Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Holidays Not Found on Your Calendar

Yesterday my son Nathan’s school had a celebration that they’ve been counting down to all year—100th Day. They make a huge deal about the 100th day of school every year. For the 2 weeks leading up to it every student at King’s Academy works to collect 100 hugs (Here is the method: the student asks his/her friend/parent/teacher/relative/pastor/anyone at church/etc., “May I please give you a hug?” then asks the hugger to sign his/her Hug paper). On 100th Day everyone brings 100 of something to school, such as 100 pennies, 100 jelly beans or 100 Lagos. Nathan brought 100 pieces of leftover Halloween candy and passed it out. Upper grades have to build something with their hundred items. They play games, have special snacks, and treat the whole day like a holiday. He even came home with glasses shaped like the number 100 (made of paper—the kids got to decorate them). As a kindergartener Nathan did 100th Day for the first time. You’d think he had just returned home from a Christmas party!

Nathan’s cousin Kai’s school is also celebrating this week. They are observing National No Name-Calling Week. Each student is treated like Star of the Week and they even have an assembly to honor them all. Kai, as well as every other child, got to fill out a paper about himself, telling what his name means and why his mom or dad chose it (FYI: Kai means ocean in Hawaiian; his parents chose it because they love Hawaii, the ocean, and anything tropical). The poster includes information about grandparents, cousins, and other fun stuff. The whole idea is to help the kids appreciate what makes each of them unique. I suggested it to one of my friends who teaches at Nathan’s school.

Other holidays on Nathan’s school calendar include Johnny Appleseed’s birthday (a day to dress in jeans and plaid shirts and eat foods made from apples—it’s a very big deal; even the 6th-graders think it’s cool) and Dr. Seuss week, when the teachers dress like the Grinch or Thing One and Thing Two, Dr. Seuss books are read in every class, they learn Seuss trivia, and green eggs and ham is served on Friday.

Of course they have the usual Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Harvest Parties (it’s a Christian school). They make quite a spectacle on Grandparents’ Day. But I think the holidays that the teachers created just for the sake of giving the kids another reason to celebrate while learning are my favorite. It reminds me to look for reasons to have fun—to celebrate life.

If you could make up a holiday, what would you choose? How about if we make today National Girls, God and the Good Life Day, celebrating how God has blessed each of His girls as unique creations. So what’s yours? I’d love to hear about it.

Celebrate today!


Jenny B. Jones said...

I'd love a National Calories Don't Count Day.

Anonymous said...

Or National Bad Hair Day, but I'm afraid Mrs. Jeannette may not appreciate just teasing.
God has blessed me so much I cannot list them all. Thank you for reminding me of that fact!

Jeanette Hanscome said...

Don't worry, teasing is completely okay with me. Have fun!

Hey Jenny, I think you should write your local congressman about the Calories Don't Count Day. That needs to be a national observance.

Thanks for the fun comments, both of you.