This year I decided to decorate my classroom door in the spirit of the Holidays. This year I have only one child who does not celebrate Christmas so the children’s vote was overwhelmingly in favour of Santa coming down the chimney. I thought to add Christmas stockings on the mantle and some garlands. My SNA (Special Needs Assistant) added a few Christmas presents and a tree.
We love our door and have had many compliments from children who pass by. I encouraged other teachers to join in and now our hallways look very festive.
If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a smile and a sigh of relief. My voice was on a hiatus for a few days and decided to get back to work on Wednesday. What a relief! I was off sick at home for three days (it was not only my voice that needed a rest!) and my mind kept drifting to my class and the activities I had planned to do with them.
As you know, being sick is not fun. But, as my husband says, rather be sick now and not during the school break. I would not want to be sick either during Christmas as I enjoy the time with my family too much to want it spoiled by illness.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my SNA (Special Needs Assistant) was so happy when I entered the school on Thursday morning. And I was so happy to see how she had held everything together by following the routines I had established in the classroom. The children were also happy to see me back – especially when I brought out the projector and put on a video for them to watch. 🙂
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have not yet gone back to zumba. I am not 100% healthy yet and don’t want to go back too soon and experience a relapse. I do miss it though, and I keep hearing the songs we dance to in my head. I am hoping that by Monday I can get back to my exercise routine.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have begun my Christmas shopping. I don’t have too many gifts to buy as my children are older now and what they want/need is so much more expensive. I am starting to stock up, though, on the treats my family and I eat over the Holiday (shortbread biscuits, pastries, and some Liquorice Allsorts from the UK that I saw in the store this morning). These things I need to stash away from my family so that they do not devour them before Christmas. This afternoon I plan on going to the bookstore to browse through the books and decide which books I can buy for my family this year. Tomorrow I will go to some clothing stores to see if I can find a few items of clothing for them. I don’t buy too much of this either as I prefer to have them with me when I shop.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you to enjoy the rest of your weekend, and to have a productive week.
When 23 December came around, I was exhausted and had been counting the days, then hours, until the Winter break. The final preparations for Christmas were a bit rushed but it all came together nicely. Christmas day dawned and all was quiet in our home. Now that my daughters are teens, the day begins a little later than in the past. I enjoyed the moments of quiet before everyone was awake. I prepared a little brunch and then woke up my family. I enjoyed the sense of togetherness as we all sat around the table, chatting and laughing.
The sense of family continued for the rest of the day and spilled into the next two. Christmas day we exchanged gifts, participated in conversation, shared meals, and watched a movie.
The day after Christmas is traditionally a shopping day – and that we did together. The day after my family continues spending time together to celebrate my birthday. As always, we shared a meal together and then we went to see a movie – Rogue One, the latest Star Wars episode. This was my choice as I am a Star Wars fan – and have been since I saw The Return of the Jedi in the cinema with my great aunt.
The greatest gift to me during this period is the family time we have. I treasure it as I know it will not always be thus. My children will one day have their partners and the family dynamic will change.
After the New year, I visited the library – a must during any break I have. I came home with seven books and plenty to read during some downtime.
The first week of 2017, I spent my mornings sitting on the sofa enjoying the words that had been penned by some of my favourite authors.
During the past two weeks I have been grateful for the Winter break. I had family time, read a lot, and relaxed plenty. I am now ready to tackle the next school term.
Good morning, and welcome. If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the Winter school break has now ended and Monday we will all be back at school. And it will be cold! The weather during the first week of our break was unseasonably warm but Old Man Winter has decided that we should not forget that we are meant to experience cold weather at this time of the year!
If we were having coffee, we would chat about about what we have done during the break. I would tell you that I loved the week of Christmas. This is a time that my family are together and we have some serious downtime. We eat together, laugh together, read together, watch movies together. On Boxing Day, we always go out somewhere to do a little shopping. I avoid the malls as I am not a fan of big crowds. This year we shopped along the main street near our home – and the fellow shoppers were bearable. Bearable in that there were more shoppers than usual, but not too many that it made browsing unpleasant.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that my birthday is soon after Christmas – the 27th December. It has become a family tradition that we go and eat a buffet lunch to celebrate my birthday.
I enjoyed our lunch and the time we spent eating together. Now that my children are older, we can have some interesting conversations.
After lunch, we set off for the cinema. As I am a Star Wars fan, we saw a film of my choice: Rogue One.
