Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

A Bah Update

All is joyous in Coconutland this impending holiday season. The no-longer-a-Christmas chain has just two rungs left, and E is almost beside herself with excitement over the presents heaped in front of our fireplace. (N mostly just can't understand why he can't unwrap his presents now, this very minute, and how it's possible that not every single present is *his*.)

The change of heart, I must admit, came about in no small part because of the same teacher who sent home the cursed Christmas chain to begin with. I had been planning to come talk to the class about Chanukah for a while, but on the day that I got there to do so, I was really pleasantly surprised to see that almost everything they'd done that day--and indeed everything they'd been doing in recent weeks that was holiday-related--included Chanukah. In fact, that morning, they'd done their reading/spelling/writing lesson by writing Chanukah-related words and putting them in alphabetical order on a printed menorah.

Anyway, my 'presentation' went fabulously. E couldn't have been prouder. I read a couple of Chanukah stories to the class, E and I sang them some Chanukah songs, E showed them our menorah and we talked about the meaning of Chanukah (on a very basic level), etc. I was really surprised, and pleased, when I took out the two wooden dreidels I had--as it turned out, the teacher had bought ten little dreidels for the class, had gathered up ten pennies for each kid, and so we paired them off and let them play for a while. And these kids were having a HOOT! They loved it; totally didn't want to stop playing, not even when I mentioned I had brought chocolate gelt for each of them.

The highlight of the day was when they were sitting on the rug near me at the end of the day, munching on gelt, and one of the kids (who E had previously complained would give her weird looks when she brought up Chanukah) came up to E and said, "You're so lucky you get to celebrate Chanukah. It's so fun!" My kid could have lit up a temple for eight days, she was so happy.

To top it off, the teacher in her aftercare program made a special Chanukah necklace for her and the one other Jewish kid in the program. I think she's seeing the good side to being 'different.' I hope it stays that way for a while, at least.

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