When I was working I had the added tension of organizing a Christmas party for my students. Santa always visited our Family Literacy celebration and brought gifts. This meant finding a Santa costume and finding a Santa who looked like the children in our class. Even after I changed to teaching regular Adult Education classes, I celebrated Christmas with a brunch for the students.
There was joy in all of this. in the midst of the stress. One of my favorite memories is having the students find the Christmas story in Bibles and read it together. Yes, it was a public school setting but I always felt this was totally appropriate. One year, Ephraim, a 70 year old from Nigeria, was the only one who knew where the story was found. He read Luke 2 slowly in his beautiful British-African accent and it was as if I was hearing it for the first time.
Last year, I was able to visit our children and grandchildren just before Christmas. On a very cold night, we walked across campus to Princeton University Chapel and heard Katie and James sing with their Princeton High School Choirs. I delighted in hearing Katie and other PHS carolers sing on Nassau Street and just wanted to sing along. I am going to hear them again this year with the bonus of Michael's middle school choir concert and Sam's grandparents' tea. Retirement gives me these opportunities.
|Three hats for three grandchildren|
This morning I put out a request for ideas on Facebook. Maybe I'll get some good suggestions!