Thursday, December 9, 2010

Holiday Humblings.

I have the honor of working with the migrant students (52 last count) at Rancho Viejo this year. I do a pull out program three times a week with 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.

As I explain to my students, "Migrant means your mom or dad might move with the lettuce." (just in case you didn't know)

We work on reading, writing, and English skills. Today, my lesson was based on the word "tradition." We discussed different traditions families all over the world have. I left off Christmas. We spoke of Easter, birthdays, 4th of July, etc.

When I felt ready, I pulled out the book "The Night Before Christmas" and shared with my small group two specific traditions in my home during the holidays. I always give my kids new pajamas on Christmas Eve, and I always buy a new Christmas book and read it to them before they go to sleep (also on Christmas Eve).

I told my students I was going to share one of my books with them, and I began to read. I would take breaks here and there to go over vocabulary they might be unfamiliar with and allow the students time to share anything personal.

At one point in the story I paused and one of my 4th graders said, "Santa doesn't come to Arizona though."

I went on to learn that he has had visits from Santa in the past, but since he's been in Yuma Santa has not been by.

My heart dropped. I felt terrible guilt for sharing my traditions and excitement about the holiday season while this boy and so many others (especially at Rancho) will go without.

It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I appreciate Rancho for keeping me in check. I love my job. I love the staff I work with. Each one gives more than the average. We have an amazing group of kids on campus, and I walk away feeling good about what I've done each day. What a blessing!

Today was a reality check and a reminder to not only remember the true spirit of Christmas but to pass it on to children.

I would love any experiences you have had giving charity/service during the holidays. I have big plans for our family this year.


Wendy said...

Tears...thank goodness we can re-group ourselves and realize the "true meaning" of Christmas and emphasize it in our homes~Let us know what your plans are, maybe some of us can join you! :)

megan said...

Christmas Eve we went and "caroled"/visited with some people in the nursing home. I'm determined to find a soup kitchen this year.

Sarah Blue said...

When we lived in Kansas, we lived in a poor, poor neighborhood that Santa didn't visit on Christmas Eve. Instead he came to the kids' school and handed out toys there. All the kids gathered in the school gym and a very kind man dressed as Santa handed each child a bag with their name on. Inside the bags were a t-shirt with the school logo, a couple of toys, and lots of candy! Some years there were also mittens or scarfs or hats. The PTA, which consisted of only teachers since the parents weren't too involved (except for me who was involved and helped) put together these bags. Oh yeah! Each bag had a key chain with the kids picture in it. We got those from the school photo people.

Anyhoo, I have a Santa costume is you think Santa might want to visit your class...

As for our traditions, we read a different scripture and different Christmas story starting December 1. It's great fun.

Kelly said...

It is easy to forget just how blessed we really are. Struggling for us means eating at home instead of going to a restaurant & trading our new car for a used one. Thank you for this story & the reminder.