Things Needed: Laptop, Projector, John Lewis Advert (click for YouTube Link), Nicely wrapped present containing rubbish gifts, box of Cadbury’s Heroes for each form group.
Note: If you’re doing this assembly with a big school then you could ask local churches to contribute and wrap the boxes of heroes. We were funded by a local trust when we did it and got young people in the Christian Union to wrap the gifts.
Introduction: Good morning and welcome, this morning’s assembly is something a little bit different to get you in the mood for Christmas. In a couple of weeks time you’ll be off school and it’ll be Christmas day!
Ask: How many of you have made lists of things you’d like for Christmas?or perhaps just dropped hints like talking constantly about an iPod or maybe a DVD you really want?
Explain: As I’ve been around school and out and about over the last few weeks I’ve heard lots of people talking about what they’re getting for Christmas…or at least what they want…some people have talked about iPads, some about getting a new mobile phone, some about getting a new Superdry hoody but I haven’t heard anyone talk about what they’re getting people and personally I really enjoy the giving side of Christmas
And so as I said at the beginning we’re going to do something a little bit different and this morning we’ve got a gift with us to give to someone in this room…it’s a real gift, I’m going to pick a volunteer and they can come up, open the present and have the gift that’s inside..
Ask: Who would like it?
Pick someone to come up from the crowd. Invite them to shake the box and see if they can guess what it is…ask them how their feeling before opening what is maybe their 1st Christmas present this year.
Prior to the assembly have a nicely wrapped box with paper, bows and ribbon. Inside have a couple of disappointing items…perhaps an empty chocolate tin and a mouldy-ish banana.
Ask: (The volunteer): How do you feel about the gifts you’ve just received? Are you disappointed?
Explain: I have to be honest, as volunteer’s name was opening up the present I was feeling a little bit bad because I knew what was inside and I knew that really it wasn’t a very nice present to give and even though volunteer only found out a minute or so ago that he was going to get a present there must have been a moment when he/she got a little excited only to be let down by how rubbish my present was.
Video Clip: John Lewis ‘For the Gifts you want to give’ TV Advert
Explain: When we go shopping for Christmas presents we want to make sure we have the right present for the right person…there’s nothing more exciting than going to into a shop and seeing a present that is perfect for someone, to buy it and to excitedly see them open it on Christmas morning just like the little boy in the advert.
The reason that advert is so great is because most adverts tell us what we want…they are about feeding our desire for more stuff…but that advert tricks us…we believe at the beginning that the little boy is excited about getting to Christmas for his presents but on Christmas morning he walks straight past his own presents to give one to his parents…because that was what he was excited about.
Explain: We celebrate Christmas because of the birth of Jesus and Christians believe that Jesus was a gift that God wanted to give to us. The bible predicts…hundreds of years in advance everything that Jesus would do right down to the point of how and where he would be born…Jesus is a gift that Christian’s believe God had been planning for a very long time…a gift that God was excited about.
And so ultimately Christmas is about celebrating that gift that God gave us but also giving gifts to share in that excitement.
Challenge: The Christian Union and the local churches who I work alongside wanted to remind you all that it’s about giving and so we want to give you a box of heroes for your form groups…from us…we’ll make sure we get them to your tutors.
So this Christmas…try and think less about what you want to receive and more about what you want to give…how excited are you about the presents you are giving to people this year whether it’s something you’ve made and put a lot of time and effort into or something that jumped out at you in a shop or online as the perfect present for someone you know
Have a fantastic Christmas
Thanks for listening