Valentine Wishes

Thursday was a day of excitement for my students. Not only was it the day before a long weekend, but it was also the day we had chosen to share Valentine cards. The children each had a turn to put their cards into their classmates’ bags (I had labelled brown paper pags which each child was to take home at the end of the day). Waiting until 3pm was difficult for them but they managed. At the assigned time, the group sat in a circle on the carpet and I handed out the bags. I enjoyed their reactions as they read the cards and snacked on a candy or two. The children did not forget about me and insisted that I have a bag of my own.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016
Valentine wishes. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

When I arrived home, I read the cards. Many of them made me smile as I learned that I am a ”cool teacher” and a ”cool friend” 🙂

Tomorrow, on Valentine’s day, I know I shall not receive cards from my husband and family. Instead I will receive hugs and kisses – which are just as precious as the cards given to me by my students.

Will you receive Valnetine’s cards?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post is linked to Jaqueline’s Valentine’s Blog Party. Head on over and join in the fun.)

Merry Christmas

Since I have been on my break, I have enjoyed the sight of our Christmas tree that graces a table in our living room.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Our Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

We have been having unseasonably warm weather and I am currently enjoying the sun streaming through our windows and the breeze coming through our open door. The sunlight glistens on the angel my daughters put on the top of the tree.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Our Christmas tree topper. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

A couple of days ago, I set out all the Christmas cards I received on our room divider. I enjoyed reading again some of the messages that the children had written for me.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Children’s wishes. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

To these wishes, the love and wishes of my family will be added. In the meantime, I sing along to some Christmas Carols.

I am ready for Christmas to begin and look forward to the time I will spend with my family.

I would like to wish alll my bloggers friends who celebrate Christmas, a joyous day filled with love and memory-making moments. 

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(The Christmas tree topper in nthis post is linked to Hugh’s Christmas tree topper Challenge)

 

Window Dressing

I enjoy looking at window dressings that follow a theme. A retirement home in my neighbourhood shows their Christmas spirit every year by decorating the entrance window. I enjoy the sight for a month every time I go to the supermarket.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Christmas Window Dressing. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The red and white makes a lovely contrast, I think, and certainly adds to the festive atmosphere of the street.

Do you enjoy seeing the red and white theme during the Christmas period?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post is linked to Silver Threading where Colleen is linking up withChristmas trees around the world).

A Penguin Tree

This year at the school where I work, the administration put up a Christmas tree. The tree was decorated by the children attending the school with ornaments of the school mascot: the penguin.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Penguin Tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The decorations brought in were home-made, factory-made, and kitchen-made (a few decorated cookies were brought in). Over time the tree filled up and was admired by all who passed the office.

Yesterday was the last day of school before the break and the tree was denuded. The oranments were given back to the children and the office lost its festive air. The children were not worried as they still felt festive – wearing pyjamas to school does encourage excitement. 🙂

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
Pyjama day with my class. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

In the morning we attended the school Sing-Along and sang holiday songs in French. The day was relaxed as the class wrote their weekly spelling test and then spent time catching up their work. At the end of the day, they were eager to go home and prepare for the festivities during the holidays.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A School Day in Pyjamas. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The next two weeks will be spent relaxing at home (often in pyjamas!) with our families.

What are your plans for the next 2 weeks?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post is linked to Silver Threading where Colleen is linking up withChristmas trees around the world).

A White Christmas Tree

When I went to the teachers’ workshop on Tuesday, I saw a beautiful Christmas tree in the foyer. The white and silver decorations reminded me of my godfather who decorated his home like this for many years. I admired the tree and could not resist taking a picture of it.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
White and Silver Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

We are having unseasonably warm weather at the moment and the Christmas spirit does not seem to be flourishing. At least beautifully decorated trees such as this one reminds us that Christmas is around the corner.

Do you enjoy seeing Christmas trees decorated in white and silver?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

(This post is linked to Silver Threading where Colleen is linking up with Christmas trees around the world). 

A Holiday Shop Window

I always enjoy the window decorations at our local cupcake shop. Currently they are featuring the Holidays along with their yummy bakes.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Holiday Shop Window. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

The window dressings entice a person to enter – and I have done so a few times. 🙂

Do you enjoy looking at window dressings?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

A Menorah and a Christmas Tree

On Friday when I entered the lobby of a building, I saw a sight I had not seen before: a menorah. This was the first time I had seen the symbol for the Festival of Lights in public even though there are many Jews in the city who celebrate Hannukkah.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Menorah. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

I like that in this space, the symbols for both the Jewish and the Christian December traditions are on display. I admired the Christmas tree as I walked past it, aware of the shining lights from the menorah:

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015
A Christmas tree. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

Seeing the menorah made me wonder why we do not see more on display during this time of year.

