The holiday craziness at school is over...sort of. Well, mostly, anyway. For the last three days I have been in performance mode. On Monday and Tuesday my school had the all-school holiday assemblies. Think: every class stands on stage and sings their prepared holiday song. I felt that I had finally begun to truly put my mark on this holiday tradition. Why? Because there was some diversity at last! My school is predominantly Polish-Catholic. If you are not familiar with Chicago, there are very defined ethnic and economic neighborhoods. My school is located in the Polish and cop/firefighter area. (Chicago cops and firefighters [and teachers!] are required to live within the city boundaries. You can't go much further than my school and still be officially in the city.) In the past, the holiday program contained many religious Christmas songs. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, I was taught that it is important to show the school's and the city's diversity when choosing repertoire for a performance. (And, hello! Cultural education is important in developing a well-rounded, open-minded student.) Ehem...sorry, I'm off my soapbox now. This year we had a one or two religious songs, many non-religious Christmas traditional tunes (12 Days of Christmas, etc.), many generic winter songs ("Snow Pants"), a recitation of "Twas the Night Before Christmas", a Hanukkah song, some humorous Christmas ditties ("The Everlasting Fruitcake"), and a multi-holiday December song (it mentioned Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and La Posada.) It was the best, most smoothly run program in the three years I have been at the school. Yay! And the best part? I wasn't nearly as stressed out this year as I had been in the past! (Stress exacerbates my stomach problems and last year was bad. This year I had no problems.)
Last night was the holiday chorus concert. We have two choruses at my school. The "big kid" (5th-8th grades by audition) which has been directed by the kindergarten teacher for over 10 years, and my Junior Chorus. It is open to 3rd and 4th grades and is y'all come sing. Anyone who wants to join can come and sing with me. I was so proud of my little ones last night. They sounded fabulous and my soloists/duets were wonderful. I love the sound of young, unchanged singing voices. I am actually quite happy that I do not have to direct a chorus of adolescent changing voices.
So today, to relax and celebrate that the performances are over I will bake. I am playing hookie and am out at my parents' house. Mom and I will be heading to the store shortly for ingredients. Shortly thereafter baking will ensue. So far we are going to make Chocolate Cherry Cookies (thanks to Erielle's blog, Fancy Toast) and Kolatchki's. I think both GF and "regular" versions are on the docket. We shall see what time allows.