Friday, December 16, 2011


This week in class we are discussing with the students how the holiday season is celebrated in different cultures. Today, I had a chat with the students about some of the traditions they have at home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I was interested to know how many of them woke before the sun and had their presents opened by 8am. I would say more then half the class fit into this category. I then shared with them how my family goes about Christmas day and it was amazing how many of them were shocked at my traditions. I think some of them thought they were pretty bizarre compared to their traditions.In telling them my stories, I got a pit of excitement in my stomach to see my family and share the joy of this holiday season with them.

In our family, Christmas truly is an all day event. It's been a rule since I can remember that the presents do not get opened until after breakfast and all the dishes are done and the turkey is in the oven. So, while enjoying a coffee, tea, or hot chocolate as a family we open our stockings. When that's done and we've oo'd and aw'd over our trinkets, Dad starts cooking an enormous and divine breakfast. Uncle Mark and his family venture over from around the block, and we usually sit down to dine on a wonderful breakfast feast around 9:30 or 10:00am. Just thinking about the deliciousness of that morning is making me drool here on my keyboard!

Afterwards, the grandkids usually clear the table and dishes get underway. Another round of coffee or tea is poured, and we cram into Grandmom and Grandad's living room. Rachel and Rebecca (my younger cousins) begin to distribute gifts, and one at a time we open our presents. No two people open a gift at the same time - we want to see what everyone gets. By the time we finish the present opening, it can be sometimes almost 2pm or later. After a nap (cause the morning and early afternoon is exhausting!), we begin eating again - app's and a delicious turkey dinner with ALL the fixings.

As I'm telling my class this, I see their jaws drop in amazement. Many of them yelled out "I couldn't wait that long to open my presents!" "That sounds brutal!" "How do you contain your excitement?" I reminded the class that my brother and I are older now (Brad is 19, I am 22 - soon to be 23!). After explaining the age situation to them, I had one of my eager beavers yell out "But you wouldn't have time to play with your toys before your turkey dinner!" I laughed out loud and couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I gently explained to him that because my brother and I are older, we don't get toys anymore - mostly clothing and gift cards. His face turned to utter shock! "What's a Christmas with no toys to play with?" I smiled again, and said "Thanks for your concern, sir. But I love the gift cards I get. However, my favourite gift has to be spending the time with my family." He agreed that that was a pretty spectacular gift in itself too.

Day after day I am amazed by the intelligence and kindness that my students show. With less then a week left with them, I am coming more and more to the realization of how much they have impacted me, taught me, and how much I'm going to miss them in the new year.

On a different note, as I write this blog post I am enjoying the music of Michael Buble and his Christmas album. Currently, this has to be my favourite Christmas song this holiday season (you were right mom, a tear jerking song - but it just hits home):


  1. Another awesome blog and no I didn't listen to the song but I will again.

  2. After this post I downloaded his album. First Christmas music I've listened to willingly, ha.

  3. Mom - Thanks for always reading :)

    Sara - Isn't it a great album? If you're gonna download a Christmas album, his is a good one!