Don’t lose your Christmas spirit!

When I was a little girl, I was always sad when Christmas was over. I waited so long for it, and after a quick blur of hugs, laughter, presents, Santa, cookies and family, it was gone. I knew I would have to wait very long for it to be Christmas again.

Now that I’m an adult, I know it won’t be long until Christmas comes again, because time seems to speed up the older you get, but it still makes me sad that it’s over. People are nicer around the holidays and I miss that when the world goes back to normal. To help people be happy, smiley and nice to each other, I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to hold on to your Chirstmas spirit for a whole year!

1. Play

We play during the holidays, so why not play all year? Play whatever you want. Play a board game or play with your Barbies (you know you want to). Build a fort or go on a scavenger hunt. In my family, we play cards. The day after Christmas, we play poker. I dont usually win (ok, never), but that’s not the point. It’s fun! This year I made it to the final six (out of 13). Yay me!

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2. Sing

People who say they never sing can be heard singing Christmas carols if you listen closely enough. They smile while they’re doing it. If you recognize yourself here, then this message is for you: Sing!

3. Eat

At Christmas time, we let ourselves eat what we want to without feeling guilty. What if we did that all year? Now I’m not saying go nuts on the brownies or the french fries every day, but if you have a cupcake, eat it, enjoy it, then forget about it. That is all.

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4. Be nice

Being nice to people is not just biting your tongue when someone who got a really bad haircut asks for your opinion. We give to those in need around Christmas, but they need us to be nice all year round, too. We can’t give to everyone, all the time, but sometimes, we can give time, patience and love without it costing us anything at all.

5. Get excited

I love Christmas as much for the time spent with family and friends as for the days leading up to it. Baking, finding gifts for people I love, decorating, all this makes me happy. It’s good to get excited, to look forward to something we know will bring us joy. I’m still enjoying Christmas time, but I’m also looking forward to going snowboarding!

6. Love

We all have people we love, and we love being with them, but sometimes life gets in the way of us remembering how important that is. Spending time with loved ones is not just a Christmas thing, it’s a guaranteed-to-make-you-happy thing.

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7. Read

Maybe this one isn’t a Christmas thing, but more of a time-off thing, but curling up with a good book and forgetting the world for a couple of hours is magical. Bonus points if there is a snowstorm or a thunderstorm. When you finally tear yourself away from your book, you feel as if you’ve been on an incredible adventure. Unless your book is boring. Find a new book.

8. Watch TV

This is like the reading thing and the eating thing. It’s like reading because it’s not necessarily a Christmas thing, but if you have time, I recommend you watch several hours of television without feeling guilty (like the food thing). My mom and I spent a good amout of time (ok, 439 minutes) watching The Pillars of the Earth mini-series yesterday. Last year, it was The Thorn Birds. I don’t think it’s a good idea to this every week or anything, as you might lose all your friends, maybe your job and probably your dog, but once in a while, go for it. Enjoy it. Then go for a walk, you’ll need it!

9. Sleep

Ahh, sleep. For most of us, functioning on very little sleep is like wearing a badge of honnor. It might not be possible to sleep as much as you like, but we tend to indulge ourselves and sleep in during the Christmas holidays. Do this as often as you can. Well rested-people are 38% happier than other people (yes, I made that up, but it sounds good.)

10. See the magic

If you’re lucky enough to have children in your life, you get to see Christmas through their eyes. It’s magical. Santa might only come once a year, but kids are amazed daily. Imagine if seeing a butterfly take flight or finding the perfect snowflake still brought you the same joy it once did. You might have to find new ways to see the magic, but it’s there, if you look hard enough.

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Are you a grown up?

Working with kids means you get asked a lot of questions. “Are you a grown-up?” is one of them. Over the years, I’ve had quite a few funny conversations with my students. I teach six to nine year olds, so I laugh a lot!

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G and C are talking about how many teeth they’ve lost.

G: (Asks me) How many teeth have you lost?

Me: I’ve lost all my baby teeth.

C: Well yes, but that’s because you’re almost an adult.

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Me: E, what are you going to be when you grow up?

E: A veterinarian. What are you going to be when you grow up?

Me: I’m already grown up.

E: Well, what’s your job?

Me: I’m a teacher.

E: I know you’re a teacher, but what’s your job?!

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I’m giving a lesson on animals when K’s hand goes up.

Me: K, it’s not time for questions yet.

K: But it’s not a question, it’s an answer!

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M: What do you want for Christmas?

Me: A giraffe.

M: You could probably find one on kijiji.

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I’m having a latte while the kids are in gym class. I knock it over and I’m wiping the floor when a student walks in and says “This is what you do when we’re not here? You wash the floor?”

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S: Do you live with your mom and dad?

Me: No.

S: Do you live with your kids?

Me: I don’t have kids.

S: Well if you’re not a kid and you’re not a mom, what are you?

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I sneeze.

C: You’re like my dog.

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After a 4-day weekend.

C: Let’s see each other tomorrow, because I don’t like long breaks when I don’t see you.

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A. was saying hello to everyone as they came through the door. I told her she was like the greeter at Walmart. She started saying “Hello, welcome to Walmart.”

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Me: C, I hope you work this hard at home when you do your homework.

C: No, at home I yell and throw my papers on the floor.

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Me: This movie is great. I used to watch it when I was little.

P: But I thought old movies were silent?

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Me: Once I lost my voice and had to write notes to my students all day.

S: Oh cool, I hope you get sick and it happens again.

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Me: Do you need help figuring out the problem?

M: No, I need the answer.

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I’m wearing jeans and my hair is up in a ponytail.

L: What’s wrong with you? This is not your style!