I do admit to being a little disappointed – I expected the story to continue from where the last film left off. (I had deliberately read nothing about the film prior to watching). I found that the film was shot too much in the dark; and that many of the battle scenes were reminiscent of the original Star Wars films.
If were were having coffee, I would tell you that I have relaxed a lot during this past week. After a visit to the library, I have immersed myself in words and enjoyed the stories of many authors. This is something that am able to do only when I am on break. The break is now over and I am spending the weekend putting away the Christmas tree, shopping for the week, and getting ready to go back to school on Monday.
When I woke up this morning, my home was quiet. My family was still sleeping and I could hear no sounds from outside. I was still wearing the smile that I went to sleep with. Our Christmas Eve dinner was out typical family dinner – but with no time limits. After dinner we sat and chatted … and chatted … and chatted. We spoke until Christmas Eve became Christmas Day. As I wait for my family members to wake up, I feel that I have already received my gift. Quality time with my family.
I wish you all a Merry and Blessed Christmas. Enjoy the time you will spend with your loved ones – I know I will.
If we were having coffee, I would greet you with a big smile. Yes it has begun. The break to which we have been looking forward for an entire week. At school we were counting the days; at home we were counting the nights. What a relief that the Winter break has begun. Finally I am able to relax a little and recharge my energy.
Not completely though. I cannot believe that it is Christmas tomorrow. My gifts are all wrapped (last night’s task) and ready to place under the tree. After our chat, I shall head out to do some grocery shopping to buy bread, milk, fruit and vegetables. As I head out early, I will avoid the crowds and the bustle of the last-minute shoppers.
The last week at school before the break was a lot calmer than I expected. This year I got an Elf on the Shelf – and the children loved it. I named him Jean-Noel and gave him the nickname Jean-Jean. The kids loved him and looked for him every morning as they entered the class.
I placed a basket in the front of the class and they put notes in it for him. The questions they asked were answered in a daily letter I typed up for them to read. They loved that Jean-Jean knew what was going on – and that he made personal references. This is a tradition that I will repeat next year as I found that it calms them a little of their pre-Christmas excitement – and it gives them a reason to write.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that our last day of 2016 was a pyjama day. We spent the day doing circle time, attending the Holiday sing-along in the gym organised by the music teacher, and watching a movie in the gym (with popcorn included). It was a low-key day which everyone enjoyed.
If we were having coffee, I would wish you a wonderful Holiday. Enjoy your Christmas time with your family. And if you celebrate Hanukkah, I wish you the same as you begin your celebration tonight.
This time of year I enjoy listening to traditional Christmas Carols. I put on a CD I bought years ago for my children and sing along with my favourites. I enjoy Joy to the World, a carol I used to sing when I was a part of the high school choir.
Hark, the Herald Angels Sing is my favourite – I love singing the chorus with gusto:
Angels we have heard on High would have to be added to my list of favourites
The first Christmas carols I learned were Away in a Manger
And of course Silent Night
While I wrap gifts, tidy up the place for the 25th, and prepare our meals I will be listening to these hymns that were written to celebrate the birth of Christ.
This Christmas not only have our principals organised a beautiful Christmas tree for our school, they have also encouraged some grade 5 girls to decorate the office door. I love it! The theme on the door is, of course, penguins. I wonder where they found the penguin wrapping paper?
The festive sight gives plenty of joy to visitors, teachers, and the children in the school. It certainly makes one look forward to the festive season.
This year our principal has once again ordered a freshly cut tree to put in the school office. As the scent of pine perfumes the space, children come in to hang the penguin ornaments they have made (the penguin is our school mascot). Our school community loves our ‘sapingouin’ (sapin + pingouin) and the office is filled with visitors admiring the tree.
This week I am grateful for the Christmas tree that abides in the school office. The sight of it lifts my spirits, and the smell is refreshingly pleasant.
This is the time of the year when all around us we hear songs with a Christmas theme and we all have our favourites. One album that I hear every year is my son’s choice as it is his favourite – the Christmas album by Mariah Carey:
I always enjoying listening to a little of Michael Buble:
Which leads into Frank Sinatra’s contribution:
Whichever playlist you listen to, the time of Christmas is one of reflection and family. As a family, we enjoy listening to these songs as we eat our Christmas Eve dinner, chat after supper, and settle down for some family time.
What are your favourite Christmas songs to listen to?