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.
A nice heart warming post all the way around Jen...perfect for this time of year and it what Christmas is all about to me.ReplyDelete
My heart felt slightly warmed yesterday, MM. I love little surprises and kindnesses at Christmas time. Both in the giving and the receiving.Delete
awwwwww, lil P and his paper airplanes! hope you have plenty of wine and special nibbles in house. and hope you and gregg and marco and george have a quiet, drama-llama-free holiday!ReplyDelete
Thank you! We will have a nice quiet holiday, I'm sure. Little P. actually made a paper airplane that could fly yesterday! I'm sure he's driving his mother crazy with paper airplanes by now. LOL.Delete
Your last week at school sounded very nice. I remember when you had another job and couldn't wait to leave and here you are 4 years later and here you are so much more happy.ReplyDelete
This year with covid staying home and just enjoying the season without drama, pressure and hectic free few days seems nice.
I worked in retail management for 15+ years and I never, ever had a relaxing holiday season. It was always hectic and exhausting and October through the end of January was the very worst time of year at work. I remind myself to be grateful for my job every single morning before I go in to work.Delete
What a wonderful and fun week at school. I love your pictures and I know you did make Little P's day. Enjoy your time off! Merry Christmas to you, Gregg, Marco and George!ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas to you and your family Bonnie! Thank you!Delete
I'm not certain what position you hold at your school, but if you are anything like our office administrator, you deserve every gift you got! Office admins at school do so much (or at least they do here), and people don't even realize the half of it! I'm sure that little guy will look back many years from now and remember his special relationship he had with you! -JennReplyDelete
My official title is Computer Operator but I'm a receptionist that also does some attendance records, discipline reports, and other assorted office tasks. I really enjoy my friendship with P. It's a lucky break that because his mother and I work together and he comes there on the bus every afternoon to wait in her office. Because of this Covid shit I haven't had any contact with my dear friend Marla's little girl in almost a year, and I miss her.Delete
Holidays without pressure are simply awesome! I glad the paper airplane kits was a hit! And the first thing that flashed through my head when I saw your Santa / elf was that he was in shorts. It was 15 (F) up here this morning. Have a happy, happy Christmas!ReplyDelete
Little P will always remember his friendship with you. It will be a joy to him for the rest of his life.ReplyDelete
You have the perfect job for you, Jennifer. You touch people and your kindness is appreciated. You have found your calling.ReplyDelete
I loved Christmas time when I was a teacher years ago.
I do hope little P Buddy can learn to make planes that fly!ReplyDelete
I quiet holiday sounds like the perfect holiday to me.ReplyDelete
You are obviously so very loved. I started reading your blog when you were still at your job at the bookstore and so miserable but trying your hardest to make it work. And here you are now- at a job where people respect and care for you, in a house that you and your dear husband own, and I am just so happy for you. You deserve it all, Jennifer. I don't really know you in the real life sense of the word but I know for sure that if I did, I would adore you too.ReplyDelete
A quieter Christmas probably means less stress, fewer arguments, and the right to do what you really want to do. I don't think that's too bad.ReplyDelete
You are right, it is hard to believe that this is already your fourth holiday season at the school - and what a difference to your former job!ReplyDelete
The friendship with Little P and his mom is truly precious.
I have 3 more days to work next week and then, like you, I‘ll be off until the 4th of January. Christmas is always a quiet time for me, apart from the travelling back and forth between my place and OK‘s. There will be one less trip this year, as we won‘t be doing anything for New Year‘s Eve.
A whole lot of Christmas cheer here. What a joy-filled post.ReplyDelete
I remember those breaks were always so welcome and went by so quickly! So relax and enjoy every moment!ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy, healthy, fun New Year!
all of this is good. It gave me a smile.
Happy Christmas to you !
Jennifer, I loved reading this!ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas, happy Yule to you and your clan!
I can't believe you've been there four years! Golly, time flies. Glad your holidays at school were so fun, and yeah, I'm enjoying the low-stress Christmas too. :)ReplyDelete
A great way to end the school term. People can be so kind. Your school principal sounds like a good guy who genuinely values his staff. That matters more than strategy or budget planning.ReplyDelete
What a great way to end school before the holidays. Your principal knows how to treat staff. And Little P gives as good as he gets. Lovely that you found each other in friendship and that his mother is so supportive.ReplyDelete