Last week before our Winter Holiday started (apologies for the lack of updates – that’s what I’ve been doing, having a nice holiday), we had a Christmas Party at school. It was a very nice way to wind down after a long term, and the kids were just as ready to have a week off as I was. The preparations for the party began in earnest about two weeks ago, and since then parents had been bringing in presents for their children and putting them under the big Christmas tree in the foyer. This pile grew exponentially every day as we got closer to Christmas, to the point that it was spilling out from under the tree by quite a way. Some of the presents were very large and there were about fifty of them under there.
Dave and I concocted a very devious plan, which was to make charming homemade Christmas cards and give them to the kids a few days before the party, giving their parents time to reciprocate with gifts of their own if they should so wish. Our plan worked out rather well in the end – on the day of the party we got a few cards, a nice little pearl keyring thing, and so Issey Miyake aftershave. And unfortunate downside to our card-making was that our director saw us making them, thought it was a lovely idea, and ordered all the Korean teachers to make cards for their classes, which, on top of all their other work seemed quite excessive. So in the lead-up to our party all the Korean teachers had to stay even later than they usually would to get their work done. I, of course, stuck stoically to my I-only-work-till-6-so-that’s-when-I’m-leaving policy.
By the time the party came around, we encountered another problem. All the Korean teachers had been so busy making cards, making sure all their kids had presents, making sure the hall looked beautiful for the party, that they forgot to plan that actual party. The improvised running order then, was for Santa to turn up, do a bit of magic (as Santa does), then give each kid their present individually. The problem here was the teachers wanted everybody to cheer “Merry Christmas!” after each present-giving, which became quite tiresome after the first 6 or so kids. Each class had a table with party food on, and after about 10 minutes of sitting patiently some of the younger kids began to show signs of weakness, and after about 15 minutes they were essentially ravenous. The principal gave in and allowed them to tuck in to their food, so the rest of the present-giving took place to a loud soundtrack of crunching and slurping.
All-in-all a very enjoyable if chaotic day, fraught with the usual terrible planning issues but fun nonetheless.
I left early once the party was finished and hurried away to the airport to jet off to Hong Kong with Ashley and my visiting parents, but I won’t talk much about that because I believe I’ve mentioned my love of Hong Kong more than once. Suffice to say my Christmas dinner in Hong Kong consisted of cheese and crackers, curry, lobster thermidor, turkey, beef, ham, brussel sprouts, oysters, sashimi, and both custard and chocolate fountains. Anyway, here are some pictures of both –