 ornaments, 4 holly leaves, 3 Christmas bells, 2 Christmas gifts, and a Santa in a red suit.


~ song adapted by Cindy Montgomery




~ Resources ~


The Mailbox - Dec/Jan 1994 - 95 Pre/Kindergarten

* The Twelve Days of Christmas playing cards


The Mailbox - Dec/Jan 1997 - 98 Kindergarten

* Recipe Cards for Candy Cane Cup


The Mailbox -  Preschool Dec/Jan 1998 - 1999

* Winter Holidays Shape Book


The Mailbox - Dec/Jan 1998 -1999 Kindergarten

* Santa Ornament

* Put Your Name in Lights (name necklace)


The Mailbox - Dec/Jan 2000 - 2001 Kindergarten

* Present Puzzler (pattern block pattern)


The Mailbox - Kindergarten Dec/Jan 2001 - 2002


Video: Annabelle's Wish


December Reproducible Kindergarten Activities by The Mailbox (TEC967)

* A Very Merry Mouse booklet (position words)

* Christmas Icons game

* Who Is Santa's Helper? puzzle

* Ornament Artist (visual perception)

* Trim the Tree (following directions)

* Dandy Candy (sets)

* Santa's Sack (beginning sounds)

* other Christmas ideas


Worksheet Magazine - Kindergarten Nov/Dec/Jan 1989 - 90

* Santa Puppet


Teacher's Helper - Kindergarten Nov/Dec/Jan 1993 - 94

* Christmas Mini-Book


Teacher's Helper - Kindergarten Nov/Dec/Jan 1995 - 96

* Light Up the Season (beginning sounds)

* Pretty Pinecones (beginning sounds)

* A Tired Tree Trimmer (beginning sounds)


Teacher's Helper - Dec/Jan 2000 - 2001

* Deck the Halls! (patterns)


Teacher's Helper - Kindergarten Nov/Dec/Jan 2001 - 2002

* Jingle Bells (song stretcher)

* Money Matters (money review)

* O Christmas Tree (picture graph)


SCHOOLDAYS - Nov/Dec/Jan 1985 - 86

* Little People Book  The Twelve Days of Christmas




~ Links ~

Emergent Readers


Create a letter from Santa


Coloring pages


Awesome Library




Home and Garden Television (ornaments),,HGTV_3478_1382787,00.html


Home and Garden Television (more ornaments),,HGTV_3478_1382884,00.html


December Activities


Printable Bingo Cards (Christmas)






Handprint Angels


Christmas Mazes


InMyRoom ~ 11-25-00


Christmas Tree shape book and poem form


Santa Claus at


Welcome to NORAD Tracks Santa


Gifts in a Jar: Candy Cane Bath Salts


Christmas at Alphabet Soup


DLTK's Christmas Coloring Book for Kids




December Goodies


Christmas Crafts


Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear


Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear printable >> Christmas


'Twas the Night Before Christmas mini-book




Christmas Holiday Gift Exchange Story


The Woodshed - Web Christmas Treats


Audrey's Christmas Page


Build a Paper Evergreen Tree


Welcome to the North Pole


DLTK's Christmas Crafts for Kids


The North Pole: Christmas Fun & Games


The North Pole: Christmas Songs & Lyrics


Christmas Library for Kids


Elf Paper Craft (printable)


Name in Lights Necklace



 An Elf's Tale
By Tyree Dillingham

It was six o'clock at the mall, and I was as exhausted as an elf on Christmas Eve. In fact, I was an elf and it was Christmas Eve. That December of my sixteenth year, 1995, I'd been working two jobs to help my parents with my school tuition and to make a little extra holiday money. My second job was as an elf for Santa to help with kids' photos. Between my two jobs, I'd worked twelve hours straight the day before; on Christmas Eve, things were so busy at Santaland that I hadn't even had a coffee break all day. But this was it - only minutes more, and I'd have survived!

I looked over at Shelly, our manager, and she gave me an encouraging smile. She was the reason I'd made it through. She'd been thrown in as manager halfway through the season, and she'd made all the difference in the world. My job had changed from stress-filled to challenging. Instead of yelling at her workers to keep us in line, she encouraged us and stood behind us. She made us pull together as a team. Especially when things were their craziest, she always had a smile and an encouraging word. Under her leadership, we'd achieved the highest number of mall photo sales in California.

I knew it was a difficult holiday season for her - she'd recently suffered a miscarriage. I hoped she knew how great she was and what a difference she'd made to all her workers, and to all the little children who'd come to have their pictures taken.

