Every new job situation had provided us with the opportunities to learn how the staff celebrates the holiday season at the end of the year. Although some things are universal, there are many things that make each place unique.
As Stephen becomes more integrated into the culture of Brazosport Christian School, he also learns what they do to make Christmas special around the school. One tradition they have is a special door decorating contest. Each teacher and staff will decorate their classroom (or office) door and a special panel of judges gets to decide which door is the best decorated door. On the day of the Christmas chapel, the winner is announced. Stephen didn’t decorate his door, but his secretary made sure he didn’t miss out by decorating it for him.
Another tradition is to have a special Christmas chapel on the Wednesday before Christmas break. Stephen got a chance to speak a few words at the end of the chapel. So, he decided to read one of the Christmas stories that he had been reading to the kids from the Christmas devotional. Stephen tells me that the school purposefully avoids mention of the secular figures and symbols of Christmas (Santa Claus, Frosty, etc.) so that they can focus on the story of Jesus coming to earth as a baby to become the Savior of all man-kind.
The message given by the teacher was on the gifts of the Maggi and explaining the spiritual significance of each.
Gift-giving is a big part of the BCS traditions. Each staff member who wished to be involved could become a “secret angel” and give gifts to each other anonymously until they reveal themselves to each other a few days before Christmas break. Stephen decided to be involved and I was quickly drafted to find some Christmas gifts around $1 each and then one nice gift to give the person on the final revelation day.
Stephen received gifts from his “secret angel” but he also got many gifts from staff, students and parents. Gift cards appear to be a very popular item this time of year. Perhaps this is not a new observation to many of my readers, but it is something I had not discovered before in the few years that I had celebrated Christmas within the U.S. borders.
We now have gift cards of various values for Wal-Mart, Chick-fil-a, and other local shopping locations.
My favorite tradition so far is the two week vacation that comes to those who work within the system of education. Now Stephen doesn’t have to work until the Monday after Christmas and we can enjoy some time together as a family.