Why I Quit Holiday Crafts In My Art Room


I love the holidays!

I look forward to Christmas after Thanksgiving and all the special holiday decor that leaves behind fine glitter in my grout lines for weeks… I actually do!

But, you just won’t find me spending much time with my classes on holiday-specific lessons.

I mean, don’t get me wrong- I totally DO want my students to be exposed to various cultural observances.

I take it as my duty to educate my students on special aspects of cultures other than theirs.

So why would I leave out a holiday craft?

It’s not because it’s my way of trying to be incredibly inclusive-

I mean, OF COURSE, I want to (and do) accommodate for students who don’t participate in celebrations for religious reasons.

But that’s not why I skip out on holiday crafts.

It’s just that after years of teaching, I can’t seem to justify spending my planning time on a holiday project that I only get a chance to teach a tiny portion of my students.

Any project centered around a holiday is going to leave some classes out.

Picture this:

Let’s say I wanted to plan a Groundhog Day holiday-specific lesson.

Groundhog Day this year falls on a Friday.

My schedule has me teaching five of my classes (out of ten total) on Fridays.

SO, if I planned a project themed specifically for that day, I’d miss actually teaching it to at least 50% of my students!

“That’s ok, just teach it to those classes by rescheduling to the days before!” …

Except for OH! That field trip planned for 4th Grade!

“OK, I’ll teach it to them the week before!”

Wait… that day is during the holiday break! Can’t.

OK, what about before break?

Wait, they have a schoolwide assembly that day.

So I can go 3 weeks before, or the week after the actual holiday.

But, honestly, who is excited about Groundhogs three weeks prior?

And, I think we can all agree that the novelty of a groundhog wears off rather quickly, dare I say maybe even the day after he sees or doesn’t see his shadow…

It would go on like this for every occasion- Easter, Mardi Gras (we celebrate that here!), etc…

And every year that passed, I’d try to find the motivation to make the logistics work.

But it just stopped making sense to shuffle everything around field trips, assemblies, and half-weeks before breaks.

And the truth is, homeroom teachers are always looking for filler activities to assign on those shortened instructional days before school vacations.

So from now on, I quit the crafts, because I’d rather spend the time with my students getting deeper into the art making on our current projects than rushing to fit in calendar-based, schedule-sensitive craftivities.