Children from St Nicholas Newcastle West look forward to spending time with family over Christmas
Around Christmas time, St Nicholas Early Education puts a seasonal twist on the day-to-day, play-based learning by adding a little magic to the mix.
“That’s our elf on the shelf,” five year-old Jack says, indicating to the toy elf riding a reindeer up near the ceiling. “He got there because he has magical powers and he can fly. And guess who the boss is… Santa Claus.”
Imagination is in no short supply at St Nicholas Newcastle, with each child having their own version of who the elf is and how he managed to get up near the ceiling.
When asked who St Nicholas is, Jack replies, “This place,” signalling to his surroundings. Once informed that St Nicholas is another name for Santa Claus, however, his eyes light up: “Really?!” he exclaims.
“He has a big beard, a big belt, and he has gloves on his hands, and he goes, ‘Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!’” Jack tells me excitedly.
“At Christmas time [my family] like to make cupcakes, eat Christmas pudding, and see if Santa ate the cookies,” Bede, another child from Jack’s class, says.
But for St Nicholas children, Christmas means more than just presents and Santa Claus. “Christmas time is when I celebrate a fun year with my family,” St Nick’s Newcastle child, Elkie explains.
“We go down to see my Grandma is Coffs Harbour,” Eli, friend of Jack, says. “She comes all the way from Brisbane to see us.”
St Nicholas educates children on the here and now, a sense of being for each child, and it’s clear when you speak to them that the experience of Christmas—rather than the presents—is most important to them.
“You get time with your family. That’s why I love Christmas,” Eli concludes.