Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas preparations

Ah~ah~... I don't think I have sewed this whole month. A lot of knitting I guess but not too much color in these cold days... Today I've got to figure out how to block Tetsu's vest and then sew on some buttons and make some button holes. Hmm. Today is the 22nd. Think I can get it done?

By career I really am an English teacher and so yesterday was filled with English and kindergarten and nursery school. In one school the principal and I read the kids "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" which had been translated a few years back by one of my English students. And at the other school the kids were going through their final rehearsal of the Christmas program to be put on tomorrow.

Mifumi Kindergarten where I have taught for 20 years has some interesting policies. The principal frowns on video cameras at kindergarten events saying that parents should watch their children with the naked eye and not through a camera lens. A professional photographer films all the events for purchasing 'if necessary'.

And for Christmas, the parents and children exchange hand made gifts. This is fairly easy for the children since the teachers hold craft periods, and felt trees, macaroni wreaths and pine cone bells abound regularly. For the parents the hand made rule can be sort of a hassle though I agree with the thought. Mothers get busy making dolls and doll clothes. Fathers start hammering go-carts and puzzles. Sometimes groups form with one mother teaching other mothers how to make little-girl aprons and a ream of kindergarten girls will be decked out alike.

When Takumi was in kindergarten, I participated in a block-puzzle workshop and we sawed cubes of wood, glued them together and painted them different colors. Supposedly our children were going to become geniuses by playing with this puzzle and while I don't know about the genius aspect, it is true that Takumi still loves puzzles...

The mothers' handmade gift idea can get a little out of hand though because there is always the temptation to be the "super mom" and try to make the best toy in the kindergarten. In fact I spent about 6 months working on a quilt for Leiya but in the end I asked her not to open it at the kindergarten because I felt it would be taken that I was vying for center stage.

ANYWAY. Last week I showed a picture of the beautiful felt trees that one class made for the mothers this year, and yesterday there was a FLOCK of sheep standing under a starry sky ready to be presented to the mothers tomorrow. Isn't this just the cutest sheep?! The teacher helped the kids glue the wood and make the star but the kids made the sheep themselves. I wish one of my kids were still in kindergarten. I WANT A SHEEP!!!

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