Monday, December 13, 2004

Spreading Christmas Cheer

This morning, I accompanied Caroline's 3rd grade class to a local senior citizen's center, where the kids met their senior pen pals for the first time and performed a Christmas play for them. This was a much-anticipated visit. The kids have been rehearsing the play and making holiday cards and gifts for several weeks! They've also exchanged one letter a month with their sr. pals since school started, so they were eager to meet their buddies. Caroline was especially excited, as her pen pal Marcelle always writes about her Chihuahua, Pepito and Caroline was hoping that she'd get to meet him.

This is Marcelle's dog, Pepito. He posed wearing the red collar Caroline made for him!

The play went off well, especially considering that Caroline's teacher had to leave to deal with a family emergency, and left a substitute and a flock of moms to handle the event. The kids performed "Mrs. Claus's visit," a play about what happens when Santa is too tired (he sits on the side of the stage snoring, throughout) and Mrs. Claus is left to do all the work and deliver all of the presents herself. Santa only awakes when everything is done. We moms relate to this storyline! Mrs. N was unable to persuade any of the 7 girls in the class to take the lead role, so one brave boy took the part and did a terrific job! His mom says he has two older brothers and is so used to teasing that playing a girl's part didn't phase him. Caroline was a reindeer, her first choice role.

The school principal introduces Caroline's 3rd grade class to their Senior Pen Pals at the senior center.

After the big performance, the kids sat with their pals, exchanged small gifts, and then shared cupcakes and red punch. Caroline had spent several days making window stickers (sort of faux stained class) for Marcelle--a dog and various colored paw prints. And she had sewn 3 collar scrunchies for Pepito. Marcelle got teary-eyed when Caroline presented those!

Caroline gives a gift to Marcelle, her senior pen pal.

All in all, it was a successful morning for all. On the way back to school, my car load of girls talked about how hard it was to talk to old people, especially ones they'd never met before, but they agreed it was easier and more fun than they thought it would be.

The sight of the litte kids waving to the roomful of seniors as they left, and them all grinning and waving back, was pretty darn heartwarming.

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