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A Joyful Christmas

Published on 03/12/18

It’s that time of year again: the nights have drawn in and the temperature has plummeted. The long hot summer of 2018 is now but a distant memory. Here at Claremont Fan Court, we are preparing for a wonderful two weeks full of Christmas celebrations: the decorations are up and the first cards have been given. Every pupil is involved, from the Early Years’ Nativity to the Senior School’s annual Christmas Carol service.  The Season of Goodwill is upon us.

Christmas brings a particular type of excitement. Wrapped up in the customs and traditions, the present giving and the singing, the laughter and the food, is the simple sensation of joy.

Many of us adults will look back upon our Christmases past as being full of all of the above. We may well remember certain specifics – special family guests or when we finally got that bike - but it is the feeling that we will remember most clearly. The joy.

Psychologists define joy as an intense, momentary experience of positive emotions. Part of its power and allure is attributable to this fleeting nature. At Christmas, we actively search these moments out. We seek to create an environment in which joy will flourish and where more memories – more feelings – will be created. We hope that one day our children will too look back on these moments with warm, cosy nostalgia.

But why stop there?

There is a common belief that children are generally more joyful than adults. A theory that they find these special moments more readily because they lack our inhibitions and uncertainties. As we get older we are perhaps more fearful of judgement and of being labelled as childish or self-indulgent, so we hide our feelings; we hold ourselves back from joy.

Should we be looking for joy more often? The short answer is yes, of course we should! So, this Christmas, why not reflect a little on all the wonderful things our children and our pupils can teach us? To ask, once the decorations are down, the presents opened and the food eaten: what next? The latest research tells us these efforts prove worthwhile: regular moments of joy add up to something far greater – a deeper happiness.  If you’re not sure where to start with this, why not ask a child?

Have a wonderful Christmas, and a joyful 2019, from all of us here at Claremont Fan Court School.

Mr Michael Williams
Head of Pre-Prep and Nursery School