Thursday, 7 December 2017

Christmas Comes Early

Christmas often brings unexpected surprises - some come wrapped in pretty paper, ribbons and bows. Others aren't wrapped at all and may come in some old reused cardboard box. No matter the shape, size, content, or even if the surprise was meant as a Christmas gift or not, they always bring smiles or even squeals of delight. Our super-lovely surprise this week came in two big cardboard boxes. 

With the wind howling a subzero song, I settled down for a hot cup of tea during recess. I was reading phone messages and saw one was from one of the dads on our colony:
"Someone gave me some German and English books and games. Would the Brennan school teachers be interested in them? They're for younger children."
Books always excite me, so I replied, "Sure. Thank You." I thought that they were probably books that his children no longer wanted. It's always nice to get books, even second-hand ones. And if they're German ones, that's even better. It's rare to be given German books and as everybody who's ever bought any knows, they're expensive in Canada, because they're all shipped here from Germany or some other German-speaking country. With all that playing in my mind, I was looking forward to seeing the books we were offered.

I didn't have to wait for long. The guy who sent the message brought them to the school. I asked him to leave them in my classroom. As luck would have it, I didn't have time to dig into the two boxes right away. However, just a glimpse at those open boxes told me these were not second-hand books! I was tempted to dismiss my seven Kindergartners early, just so I could unpack the books right away. Restraint prevailed, and during the next forty-five
minutes, while we were working on alphabet activities, my eyes kept drifting to the treasure chests of books waiting for me. It was like waiting to open the presents under the tree as a seven year old, with the afternoon and evening dragging on forever.

Finally it was time to dismiss my students and I was able to unpacked the treasures. I don't know what I'll get to unwrap on Christmas Eve, but I don't think it will be as exciting as this.
Naturally I unpacked the German books first. Never before have so many beautiful, brand new German books found their way into my classroom in one day! I didn't squeal, but I certainly felt like it! Not one of them is a duplicate of the books already in our library. All of them are gorgeous picture books. Some have a puzzle on each page, some are flap books. Others have wheels to turn to reveal pictures. Board books, hard and soft cover books. A wonderfully varied collection - fifty-eight in all!

The second box had English books, games and puzzles. Most of these items were new as well. Even though we have some of the lovely books in our library, we're very grateful for them. I know they will all be put to good use, perhaps as prizes or birthday gifts for students. No question, the games and puzzles will be enjoyed by our students for years to come, as well.

Yes, Christmas came early - just after the first of Advent, actually. Even though the guy who gave them to us didn't give them as an actual Christmas present, they were certainly received as such. I have all the books sitting on a table in my classroom, for another few days anyway. So you can imagine how hard it is to keep the students from taking them. But, of course I want to stamp them first, so as not to lose any of them. Hopefully, I'll be able to fit that in over the Christmas break.

In the meantime, I have a thank you letter to write.


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