The day Thanksgiving was over, Christmas began…and I know you’ve all been on the same spinning whirlwind as me. Writing has come to a complete stop because I tend to fall asleep in my chair by eight! The children at school were WILD and there were times I wondered if we’d make it through, but we did and even in the chaos of the past few weeks, Christmas found me.
It found me in the smiles of kids – in the way they can make me laugh even when I’m stressed. We tested several days this week; a mid-year check up to see how far we’ve come and how far we have left to go (guess what…we’ve got a long way to go). I stopped the children to stretch between a test, fingers up to the sky, lots of deep breaths, fingers to the ground. When I looked around, one little girl had her foot up on her leg in a (yoga) tree pose. I asked her if she did yoga at home and she said not all the time but that her favorite pose is downward facing dog. “Mine too,” I told her, and we shared a smile that warmed my heart and stripped away the stress I’d been feeling.
Christmas found me in a story I heard about a Kindergarten fellow who put a fuzzy pom-pom up his nose and couldn’t get it out. The teacher couldn’t get it out. The school nurse couldn’t get it out. Last I heard, he was making a trip to the doctor. I couldn’t help but laugh…even though I’m sure it wasn’t funny to any of the grown-ups involved. Me being an outsider, it sounded like a story from a book or sitcom and it was a hoot.
Christmas found me in the responses of my students when I asked them what Christmas is to them. Christmas is…
fun, it’s my favorite holiday
a holiday; it’s beautiful and it snows
time for people to think about other people and not be naughty and not cry or shout or be mean
But mostly, Christmas found me yesterday on my way to school. I looked over just as I began to pull into the parking lot, and there, greeting each car rider, was Santa Claus. Our custodian was dressed in full regalia, saying “Ho, ho, ho” and “Merry Christmas” to each car and child. I slipped down to the car line to take a picture and another worker told me that some of the parents that never smile, smiled today. Later in the day, our Santa visited the children in the building and handed out a treat bag to each and every one and to each teacher. We have 500 children in our building. To say that the children were excited is an understatement.
Christmas is so much more than shopping at the mall, and long lines, and traffic. Thank goodness. Christmas is those moments with your family, baking and watching Christmas movies (because what Christmas would be complete without watching Christmas Vacation?). It’s about giving love, sharing yourself, doing for others. I love that when work has me wound too tight, the important things in life can still find me. I love that even though I get bogged down with too much, smiles and hugs and laughter are always just there if only I’ll look for them and accept them. I love that I’m surrounded by people who go over and beyond to give to others and spread love and smiles around.
Our Christmas party yesterday was chaotic, wild, fun and loud. On a normal day, it would have driven me a little crazy, but yesterday on the way to work, I decided to just go with it. And I did, and we had a blast. The children were so happy and so very thankful. Their giddiness is infectious.
Christmas found me, and my prayer for you, is that it finds you too.