For the last two weeks I've tried to make my desk at work a haven of festive good cheer for the school. The holidays are almost here, after all! I'm in the front lobby, the first point of contact for parents and the public, as well as being situated right between the 6th and 7th grade halls. I've been using one of my computer monitors (I have two) to pull up a crackling fire and instrumental Christmas music on YouTube every day. There's a tiny decorated tree with colorful lights on the edge of my desk. Best of all (as far as the students are concerned) I've been filling a small red and green basket with Christmas candy each morning and being very generous with it. Ho ho ho!
Thank God tomorrow is our last day before the break, because the kids have been attracted to my candy bowl like moths to a flame and I'm about to go broke! :) It's amazing what they'll do for a piece of cheap candy; one little boy who was always in trouble came asking for some early on, and I made a deal with him. If he stayed out of ISS (in-school suspension) and I didn't get any discipline referrals on him, he could come get a piece of candy between classes. It worked! Little Clarence hasn't been in trouble for two weeks, which is a major accomplishment for him. One afternoon he hesitated at my desk, clearly wanting something, so I said, "What is it, Clarence?" Of course, I was thinking he was about to ask for candy again. Instead, he gave me a huge hug, said, "I needed that!", and ran off to catch his bus. You could have knocked me over with a feather! So sweet. Lots of other kids have figured out that if they stop by and ask politely, I'll give them candy. All of a sudden I'm about 10 times more popular than I used to be! Haha.
It's been a busy, busy week. Our book club Christmas party was last night, George had a vet appointment yesterday afternoon (I had to rush home from work to make it). Today I had to leave work for a couple of hours to go to an eye appointment. I feel like I've been rushing around nonstop every day.
Tomorrow night after work I have plans with my friend Martina. She had an extra ticket to an Ukrainian ballet performance of Cinderella touring the area, and she invited me to be her "date". We're going to get a late dinner somewhere afterwards, too. I'm really looking forward to it, having never been to a ballet. Then there's a lunch with other friends on Saturday, more holiday baking Saturday afternoon (I made fruitcakes last weekend, now it's going to be sugar cookies) and then on Sunday we have a dinner party invitation from a bachelor friend of Gregg's. I haven't met this friend yet, so I have no idea what to expect, but it sounds like fun!
Next week as we approach Christmas I hope to have more down time and solitude. I'm enjoying this week, but it's been a bit stressful too. At heart I'm an introvert (you'd never know it to meet me) and all this socializing is going to wear me out if I'm not careful. It's already a tiny bit past my comfort zone, but I'm soldiering on.
Hopefully I'll have more time for blog reading and blog commenting after tomorrow, too. I can't wait to catch up with all of you!