In true Chinese tradition, I had NO IDEA that there was going to be an event at school until about 30 minutes before it happened. There I was preparing for class when I was told that “Santa was coming”, and there would be some performances. Huh?
I work between the high school and primary school, and therefore I happened to be free on the afternoon when all of this was going on. The high school students had told me that all of the previous year’s festivities would not be occurring this year, but alas, the little kiddos still got their share of entertainment. Poor high school kids, the school doesn’t think that they have time for fun. It’s just study, study, nap time, study.
Zachary dressed up as Santa Claus, as he did last year, and headed over to the primary school. Heather sang songs with the kids, and got them all psyched up. They were beyond excited – and it made Christmas feel a little more “real” this year. When we lived in Dongying, the school made many Christmas plans which took us weeks to prepare for. That year I was very much aware of the fact that Christmas was on its way… but this year it was completely different. Being in China really makes me miss the “Christmas-ness” that we have at home.
Santa arrived and the kids went wild, especially the grade 1 students. I heard some grade 3 kids yell, “You’re not Santa”, and then point to the side of their faces. It appears that Zachary’s outfit didn’t quite cover his stubble, and the kids were onto him. Funny stuff. That wasn’t the only problem though, as we sat down to hand out a little gift to each student, it became apparent that there was a huge hole in Santa’s pants. Right in the crotch area! Fortunately he had kept his trousers on underneath the costume, but still, it was quite amusing!
We handed out stockings to each child, and then they headed back to their classrooms to exchange gifts between themselves. Each students brought a small gift for each of the other kids in his/ her class. This meant tons of candy for the little ones! Zachary, Heather and I went around to each classroom to see the kids, and many of them gave us gifts too. We left with pockets – and hands – full of candy, cards, and other little surprises.
The grade 1 students all got one of these adorable panda hats to keep their heads and ears warm this winter. I must say, they looked pretty darn cute all walking around with their pandas on. The hats go well with their school uniforms too – a great combination!
Thankfully, the school gave us the next day off so we could celebrate Christmas with whatever family and friends we have here.