Have you seen a menorah on display in a public space?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

On Christmas Day

Our home was silent when I awoke on Christmas day. I followed our tradition and silently carried the gifts from their hiding places to put under the tree. A weak light filtered through the windows when I opened the curtains, bringing in a little light as I settled down on the sofa to drink a cup of tea, read, and wait for the children to wake up.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Our Christmas tree on Christmas morning. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

At Mass the previous evening I had thought about the meaning of Christmas and what the day represents. I acknowledge that the day is a celebration of the birth of Christ but Christmas has come to mean more than this for me. It has come to mean family and, at this moment in my life, my family is represented by my husband and children.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Ripped Christmas paper. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

The Christmas holiday is a time during which we cocoon ourselves from the world and spend quality time together. The day begins with the unwrapping of gifts chosen carefully for the recipient. Homemade gifts are treasured as they are made from the heart. Then it is time for brunch. One thing we love to do is eat and chat around the table. I thrive on the chatter, the laughs, and shared moments. I treasure this time as I know in the future the children will have their own small families to spend the day with.

And then … movie time. A few years ago, we began this tradition when we watched each and every episode of the animation series Avatar: the Last Airbender (my review can be read here). This year I organised the trilogy Santa Claus brought out by Disney. We had many afternoon laughs while we watched the first film.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
My Christmas Star. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Dinner had to be made and this I did after watching Tim Allen play Santa. Roast chicken is a favourite, as is fried rice. For a salad I made a simple green one with tomato. Unlike previous years, I tried not to make too much food. We still had many leftovers, however, to feed the family on the next day!

I enjoyed our day: the laughter, the camaraderie, and the relaxation. The playing of Christmas carols in the background while unwrapping gifts, cooking and eating was a happy reminder for me why we celebrate Christmas – and added to the contentment I felt on this day.

How did you spend your Christmas day?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This Christmas post was intended for the day after Christmas but, unfortunately, we were not connected to the internet for a few days.) 

Christmas Windows

On Sunday when we went to get a few things at Eaton Center, we took the opportunity to walk along the Christmas window displays that have been set up in the store front of The Hudson’s Bay. I enjoyed looking at the the elves preparing for Christmas and Santa’s midnight ride to deliver all the gifts to children all over the world. There were scenes of carollers and of people in their homes on Christmas Eve.

In the last window, we saw Santa sitting down for his Christmas meal after a hard night’s work taking the time to relax and celebrate until preparations begin for the next year.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
Santa’s work is done. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

As we walked up Queen street to catch the streetcar, we came across a wooden box holding a Nativity scene. Amid all the Santas that abound in the city and the glittering Christmas trees that are seen in every store, this scene was a welcome sight to behold.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
A Nativity Scene. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

To me, the Nativity scene symbolises the true reason why Christians celebrate Christmas. The birth of Christ was was the beginning of a series of events that led to the spiritual salvation of many. Christmas is a time to ponder on this and on the reasons why we remain Christians in a world that is focused on materialism.

Do you enjoy looking at the Christmas displays in store front windows?

walking-logo

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk. Head on over to her blog to see where else you can walk this week.)

Floats at the Santa Parade

I have shared with you the marching bands, the costumes and the looks of the clowns at the 2014 Toronto Santa Parade. Many people, however, go to the parade to see the floats and that is what I will share with you today. Some of them I loved; and others I remembered seeing the last time I stood in the streets to watch the floats. Many appealed to the younger audience while others attracted the attention of sports’ fans.

The penultimate float was Mrs Claus – and then came Santa’s. The last float of the parade received many excited cheers from the children.

As Santa’s float passed by, people begun to leave their spots to go home. The parade was a pleasure to watch this year and was a wonderful start to the Christmas season.

Do you enjoy looking at the floats at the Santa Parade?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

Previous posts on the 2014 Toronto Santa Parade

Reflections on the Santa Parade

Grateful for the Santa Parade

A Police Motorcade

Marching Bands at the Santa Parade

Costumes at the Santa Parade

Clowns at the Santa Parade