The teens are to imagine they are anthropologists in the year 20001. Each table or group is given a copy of this passage and a Walmart (choose your own local department store) bag of items. I included some odd Christmas decorations, toys, office equipment, etc. in each bag. The object is for the teens to be creative in developing theories about the uses of the items in the year 2000. After they had about 15 minutes or so to develop and take notes about their theories, I then announced they had to choose a spokesperson for their team to present their theories to the whole group. Our YA board had a lot of laughs and so did we adults at our Christmas party with this activity!
Journal Entry for December 18, 20001:
The NO-L group, our team of anthropologists, made a startling discovery today along the banks of the Muskingum Sea, where recent storms have washed away the beach area to reveal a massive expanse that appears to have been a center for the Christmas celebration, held in the "winter" (a cold period of the year before The Great Earthquake).
Today in our excavation, we have uncovered something that may help us piece together the symbolism and tradition that was Christmas.
We have known from the famous Hallmark site excavated in 19982 that Christmas was a birthday celebration of Saint Nicholas who was called Jesus as a child. It is believed that he celebrated his own birthday by giving valuable gifts to well behaved children while giving bad children foot coverings and undergarments that were not to be seen by anyone so it would appear they received no gifts at all. Children’s names were recorded on lists thought to go in their permanent records and future employers would look at these and determine the person's wage and societal status.
We have not yet determined the purpose for many of the artifacts discovered in today’s excavation but they are believed to be a sack of the valuable gifts! The sack itself is blue in color, the sides and bottom appear to have been sealed by melting. Two holes along the open edge are thought to be for hooking over the steering mechanism of 2 wheeled transport vehicles used at the time. There appears to be a word on the side of the sack, "Wal-Mart". It is curious that the inhabitants of the area would misspell the name of such an important site.
Some items were wrapped in large pieces of glossy paper derived from cellulose fibers decorated with symbols. The paper was held in place by unidirectional bonding strips and bound by brightly colored bands. Other items were wrapped in clear cellophane, one wonders if it was a safety measure. It had been earlier concluded that the Christmas holiday was only a one day celebration, but the date on a small piece of paper was November 24, 2000. We now believe Christmas was held over a long period leading us to believe there were many more children than there are now.
The details of the excavated items and their uses as determined by our team of highly professional and intelligent anthropologists are:
©2012, 2001 RoseMary Honnold.