Deck the Halls

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.

Notice the little running shoe in the bow.

Jared and Luke pose proudly outside of "Daddy's office."

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.

The staff "fireplace" where they hung their stockings for their secret angels to deposit gifts.

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.


Celebrating 34 Years of Life

On September 29, 2010, Cristina Meier celebrated her 34th birthday.  Even though she was very tired, she didn’t mind too much when her boys woke up extra early so that they could give her some birthday gifts.  Jared jumped up on the bed and gave his mommy a big pink stuffed dog.  He was so proud of himself.

Jared and Luke present their gifts to their sleepy Mommy.

“Look what I got you for your birthday, Mommy!” Jared said.

Luke couldn’t express himself as verbally, but he babbled a few things and showed his mommy the birthday balloon he was carrying.  He wasn’t quite sure he wanted to relinquish it at first.  But Jared “helped” him give up the object.

Then Stephen brought in a large bouquet of flowers that the boys had helped him pick out. 

It was a lovely start to a busy day.  At the end of the day, when everyone was back home, we gathered our things together and took off on an adventure to find a restaurant that Cristina had not visited since she was 18 years old.  It used to be her favorite Mexican restaurant in Quito, called “La Guarida del Coyote” which translates into “The Coyote’s Haunt.”  Although she had some challenge finding updated information about the restaurant on-line, they were able to find the place while driving past in a taxi. 

Cristina and Stephen enjoyed some authentic Mexican food, while the boys tried to eat some of the kid’s menu of chicken and French fries (accompanied by some fresh fruit, veggies and cheese mom brought from home).  It was an enjoyable night and they were able to get home in time to have some dessert at home and go to bed early.

Yep…this pregnant mother of two was ready to make it an early night.