Christmas in Literature, Film, and Music
Total classes: 8
Duration: 45 minutes
Suggested grade level: 6th to 8th grade
Suggested credit: 2/3 semester of Literature or English. Add another literature or a writing course for a full credit.
Instructor: Kevin O’Brien
Course description: What is the “magic of Christmas” and why has it captivated even the secular world for centuries? In this course we explore the history of the celebration of Christmas, from St. Francis and the first Manger Scene in the 13th century to the banning of Christmas by the Puritans in Colonial America, to the commercialization and secularization of Christmas in modern times. Through it all, we look at the depiction of the Nativity in Literature, Film, and Music. We read A Christmas Carol, we watch scenes from Christmas movies, we read essays and poems on Christmas by G. K. Chesterton, we examine the theology and wonder behind classic and modern Christmas Carols - and we even explore the strange transformation of St. Nicholas into Santa Claus! But our goal through it all will be to have a deeper understanding of the mystery of the Incarnation. Note that each student should work on a Final Project ( a story, poem or other creative work) to present to his or her family during the Christmas season … or anytime!
Course materials: Provided free as PDFs by the Instructor
Homework: Reflection papers and quizzes. Homework will average about two hours per week. Grading guidelines provided; Instructor Access available.