No one likes working on holidays. It just sucks. I have never had to work on Christmas and thought that would forever stand true for me. Then I moved to China. In case you didn't know Christmas is not one of the 7 national holidays in China which means I would be working my first Christmas ever.
I had two goals in mind: 1. To work as little as possible while still being at work 2. Make sure these kids had a great Christmas!
I think I succeeded at both.
During my lessons that day I taught them how we celebrate Christmas by decorating trees, giving gifts, and eating yummy food. I told them the story of Santa and how a fat guy squeezes down a Chimney. They loved that. Of course they had no idea what I was saying but luckily Judy was there to translate everything.
They drank hot chocolate like it was pure gold and we decorated simple Christmas ornaments. Have I mentioned I love teaching these little kids? They are so cute and we adore each other.
All of the classes learned a Christmas song and performed it for their parents. My kids are the youngest and they got really nervous being in front of people. If you can't tell by the pictures that the other three classes looked put together and choreographed and then you get to mine where the kids are just standing there looking at each other. I was still proud of them and at least three of them were singing loud enough for the whole class.
The following three pictures are Andrew's students rocking out to "Jingle Bells". They were so cute shaking their little bells with smiles ear to ear.
Three pictures of Wayne's students singing, "The twelve days of Christmas". We all gave him grief for trying to teach them such a hard song but it turns out they did great. He only had them go up to 5 days and on the fifth day they sang, "My true love gave to me FIIIIIIIVE ANGRY BIRDS". Adorable.
Three pictures of Hannah's students who are the oldest and most advanced in their English. They learned "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer" but halfway through the performance they broke out into the GANGNUM STYLE dance. It was hilarious. Of course it has nothing to do with Christmas but this song is everywhere in China.
Three pictures of my little balls of sunshine who had no idea what was going on or why they had to have a pink bow on their shirt. They learned a basic version of "We wish you a merry Christmas". I promise, in the classroom they knew all the words and the dance but they had a classic case of stage fright. Poor kiddos.
Wayne dressed up as Santa Claus and made most of the kids really happy in the morning when they got to school..but my little Tim was not as impressed by the hairy, red suited man. The children were supposed to write down what they wanted for Christmas and bring it to Santa. During nap time the school secretaries went out to buy all the toys they asked for. Crazy. Just another sign that the school we work for makes a lot of money off of us foreigners.
I hope I was able to give these kids a memorable Christmas. I know I won't forget the first Christmas I had to work for the simple reason that I got to spend the day with their smiling faces.