There are many Celebrations of Light in December and Christmas is a big part. Lights were strung and ornaments hung throughout the classroom. New seasonal materials are placed upon the shelves, including counters and special Practical Life activities. There are also many opportunities for creative expression. Every day the children are welcome to decorate the tree, as well as lace cards, glue, and collage ornaments. Pine cones collected from the playground were decorated with a delicate sprinkle of glitter that yielded an end result that would seriously rival any design shop. Every child made a pine cone for the school tree, and some made a second to bring home. Every year sheets of beeswax are warmed and rolled into candles, and this year little snow globes were created in baby food jars. All hands washed up and little bakers got to work on making gingerbread. Ingredients were measured, mixed, rolled, cut and decorated. The baking gingerbread smelled amazing. Your children have been so busy this month. Progress reports will be going out in January.
The Celebration of Light observances are a simple and age appropriate way to show children that we all have things in common, no matter where we come from, no matter what we look like, no matter how we dress. We all gather together to send out hopes, prayers and happy wishes. We display lights or candles, join together with friends and family, give gifts and share meals. We spend time with those we love and care about, and we think about loved ones who cannot be with us. We remember how fortunate we are and to be grateful. We think of those who have less and remember to be kind, compassionate and generous. We hope these very practical lessons about kindness and acceptance have been an experience that the children will remember and expand upon. We finish our Celebrations of Light in February with Chinese New Year.
Our last day of the year is usually spent at the hall with a children’s concert, pizza and potluck. Parents, siblings, grands, aunts, uncles and friends. As we can’t gather this year, we have Zoom. Early December Miss Lori and Miss Stacy introduced a few of the classic holiday songs. Our classroom was filled with the joyful sound of children singing. The Zoom concerts were held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and Wednesday afternoon. Thank goodness for Zoom, which allows us a bit of normal in a not so normal world.
If we didn’t have the opportunity to say it in person, thank you for all the very lovely and thoughtful gifts, the adorable handmade cards, the lovely family photos, and the homemade wonders. We are grateful for your understanding of the challenges that we have had to face this year in order to keep the classroom running smoothly and our doors open. Your trust in us is appreciated. Health workers, store clerks, entertainers, chefs, phone operators, cleaners, stay at home parents, bankers, grandparents, teachers, delivery persons … every person has a key role in keeping that wheel of a normal life turning. We thank each and every one of you.
2020 has given us a lot to reflect upon. It has been a very difficult year that has touched us all. Our loss, grief and frustration is collective. There is a public collective and there is a private collective. This year they overlap. Many have lost jobs, businesses and relationships. Covid-19 has given us an unfamiliar and frightening world. As the holiday season approaches, we trust that everyone will follow the rules to flatten the curve. These rules are important and can be life-saving. We wish a speedy recovery to those who have fallen ill, and deepest condolences to all whom have lost loved ones. Our condolences to Miss Lori who lost her mother to the virus on December 6th (we would all hug you if we could). This holiday season, stay home, stay safe and stay healthy. We will be together next year.
We wish everyone strength and resilience, good health and cheer, and the best for the holiday season. As 2020 fades away, we look to 2021 with great anticipation. Have yourself a merry little Christmas now.