Thursday, December 09, 2010

Season of "Gimme"

Christmas is coming, and the beats and squeals of John Denver and the Muppets are sounding in my classroom.

This week we are focusing on the “Gift of the Magi” story. Once of my favorite stories, right up there with “The Christmas Carol” and “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. I’m wondering whether it was too much to bite off for the kids in my class, but we are forcing our way through it. The big language is difficult for them, but the ideas and concepts in the story are so applicable. “My” kids need to hear a different version of the ideas of Christmas (and really, don’t we all?), not just the commercialized version that we see and hear. I’m always saddened by the idea of “gimme” instead of “giving”.

I’ve eagerly anticipated the Christmas season. I’ve been trying to discuss Christmas/Holiday traditions with the children in my classroom. When I listed off the important days in my family’s December/January calendar, their eyes became huge!
*Monday was the first day of celebration for me, with St. Nicholas day. Eric, Heidi, Tim and Gustav came over for an evening of Roast Beast, and shoe gifts. ☺ Some were too big for shoes, but there was much excitement on all of our parts as we discovered what had been left for us.
*Next comes St. Lucia day on this coming Monday. No gifts are exchanged, but it is a special day with lots of childhood memories involved. I’m just glad I no longer have to get up early and carry lighted candles on my head while singing to family members and bringing them treats. I was always jealous that they were able to wake up and have breakfast in bed.
*December 25, Christmas Day. Eric and I will celebrate for several days between the two families. We will also make a trip up to the farm over New Years, to enjoy some more Christmas celebration.
*January 6 is Three Kings Day. I’ve never celebrated this day before, but Eric is bringing this tradition with him. We always talked about the Three Kings coming in our house, but it was more attached to the time period we actually took our Christmas tree down, rather than anything else. I’m excited to add another day of celebration and another new family tradition.

Things to be thankful for:
*The trip to Chicago went well. Eric and I had a great time, and certainly not enough time. We went to the Aquarium, and a Bears game. We also ate at a few restaurants, and showed me some of the area. We’ll have to go back sometime, because there is still so much I want to see!
*I also went to Denver for a long weekend. The school has asked that I be on the Social Studies Curriculum committee as the Special Education representative. They also tapped me and asked that I go to the National Social Studies Conference in Denver. I had a wonderful time, meeting and getting to know more people from the district I now work for, as well as taking in the various parts of the conference. Usually teachers are reluctant to go to in-services and conferences because we are never sure what we will have to sit through. This was a completely different experience for me. Every session I went to was fantastic, and I was able to come back with plenty of ideas to implement in my own classroom. I also came back laden with all sorts of freebies from textbook companies and tour agencies. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to travel as part of my job!?! Someday…
*Thanksgiving weekend brought family from near and far, as well Eric’s safe arrival in Kansas. For good. ☺ There was, and is, much to be thankful for! I had a great time with the Buller family members, and I always enjoy my time catching up with the cousins. I have been blessed by a wonderful, supportive family (both Johnson and Buller sides). I also was able to spend time with Eric’s side of the family, and the Wallaces did a great job of making me feel welcome.
*Work continues to be a place that I find joy. I love the people I’m working with. I love the people I’m working for. I love the subject matter I am teaching. I love the kids that I’m working with…. Life is good. Eric also seems to be enjoying his new job (started Dec. 6), and I’m impressed with all the people he’s already met. I’m hopeful that he will find as much joy at his new job as I have with mine.
*I’ve been busily making cookies to celebrate the Christmas season. Last night I made gluten free Spritz cookies, and I have to say it was a huge success! There have been several recipes that have proven difficult to convert, and I’m happy to say that these are no longer on that list! Also on the table at home are peanut butter kisses, chocolate oatmeal nobake cookies, and white chocolate peppermint brittle. I think I may have to make another round of Spritz, fudge and possibly try some cutout sugar cookies to decorate. Oh, and I’ll need a few volunteers to eat it all!

Christmas blessings to all of you! Take time to count the things you have to be thankful for!


ambuller said...

So good to hear from you again. You have lots to share & we love to hear about all your happy times. We also help carry you through the not-so-happy times; maybe not with our physical presence, but with our thoughts and prayers. A&M

Cranefarm said...

Feel free to bring some along to the farm although your grandmother has made an attempt at GF Spritz-she wasn't very happy with them. Baking is low on my priority list this holiday-I'm still Christmas shopping.