Fortunately for us, the weather has decided to cooperate recently and change from "super-blasting hot" to "pleasantly warm". (All of you in the Midwest are slightly jealous...yes?) Michael and I went to a little gathering today of people that we met at English camp two months ago. Instead of needing to sit inside in the air conditioning, it was perfect just to sit in the shade - gotta LOVE that kind of weather! Winter in Thailand is the best. And, yes, I do feel perfectly comfortable rubbing that in a little bit.
(Above picture: One of the high school choirs that sang during the indoor Christmas program performance)
As I mentioned earlier, one of the reminders we've had of the Christmas season has been the many preparations we've made for the Christmas Program. This particular program is the biggest event of the year for our school - even bigger than graduation, actually. It takes a lot of work, brings a lot of stress, but in the end, the final result really is a lot of fun. We had three nights of Christmas program this year - the first night was for the nursery and kindergarten kids, the second night was for 1st-5th grades, and the final night was 6th-12th grades. It's never been split that way
before, so it was kind of an experiment. It seemed to work out okay, though! We didn't take pictures the first two nights, but the final night I tried to snap what I could, since it involved all of our students!
(Here we are on the final performance evening, all dressed up and ready to go!)
The Christmas program involves two parts: an indoor program and an outdoor program. They aren't particularly well defined as to what the point of each one is meant to be, but generally speaking, the indoor program focuses more on Christ's birth and the true meaning of Christmas, while the outdoor program is more for entertainment, consisting of performances that are created and performed by each individual class. Both are entertaining, but the outdoor program is more highly attended. Overall, this year's program was really wonderful. Most of the classes had excellent performances (specifically the high school classes, if you'll allow me to brag for just a moment!) I was so proud to see all of my students (well, most of them) on the stage, working hard, and just having fun as a whole.
(Above picture: 10th grade performance - Santa and his reindeer doing a song/dance!)The weeks leading up to this performance have proven to be a little crazy. Our October break was extended by three weeks (because of the flood), and once school started, we had to use all the time we could to do everything that we could! Many high school students couldn't make it back right away, so by the time everyone really was back, there were only about two and a half weeks before the program. School days were extended by an hour to try to make up some of the time, and most of us teachers were giving a little more homework than usual to catch up a bit as well. The 12th grade, in addition to homework and putting together performances, was in charge of decorating the outdoor stage. The final result was pretty incredible: a city skyline at night...complete with lights behind the buildings to light up the windows!
(Above picture: 12th grade at the end of their outdoor stage performance)
When school started again about a month ago, I thought I wouldn't be ready for another break by the time Christmas came around. However, now that I have a chance to sit back, breathe, and reflect on the last four weeks, I'm pretty glad that we still get to have our two-week vacation! The
students as well as the teachers need the time to rest and recuperate from an incredibly intense four weeks of school! Michael and I are planning to visit a beach during the break, similar to what we did last year. It seemed like a good way to spend Christmas break...again.
Other than crazy Christmas program work and school, we haven't had a whole lot else going on. We look forward to relaxing and celebrating together our Savior's birth, all the while remembering that his birth merely precedes his death and resurrection, which are especially good reasons to celebrate! We hope that you, wherever you are, have a blessed season and that you, too, will celebrate all that you have been given.