Last weekend I attended three Christmas parties. The first was a Christmas party for Mitsuba (the pre-k class). All of the kids came dressed in their best clothes and carrying the boxes that they made last month. In those boxes they collected money for the victims of the tsunami and earthquakes of last Spring. Once everyone arrived we had a Christmas pageant where the kids chose who they wanted to be in the Christmas story. There were several adorable angels, four stars, three wise men, three shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and even one sheep. While one of the teachers ready the story of Jesus’ birth, the other teachers held the children’s hands as they acted it out. They did a great job.Afterwards the priest for Mitsuba that day gave a sermon to the children. At the end of the party we had a visit from Santa! All of the kids were given the chance to take a picture with him. Of course there were several kids that burst into tears when they realized that they would have to stand by Santa. It doesn’t matter which country you are in there will always be a child scared of Santa’s presence.
On Saturday we had the Christmas party for the English classes at the Youth Center. Since there are so many English classes they separated the classes into three different parties. Each party started with a candle service where we sang Christmas carols, gave an offering and were given a “Peace Message” (sermon) by Kei Ikezumi, director of the center. Once that finished we went onto the presentations. The kids have been practicing these presentations for weeks now so it was very exciting finally seeing it all come together. Each class had a story or chant that they memorized. Among those stories were the Little Gingerbread Man, the Little Red Hen, and Three Billy Goats Gruff. Of course many of the kids that usually shouted their lines became shy when they had to say them in front of all the parents. But they did so well, I felt like a proud mom watching them.
On Sunday was the Christmas Party for ELCC (the school for Filipino children). All the families brought food for potluck lunch. I officially LOVE Filipino food! After we gorged ourselves silly on the food, the kids gave their presentations that they too have been working on for months. The older girls (Anna and Annmoley) sang popular Japanese and Filipino songs. They also preformed a dance with their friends to a Korean hip hop song. The older kinder class and the two teenagers played some Christmas carols on hand bells. Last but not least the Kinder class danced to Justin Beiber’s song “Baby Baby.” They were overwhelmingly adorable dancing to the song. All of the parents and guests had their cameras out recording this cute scene. The party ended with a gift exchange.
That weekend was filled with so much love and joy. I am so glad I was able to participate in it the festivities.
God’s Peace and Merry Christmas,