Today was another memorable day for me as an educator and as a member of the CLC community. Our gift exchange project was a wonderful learning experience for all of us. I was so touched by their homemade gifts and words of kindness that I had to hold back a few tears when they shared how it felt to give and receive their gifts.

A few years ago I read an article about what it means to give and receive a gift, and every December I am reminded of this article as we enter the season of gift giving. It discussed how difficult it is for children to understand what it means to give and receive gifts when we live in a society filled with materialism and mass advertising. There was a quote in the article by Winston Churchill “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” These simple words have always stayed with me.

Today as I watched the children exchanging their gifts I thought to myself that they learned a wonderful life lesson and it filled my heart with so much love. I wish you could have heard and seen all that they shared and said to one another. We all sat in a circle and one at a time they got up to give their gift to their classmate, and then they each opened their gift one at a time. It was precious to watch the faces of the children as they opened their gifts and also to see the face of the child who had made the gift for that particular friend. We spent 45 minutes on the rug opening their gifts together as a class. When we finished I gave them the opportunity to share what is was like to give and receive a gift. I was deeply moved by what they each shared and said to one another. As they were sharing I was thinking to myself they had learned a lesson that many adults never experience in their whole lives. In closing I want to thank all of you for your support with this project. I know we never could have had this experience without all of your dedication to this project at home.

The Santa Lucia procession at the Winter Celebration was wonderful. I am always so proud of how seriously they take on this performance. They were absolutely precious! A special thank you to Amy for truly capturing the winter celebration with her photos!