Yesterday was my first official Christmas party as a classroom teacher.  It also happens that we don’t have room parents or parent volunteers to help with our parties.  And, also, my Friday special got moved to Thursday since the art teacher didn’t want them after a party.  I’m flexible like that.  It also meant that we had the entire stinking day together.  What’s a teacher to do?  Lose her mind.

Well, the morning was relatively easy.  We were going to start with our spelling test, then watch The Polar Express read aloud on Barnes and Noble online, and then watch the movie from my Netflix account.  I pulled up the book on B&N a couple weeks ago, and I made sure my Netflix account wasn’t blocked at school the day before.  All good.  Not!  Apparently it’s removed from B&N’s website.  No big deal, we’ll just skip that.  I head over to Netflix, get signed in, pull it up, push play and then get an error message.  Our lovely laptops provided by the school are not Windows.  It won’t run.  That’s two hours of my day that were planned!   AHHHHHH!

I’d even laid these out on everyone’s desks!  {Thanks to my partner teacher Erin for the note!}  This was NOT happening.  Thankfully Erin also gave me a dvd of a Christmas movie I’d never heard of so we watched that for the morning.

In the meantime, I found a cord that I could use to connect my personal laptop to my projector.  After lunch, after the crazies calmed a bit, we watched The Polar Express.  Finally!  The day was saved!  Sort of.  We enjoyed watching it with some hot chocolate complete with marshmallows, peppermint marshmallows, and whipped cream!  Why I waited until after the movie was over to do anything else, I don’t know, but I do know that will never ever happen again.

When it was done we had a little over an hour for our “party”.  A couple kids brought stuff to pass out.  I passed out two sugar cookies to each kiddo and walked around with frosting.  They spread it then sprinkled on some holiday sprinkles.  I made these adorable snowmen with mozzarella string cheese.

And then forgot to pass them out because I was running around like a lunatic.  January snack, anyone?

I looked at the clock and there was like 40 minutes left.  I still hadn’t done my craft and my special surprise for everyone.  Oh, and also, our color printer wasn’t working!  So, my gifts for my students with the picture of us in our pajamas by our tree.  Yeah, that didn’t happen.

For our craft, I found this multi-pack of foam balls from Dollar Tree.  I used the three sizes to make a snowman, then students chose a color for their scarf and hanger.  I used paint pens to decorate them.  Except, I forgot noses on like half of them and kept hearing “Mine doesn’t have a nose!”  “I need a nose, Miss Maguire!”  “Miss Maguire, you should have put arms on this!”  And then I turned and looked at my lovlies and told them I’d be right over to put some noses on and I said it in my quietest and sweetest voice.  I wasn’t frustrated, and stressed, or busy, or anything.

I used halves of toothpicks to attach the balls together and then hot glued them.  I also used the hot glue on the scarf and hanger.  It’s a super adorable craft and was a great gift for them to take home to their parents.  I probably should have done them throughout either of the movies during the course of the day instead of waiting till the end.  I probably could have assembled the snowmen ahead of time.  Live and learn, right?

My other surprise was not going to happen without reinforcements!  I ran across the hall and asked an assistant for help.  She came over and helped put Vaseline on the kids faces.  They then planted their face in a bowl of cotton balls.  They emerged with Santa beards for pictures!  To keep their anonymity I can’t share the pictures, but I promise it was adorable!

I also forgot to pull down the stockings we did that we filled with kind thoughts.  They’ll be there when they come back, but it just was not the same.  I think, in the future, I’m calling in help.  Or, we’re watching videos all day.  Or, starting with crafts and doing videos after.  Or something.  Anything’s gotta be better than that.

But, on the way out, I got a hug from my one kid who has never given me a hug ever.  And I screamed “It’s a Christmas miracle!” with a giant grin on my face.  And that exhaustion and frustration was all worth it.  All of it. 🙂

On a final note, this week this video from The Colbert Report showed up on my Facebook news feed and I fell in love with it.  I found myself watching it again today.  As I’m heading ready to head to CA to spend Christmas with my Marine brother, the group that performed, MusiCorps, touched me in my heart.  If you’ve not seen this, watch it.  It’s a beautiful song and this rendition touched my soul.  If you celebrate, Merry Christmas!