I think this is probably the craziest, manic week of the year, double the Christmas school events for me and the children, parties and viewing classes for after school clubs and just the general busyness of daily life, school, work and home making. It was fun but I am relieved that its holidays now and we can have a few lazy, quiet (ish) days before the true festivities begin.
On Saturday we did a un Christmassy activity by going to the Dinosaur museum as part of our day out. Following the Good Dinosaur, dinosaurs are pick of the pops in our household again, with Little Man particularly keen to learn more. This meant that I was reading aloud lots of information plaques at the museum. Its a brilliant interactive museum and well worth a visit.
This year I felt that our Christmas books were a little young for the children, we have had great fun over the past 5 years reading our much loved favourites but it was time for some new age appropriate ( check out the teacher speak there! ) books. I have ordered a couple but the only one to arrive so far has been Michael Morpurgo’s Christmas Stories so we have been reading this every evening. What could be more special than reading a story under the twinkling Christmas lights?
On Wednesday afternoon, I watched the children at the local theatre performing their Christmas school play. It’s a great idea to have it at the theatre, nice tiered seating helps everyone to see well and there’s no queuing as we all have allocated seats. It’s a great experience for the children too with the excitement of a stage, professional lighting and sound and it’s always a sell-out, appreciative audience. As Mr S is away my parents came this year and they were really excited and proud to be there. The play was amazing in all aspects, beautiful scenery, costumes and the children were brilliant. Little Miss is confident and had a humorous role, she can play this so well and really did light up the stage when she came on in different scenes. Little Man looked comfortable and confident for the first time in a school performance, he sang so well and knew all the actions for the songs. He was at the end of a row so that he could nip into the wings if it was a little bit too much. Whilst lots of people have congratulated me about Little Miss I really am equally proud of both of the children’s performances. I know Little Man and his TA worked really hard to get him on stage relaxed and happy and it’s that sort of thing that makes me teary at school plays, I don’t really do cutsie.
As well as my children’s school performance I also watched our school’s Christmas production. It gives me goose bumps to see all our special needs children perform. Our secret is to record a video in class of their song and play it on our big screen in the performance which means everyone participates.
I also watched Little Miss in her gymnastics viewing class. From her dancing and gymnastics she has so much grace, poise and suppleness. She got her first badge, it seems gymnastic badges starts at 8 now, I remember passing my badges 4 to 1. Little Miss was quite unbelieving that I got to Badge 1.
Given my busy schedule the only other things I have watched have been Strictly at the weekend and the interview episode of the Apprentice which is always amusing as the candidates squirm at the questioning and the posturing gets blown away.
My Christmas playlists have been played repeatedly with the added extra of MTV Xmas too to provide a few videos. The children are now singing all the Christmas pop classics. It’s fabulous.
I’ve made very little food wise this week, just a few soups and simple, quick meals. Fortunately one of my work day’s coincided with my school’s Christmas dinner and it was fantastic. Our kitchen cooks everything from scratch and the quality rivals the best kitchens. There have also been some amazing flakey mince pies, often straight out of the oven in the staff room throughout the week, they certainly help to create a Christmassy atmosphere.
I suppose the best make I can come up with this week is making space in the play room. I have been quite ruthless in binning broken toys and recycling those grown out of toys. It took time as there was a lot of reminiscing with the realisation that the children are growing up quickly.
I am a teacher so it’s pretty much compulsory to wear Santa hats and Christmas jumpers all this week. Christmas can be very jolly for some but it can be difficult for others and at our school we really make this week special in all sorts of ways. If dressing up, singing and dancing helps to makes someone’s Christmas then I’m up for it.
After a very hectic last week, I try and make the first few days of holidays calm and simple. On one evening we’ll do the Christmas lights tour driving around with our Christmas music playing and there’s the Rudolph Ramble at the local country park too. Mr S is away until Wednesday evening and then Christmas can really begin for the Sparkles family.