Our booth was open until seven; at six things started to slow down and I finally took a break. Although I didn't have much money, I really wanted to buy a little gift for Shelly so that she'd know we appreciated her. I got to a store that sold soap and lotion just as they put the grate down. "Sorry, we're closed!" barked the clerk, who looked as tired as I was and didn't sound sorry at all.

I looked around and, to my dismay, found that all the stores had closed. I'd been so tired I hadn't noticed.

I was really bummed. I had been working all day and had missed buying her a present by one minute.

On my way back to the Santa booth, I saw that Nordstrom was still open. Fearful that they, too, would close at any moment, I hurried inside and followed the signs toward the Gift Gallery. As I rushed through the store, I began to feel very conspicuous. It seemed the other shoppers were all very well-dressed and wealthy - and here I was a broke teenager in an elf costume. How could I even think I'd find something in such a posh store for under fifteen dollars?

I self-consciously jingled my way into the Gift Gallery. A woman sales associate, who also looked as if she'd just stepped off a fashion runway, came over and asked if she could help me. As she did, everyone in the department turned and stared.

As quietly as possible, I said, "No, that's okay. Just help somebody else."

She looked right at me and smiled. "No," she said. "I want to help you."

I told the woman who I was buying for and why, then I sheepishly admitted I only had fifteen dollars to spend. She looked as pleased and thoughtful as if I'd just asked to spend $1,500. By now, the department had emptied, but she carefully went around, selecting a few things that would make a nice basket. The total came to $14.09.

The store was closing; as she rang up the purchase, the lights were turned off.

I was thinking that if I could take them home and wrap them, I could make them really pretty but I didn't have time.

As if reading my mind, the saleslady asked, "Do you need this wrapped?"

"Yes," I said.

By now the store was closed. Over the intercom, a voice asked if there were still customers in the store. I knew this woman was probably as eager to get home on Christmas Eve as everybody else, and here she was stuck waiting on some kid with a measly purchase.

But she was gone in the back room a long time. When she returned, she brought out the most beautiful basket I'd ever seen. It was all wrapped up in silver and gold, and looked as if I'd spent fifty dollars on it - at least. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy!

When I thanked her, she said, "You elves are out in the mall spreading joy to so many people, I just wanted to bring a little joy to you."

"Merry Christmas, Shelly," I said back at the booth. My manager gasped when she saw the present; she was so touched and happy that she started crying. I hoped it gave a happy start to her Christmas.

All through the holidays I couldn't stop thinking about the kindness and effort of the saleswoman, and how much joy she had brought to me, and in turn to my manager. I thought the least I could do was to write a letter to the store and let them know about it. About a week later, I got a reply from the store, thanking me for writing.

I thought that was the end of it, until mid January.

That's when I got a call from Stephanie, the sales associate. She wanted to take me to lunch. Me, a fifteen-dollar, sixteen-year-old customer.

When we met, Stephanie gave me a hug, and a present, and told me this story.

She had walked into a recent employee meeting to find herself on the list of nominees to be named the Nordstrom All-Star. She was confused but excited, as she had never before been nominated. At the point in the meeting when the winner was announced, they called Stephanie - she'd won! When she went up front to accept the award, her manager read my letter out loud. Everyone gave her a huge round of applause.

Winning meant that her picture was put up in the store lobby, she got new business cards with Nordstrom All-Star written on them, a 14-karat gold pin, a 100-dollar award, and was invited to represent her department at the regional meeting.

At the regional meeting, they read my letter and everyone gave Stephanie a standing ovation. "This is what we want all of our employees to be like!" said the manager who read the letter. She got to meet three of the Nordstrom brothers, who were each very complimentary.

I was already a little overwhelmed when Stephanie took my hand. "But that's not the best part, Tyree," she said. "The day of that first store meeting, I took a list of the nominees, and put your letter behind it, with the 100-dollar bill behind that. I took it home and gave it to my father. He read everything and looked at me and said, "When do you find out who won?"

"I said, 'I won, Dad.'

"He looked me right in the eye and said, 'Stephanie, I'm really proud of you.'"

Quietly, she said, "My dad has never said he was proud of me."

I think I'll remember that moment all my life. That was when I realized what a powerful gift appreciation can be. Shelly's appreciation of her workers had set into motion a chain of events - Stephanie's beautiful basket, my letter, Nordstrom's award - that had changed at least three lives.

Though I'd heard it all my life, it was the Christmas when I was an elf - and a broke teenager - that I truly came to understand that the littlest things can make the biggest difference.

from Chicken Soup Daily Serving




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last updated 11.24.09