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Summer days

I love summer. I really do. I love the sunshine, the heat, the days off, the time spent with friends and family. I love staying up until 2 am reading a really good book, not worrying about having to get up early the next morning. I love the beach and I love ice cream.

The last few days have been a lovely mix of great summer fun.

Spa day

I got a gift certificate for a spa from a student at the end of the year. I love this place. It’s got Turkish baths. First, you do hot. Your options are a hot tubs, steam rooms or a Finnish sauna (my favourite!). Then, you go into icy water or stand under a really cold waterfall! After that, you relax, either on a lounge chair, a hammock or a tempered bath. There are also really cool relaxation rooms for winter where you can make tea, listen to music and sit by a fire. It’s brilliant!

I didn’t think it was appropriate to bring my camera with me, so I got this picutre from the website.

Parliament Hill Yoga

Yesterday, I went to a yoga class on Parliament Hill with some friends. The goal was to get a thousand people, and we were 1059! It was a great class, even if the beetles were out in full force. Nasty little bugs, but we were on their lawn, I guess.

I went to another yoga class that same evening. I love that yoga is my busy.

Beach day

Today, I went to the beach with my sisters, my cousin and her kids. It was the perfect beach day. Hot and sunny, with a great sandy beach and kids who say things like “You’re a shark and you have to get me!” I’m exhausted, but it’s ok, it’s part of my summer fun.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer as much as I am!

High Five for Friday

As I was reading Sam’s blog, Fit for my Fork, I saw this really great idea, It’s called High Five for Friday and it’s a weekly link-up party hosted by Lauren where you blog about the best 5 moments of your week. I love this because, even if you’ve had a bad week, you can surely find five great things that happened. Not that I had a bad week!

Since this was the last week of school, most of my moments had to do with work, because I was too hot and exhausted to do anything else! It sure was a great week though!

1. Dressing up as Cleopratra.

I blogged about this on Monday, but really, it was so awesome, it deserve to be mentioned again. And it also deserves another picture.

2. Going out for lunch with my friend Caroline. She’s a teacher at a different school and we try to meet up once a month for lunch. Sometimes we go a couple of months without having lunch together and other times we have lunch 3 times a month. It’s not an exact science, but it’s fun!

3. Students vs. teachers.

Every year, the gym teacher has the “Montessori Cup” challenge and this year, the winning team got to play a game of some kind of dodgeball with goals against the teachers. I thought it was a little unfair for the teachers, because we didn’t know the rules. We started off gently, because we were playing against children, but the kids held nothing back, so we had to up our game. And we won! The kids were sure they would win, so they were kind of confused!

4. Flowers

I get spoiled by my students and their parents at the end of the year. They are always very generous. One of my favourite gifts this year was a bouquet of flowers. I’ve had this little girl in my class for three years, and before that, I had her sister for three years, so I’ve known the family for a long time. It makes me a little sad that they won’t be a part of my class anymore.

5. Sweet words

I got this message from one of my first graders. I’ve had to translate it from French, so it’s lost some of it’s adorableness, but it’s still cute!

Madame Manon, I love you very much. You are the best teacher in the whole school. I love you very much and also a lot. I like being in the hedgehog class. A very big thank you Madame Manon for this wonderful hedgehog class. I love you.

I would like to add a number six to this list.

6. Last day of school!!! Woohoo!

How was your week?

Happy Rainy Day

When was the last time you enjoyed rain? I mean, really enjoyed it? From outside, not from inside a nice, dry, house looking out? It had been a while for me. Then today, I got caught in a storm with 19 kids. How can you not enjoy that?

We went out for a field trip to paint mugs and bowls for father’s day. The weather was calling for an afternoon storm, but it was bright and sunny when we headed out, so I just assumed it would be ok.

I was wrong.

While we were painting, it started pouring. And this was no sissy rain either. Big raindrops that bounced when they hit the ground. Louder than the kids.

I love storms. When I was a kid, my mom used to tell us storms were like movies and we would open to door to watch the show. I try to do this with my students, because so many of them are afraid of thunder and lightning, and I want them to be excited instead. I think it’s working. Whenever the weather reports call for a storm, the kids tell me as soon as they get to school, just to see my reaction. Last year, we had a really big storm one day and we all turned our chairs towards the window and watched “the show”. Some of the kids even mentionned it today. (I have my students for three years, so they have lots of time to get used to my quirks!)

So back to today’s storm. It rained really hard for about 15 minutes, with some thunder and lightning, then the sun came out, so I told the kids we were leaving right away. The sun was pretty much just an illusion, because as soon as we started walking, everything turned grey again. When we heard thunder, the kids actually clapped and cheered! Thankfully, there was no lightning.

It was only a 10 minute walk back to school, but about halfway there, it started to rain again. Kids really know how to enjoy everything. They were looking up, jumping in puddles and squeeling. How often, as adults, do we walk in the rain without thinking What’s this doing to my hair? These are new shoes! I’m getting all wet and dirty! I did have to tell the kids to hurry up, however, because as much fun as it was, we had to get back to school.

This is what they looked like. Me too, actually.

When I got home from work, I fell asleep on the couch. I hardly ever have naps, and when I woke up, I remembered why. I was cranky and I just moped around. It’s not good for me to mess with my sleeping schedule. After a while, I couldn’t stand myself anymore and I decided to go for a run. I kind of wished it would rain again so I could get my happy feeling back. About halfway through my run, I realized I felt better and didn’t need the rain. Obviously, that’s when it started to rain! It was only a sprinkle, but it was like the universe was telling me “I hear you!”

My run inspired my picture of the day. The prompt was “a number” so I went with number 2 on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. (yes, I know the numbers 101 and 1001 are messed up.) I’m not sure I’ll do it this week, but it will definitely be soon!

If you want to check out all the pictures from my challenge, click here.

Don’t forget to embrace the rain!