Faith In Action: We Celebrate Holidays
Description of Activity
The theme of Unit 5 is "We celebrate holidays." Use one of the many traditional service projects associated with various holidays or design your own Faith in Action activity based on the customs and practices of your congregation. Some suggestions include:
- This is the traditional time for "Trick or Treat for UNICEF." Arrange for preschoolers to trick-or-treat in the congregation on the Sunday closest to Halloween, perhaps during social hour. Or, obtain UNICEF collection boxes in time to send home with families the Sunday before Halloween and ask families to return them the Sunday after. Visit UNICEF's website for more ideas and materials.
- In recent years, "reverse trick or treating" has become popular. Global Exchange, an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic and environmental justice around the world, provides kits for reverse trick or treating: A treat is given to the person instead of taking candy from them. From Global Exchange: "The inspiration for Reverse Trick-or-Treating rests on the belief that the simple act of one person saying to another "There's a problem. There's a solution. Let's do something" can be very powerful. And if a child says this to an adult, it's doubly powerful. Further, we believe that such acts will demonstrate to the large corporations, and to public officials, that people are paying attention, people care, and they want action." In your congregation, you might reverse trick-or-treat the congregational staff. Have the children leave a ghost on a string (Session 30, Activity 5) and a piece of candy or fruit at each person's mailbox or desk.
- Engage preschoolers and their families to implement the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) "Guest at Your Table" program. Guest at Your Table fosters understanding and awareness of UUSC's human rights work. "By celebrating Guest at Your Table, you are helping nurture a spirit of gratitude and 'justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.'"
- Arrange for the Chalice Children group to sponsor a holiday food collection for a local food bank.
- Holiday Giving Trees are a way to work with a non-profit agency to fulfill specific needs in underserved communities at a traditional gift-giving time of year. The Family Giving Tree is an organization in California that helps local groups channel gift-giving where there is need.
- Arrange for the preschoolers, perhaps with their families, to visit a senior living center or an Alzheimer's care centers to sing holiday songs and visit with residents.
- Include preschoolers and their families in congregational events around Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. For example, Atlanta-area UU congregations participate in the city's MLK Day march and rally, wearing UU tee-shirts and carrying signs and banners.
- Be inspired by the story "Valentines for the Governor" from the children's Tapestry of Faith program Faithful Journeys and host a postcard writing campaign for equal marriage (if your state does not allow it), or another human rights cause.
- Celebrate Earth Day and our seventh UU Principle, the interdependent web of all life, using environment justice resources you will find in the Tapestry of Faith programs Gather the Spirit, Circle of Trees, and World of Wonder.
- Explore the UUA Green Sanctuary program and UU Ministry for Earth resources online for more ideas.
- Some congregations replace a traditional Easter Egg hunt with a canned goods hunt. Cans that are found are donated to a community food bank; see the UU Parenting blog post "What's a UU Family to do on Easter?"