All of a sudden it's less than a week until Christmas. The longest year in recent memory suddenly ramped up and started moving at warp speed as soon as December got here--or so it seems to me, anyway.
As of yesterday I'm out for winter break until January 4th. We had such a good time at school this week! Starting on Wednesday the principal would blast corny holiday music over the intercom every hour at the class change and then do a prize drawing. Almost two dozen staff members won small gifts like gift cards to local restaurants, sausage and cheese samplers, Christmas mug sets with fancy hot chocolate toppings, etc. Every morning classroom assistants would push carts around with juice, muffins, and fruit for anyone that wanted some. One of the gym teachers dressed up as a (sorry looking!) Santa/elf cross and walked the halls with the principal one afternoon handing out candy canes. We did a lot of laughing.
Several people in the office surprised me with little gifts. Homemade peanut butter balls from Lisa, the school nurse. A charm bracelet from the attendance clerk, a lady that until this year I swore didn't like me at all, certainly not enough to give me a present. A nice yeti cup with my name on it from the bookkeeper (the same person who gave me the tacky Christmas sweater). The annual ornament made by the adorable kids in one of the Special Needs classes and their sweet teacher. Two dozen freshly laid eggs from the bee and hen keeping science teacher. A wrapped gift card from the principal which he put on my desk in front of me yesterday morning and quietly said, "Mrs. Barlow, I sure do appreciate you." How very, very grateful I am for my job and my coworkers! This is my fourth holiday season there, which is hard to believe.
The best part about yesterday (besides the fact that it was the last day before the break) was I got to see my buddy Little P. and give him his Christmas present. He asked me if he could open it, and I sent him to go ask his mom. He nearly cried when she told him to wait until Christmas! Seeing how disappointed he was she changed her mind and let him have it. I really think he liked the paper airplane kit! He was so excited he insisted on tearing into the package and making a plane right then and there.
While he worked on it he sang a Christmas song (something about Santa) under his breath, completely absorbed in what he was doing. How freaking adorable is that?! He's such a joy, and I really appreciate his mom encouraging our friendship and letting me be a small part of his life. I'm not used to being around children much at Christmastime and I must admit, it really makes the holidays more special.
Now I get to stay home and have as simple and quiet of a Christmas as I want. I'm actually looking forward to doing so much less this year. This is the least pressure I've felt at the holidays since.....well, maybe ever. I like it. I hope you're all taking it easy this year, too, and finding small moments of happiness in spite of things like Covid and politics.
Enjoy your Saturday, friends.