Friday, December 18, 2009


What a crappy week. Seriously! Reporting a suspected child abuse is no laughing matter.

Fortunately, I got a huge reward this afternoon. At one of my school sites, the counselor put up a poster in the staff room with names of needy children in our school who might not get anything from Santa this year. Teachers and staff took names and bought gifts for these students.

I took the names of a kindergartener and a 7th grade boy who happens to be one of mine. He's a great kid, and I asked his homeroom teacher what he might like. The teacher came back with a great idea: one of those inexpensive, battery-operated, hand-held games. Turns out the kid travels a lot, and might spend some time in the car this season.

I found a great little electronic Battleship game, and a Rubik's Cube. I also put some mechanical pencils, an extra battery for the game, and a package of colored pencils in the gift.

This afternoon, my last kindergarten class didn't show up for music (I figure they were busy with last-day-before-break activities), so I went to the library to offer my assistance with the gift-giving. The counselor was happy to have an extra adult on hand.

When it came time for the middle school students to receive their gifts, I eagerly watched my student get his. I played dumb, asking him, "Hey, what'd you get?"

To say he was excited about his present is an understatement. He seemed genuinely happy, and showed off every part of the present to me. I laughed as he pointed out the Rubik's Cube and said, "That will keep you busy."

To call this satisfying is an even bigger understatement. I am so glad that such a small thing on my part made a child so happy. This, my friends, is what Christmas means to me.

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