Good morning, Prep School family,
Welcome to December! The most wonderful time of the year!
For a moment, I’d like you to imagine your Christmas – both the lead up to the 25th December and the day itself. What do you do, who do you see? Is it full of love and laughter and family and friends? Do you eat lots of treats and stay up late watching Christmas films and anticipating the arrival of Father Christmas?
My typical Christmas is all of the above and more! December is usually crammed full of school events from nativities to carol services to carol singing during the day and then meeting friends, going for dinners and getting together for general merriment in the evenings. When the school holidays come, it is usually filled with a hairdresser’s appointment, lunches, Christmas shopping, lazy mornings wrapping presents and more visits to and from friends and family. I am busy cooking and preparing food for Christmas day and baking goodies for us all to enjoy throughout December (I do make a mean seasonal pecan, white chocolate and cranberry cookie amongst other things). I spend a lot of time with my family getting excited about tree decorating, card delivering and watching all the Christmas films I can squeeze in! I am usually wearing a Christmas jumper and singing many Christmas classics along with Michael Buble!
Christmas Eve is a very special day, Mr Bennett goes to do his last minute shopping and I see my family in the morning –we have breakfast and we may go for a walk and then we head to our local church for the annual Christingle service. In the evening, all of Mr Bennett’s family come round and we have a delicious meal and lots of fun. Mr Bennett and I always end up watching a film whilst we are clearing away and putting out a mince pie and carrots out for Father Christmas and his reindeer.
Christmas Day is magical – we always go to my dad’s house along with my brother, sister in law and niece and nephew. We also have Mr Bennett’s mum too. I cook the goose, we sit in front of the fire, we open presents, we eat far too much and we laugh non-stop from morning until we collapse into bed at night. Arthur and Amelie are usually so excited that they cannot sleep and when they do, they fall asleep on one of us adults. I know I am so lucky to have such an amazing time each year and I feel very blessed that I have my family nearby and that I can spend time with them but also that I love spending time with them! For this I am eternally grateful.
However, at this time of year, we must remember that not everyone is as lucky as we are. Some people spend the festive season alone. Some people don’t have a family or a family who are nearby and some people don’t speak to anyone for days on end over Christmas. Some people don’t have houses to celebrate in and for some, buying a tree and presents isn’t something they can afford. Some people go hungry on Christmas day and some are cold as they cannot afford the heating in their house. Some people are in care homes and hospitals with no one to visit them. Can you imagine how sad this would make you and how lonely and frightened you would feel.
However, we can do something to make Christmas happier for these people. You have already donated clothes and food to our school charities and on The Magic of Christmas Day, all monies raised will also go to people who really need some support over the next few weeks. However, there are other things that we can do as well – really simple things like checking that our neighbours are safe and well, calling an elderly relative and having a chat with them – we might have been chatting to people all day but this might be their only contact with someone in days. Smiling at people in the street – we don’t know what battles they are facing in their lives. Just saying “Hello.”
Last year we developed a friendship with Roxton Nursing Home on the Birmingham Road – if you remember in school children, we made Christmas cards for their residents as many of them don’t have any family to see or to visit them. This year, we would like to do the same. So I am setting you a little task. Please can you make a beautiful card for a resident and write a message to them inside the card (best handwriting and spelling please)? I am waiting for their names and as soon as I have them I will share with you – please let Mrs Soen (email@example.com) know if you would like a person to write too and we will make a list. It doesn’t matter if you make more than one card, in fact the more the better – for some of these residents, these maybe their only cards this Christmas. The staff last year were so touched by how the residents reacted to our cards that they were overwhelmed with emotion. Isn’t it amazing how a small act of kindness from us can make such a huge difference to someone’s Christmas.
To finish this week, I wanted to share with you my most favourite Christmas advert of all time – it really illustrates what I am trying to say in this Bulletin and how we can have such a positive effect on people’s lives through our thoughts and our actions.
Days of the year themes for the coming week: There are some great ones this week!!
Tuesday 1st December – Eat a Red Apple Day and Giving Day.
Wednesday 2nd December – Fritters Day
Thursday 3rd December – Make a Gift Day, Disability Day and Roof Over Your Head Day.
Friday 4th December– Bartender Appreciation Day, Cookie Day, International Cheetah Day, Faux Fur Friday, Dice Day and Wear Brown Shoes Day.
Saturday 5th December – International Ninja Day, World Soil Day and Sachertorte Day.
Sunday 6th December – Mitten Tree Day, St Nicholas Day, Put On Your Own Shoes Day and Miners’ Day.
Monday 7th December – Walt Disney Day, Candy Floss Day, Pearl Harbour Remembrance Day and International Civil Aviation Day.
December is also Pear Month, Human Rights Month and Tie Month!
Quote of the week: “Seeing is believing but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we cannot see.” – The Polar Express
Do Good December calendar task (this month’s activities are based on doing good things for others):
Tuesday 1st December:
Let someone know you appreciate them and why
Wednesday 2nd December:
Contact someone you cannot be with to see how they are
Thursday 3rd December:
Offer help to someone who is facing difficulties at the moment
Friday 4th December:
Give kind comments to as many people as possible today
Saturday 5th December:
Make a gift for someone who is feeling lonely
Sunday 6th December:
Support a charity, cause or campaign that you really care about
Monday 7th December:
Leave a positive message for someone else to find
Sleeps til Santa: 24
Five things I am looking forward to today (thanks to Mrs Hinch for the inspiration): Can you try this each day? Remember, it focuses your mind on the positive and reminds us to show gratitude for things, no matter how small!
Today I am looking forward to: finishing my Christmas card writing, reading my book, Mr Bennett cooking dinner tonight, lunch duty and Christmas songs on the radio on my drive to school.
Have a wonderfully festive week,
Keep washing those hands,
PS Don’t forget to let Mrs Soen know if you would like a name of a resident to make a Christmas card. This applies to HPW and HPP.