With only two weeks to go, my thoughts this week turn, not surprisingly, to Christmas. You have probably read and heard your fill of Christmas messages and I don’t aspire to having anything original or startling to say about this time of year.
Over the years I have met people who love Christmas and all it stands for and look forward to it. Equally I have listened to folks who find it stressful, exhausting, daunting or just something to be got through.
I have always thought that working with children at this time of year gives you a take on Christmas that will be quite different from those who work in shops, offices, hospitals or social services. To be around children and experience the anticipation, excitement and wonder that they feel, helps me to see Christmas as they do. In school just now we are caught up in arrangements for parties, rehearsals for nativity plays and carol services, teaching and reflecting on the Christmas story, exploring customs, writing letters to Santa, decorating classrooms and counting down the days with advent calendars. We also have conversations with children about people who are not so lucky as themselves or who, for a variety of reasons, may not have a happy time this Christmas. It is heartening to see that many children are as excited about the gifts they will give as the ones they may receive.
So, although it is busy- and doubly so when there are two schools to consider, I count myself fortunate to share this season with children. When a P1 with a tired pale face says, “Only twelve sleeps to go” I try to smile rather than panic.
I hope you are able to enjoy this next two weeks too,