Christmas is one of the greatest times of the year and our students have been anxiously waiting for it after all the events of this crazy, hectic year!
Our annual Christmas party is the highlight of the season for us and the students. This year, to make add some extra fun, the students came dressed in their Christmas pajamas. Everyone looked so cute! Because Christ is the reason for the season, we started off the party with each student placing their ornament on the tree (which was beautifully decorated by Jane Fenton) and sharing what gift they were going to give to the Savior this year. Their gift is something they can do to improve their lives that helps them to become more Christlike and follow His commandments that He gave while here on this earth. These were the beautiful gifts they are striving to give this year:
- Jill wants to spend more time with her family.
- Macey wants to be nicer to her sisters.
- Jessie wants to be kind to her mother and read the Doctrine and Covenants all the way through.
- Melissa wants to go to the temple more.
- Austin wants to be more respectful to others.
- Jennica wants to work hard at her education.
- Chantel wants to develop her talents through music.
We are so eternally grateful for the Savior’s infinite sacrifice and how we can continue to grow and change because of it. After that, we got to celebrate another person we think is pretty great…Jill! Our Jilly Bean’s birthday always lands right after we leave for the holiday break but this doesn’t stop us from showing her how much we love and care about her! These are just a couple of the reasons we love our Jill:
- Jessie loves Jill because she is one of her best friends. She is proud of Jill for all the hard work she is doing in school.
- Macey loves Jill because she is awesome.
- Melissa loves Jill because she is the best sister and has been so helpful to her since she broke her arm (she has been helping Melissa do her hair). She is also proud of the hard work she has been doing at school and can see her getting smarter every day!
- Chantel loves Jill’s big, beautiful smile.
- Jennica loves Jill because she is a hard worker and is progressing well in school. She also thinks Jill’s hair is super cute.
- Bobbi loves Jill because she is always so happy and excited to come to school.
- Austin loves Jill because she is really funny.
- Courtney loves Jill because she is silly , kind to everyone, and gentle.
- JJ loves Jill because she has good dance moves.
- Steph loves Jill because she is smart, hard working, and her smile brightens up any room she is in.
- Kenzie loves Jill because she is always so happy.
- Kennedy loves Jill because she is such a positive person.
- Bobbie loves Jill because she is a true friend to all, has a beautiful smile/laugh, and is smart. She loves when Jill comes in and has conversations with her in the morning.
Happy Happy Birthday Jill! We can’t wait to see all the amazing things you will do this next year!
Next, we did our gift exchange. Each student drew a name out of a hat to be a secret Santa for one of the other students. They all were so thoughtful and gave wonderful gifts to one another. Throughout the month of December, every morning during opening exercises, we have been learning about the ABC’s of Christ which is where we talk about His life, attributes, and gospel. We surprised the students by making them their own books of what we talked about so that they could go and share with their family and friends. Hearing their thoughts on the Savior and His influence in their lives this past month have been so touching and tender; we truly are so grateful for their Christ like examples in our lives every day and couldn’t ask for better jobs.
After exchanging gifts, it was time to really get the party started with some fun games! The students did the “Santa Shake” freeze dance (they had a Kleenex box filled with Christmas ornaments tied around their waist that they had jump up and down and shake all around to get them out; if the music stopped they had to freeze), a “Snowball Shovel” (they had a straw that they had to suck up the cotton balls and move them from one bowl to another), a “Santa Says” (like Simon says, but Christmas edition), and a pin the heart on the Grinch. To top off our wonderful day of fun, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of whole wheat pancakes topped with a strawberry Santa hat, turkey bacon, and hot, steaming Wassel. While we ate we had the pleasure of listening to Cindy and Diana Wade play Christmas music on the violin and piano!
Our students have been through a lot this last year adjusting to a new way of doing things and being able to see their bright, smiling faces enjoying one of their favorite times of the year was absolutely priceless. We are incredibly grateful for all of those who helped with the party and have served our school this past year; we couldn’t do it without you!
Until next year, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us here at the Children of Hope Academy!