I am really looking forward to our break because my daughters and I are headed to my mother's house in Phoenix for Christmas. I know Phoenix doesn't seem much more Christmassy than Hawaii, but it actually gets very chilly there. I can wear my sweaters, scarves and boots that I rarely wear here. My mom also goes all out on Christmas! She has a cozy little house with a fireplace and fills it with all kinds of decorations and goodies. She spoils us rotten when we are there!!
My mom and I
Every Christmas Eve my mom makes tamales. They are the best!! It's a tradition in our family and many other Mexican families. I have yet to carry on that tradition, lol!! Actually I did make them one year and they came out pretty well, but I leave it to my mom the expert.
Mom working hard to get them all done:)
There is a great book called Too Many Tamales that I read to my class each year.
It's a cute story about a little girl who helps her mom make tamales on Christmas Eve and thinks she loses her mother's wedding ring in the batch of tamales. I always read it and explain what tamales are, for students who have never eaten them. We also talk about family traditions at Christmas time. I plan on sharing it next week.
So in my class this week we started getting ready for the holidays. We don't have much time since we get out next Friday.
We actually started last Friday by making our paper chains.
Since I have 20 other students who do celebrate I try to keep things festive but a bit more neutral.
I have my students make stockings every year and we hang them up in the class. The last day before break I stuff them with a pencil, an eraser, a candy cane and some chocolate goodies. I also put in a little note wishing them a Merry Christmas. They love it and it's an economical way for me to give everyone a gift.
The stockings are pretty basic. I start with a template and have them trace it onto paper twice. They trace the little dots on one of them. Then they cut out both pieces.
Then I staple it together. They punch the holes on their own.
I give them some yarn and have them weave through. I am amazed at how hard this is for some of them!! They get so frustrated, but I make them finish it.
Some do a fancier weave.
Next I give them a few cotton balls.
I show them how to pull them apart and make it look like fur.
They glue it right on top.
Once their stocking is done, I write their name in glue and let them sprinkle glitter across it.
They love seeing their name in cursive!
They look really cute all hung up. I love the colors! They are nice and wintery, but not so Christmassy. I had my little guy make one too and I called it a Winter Stocking. I am not sure what I will do for his stocking on that day. I will probably stuff it anyway with a new pencil and an eraser and just tell him I am happy he is in my class.
We also started our letters to Santa.
Hmm, that should count for something, lol!
I just love reading their writing. It always puts a smile on my face.
I hope you are all getting into the holiday spirit in your classroom. I am still looking for that perfect holiday gift for the parents. I have not quite made up my mind as to what we will do yet. Hopefully it will be something fun that I can share soon.