This week we held our 3rd annual ESL Christmas Party. Each year our party gets bigger and better...I'm not sure how we can top it next year! Here's a photo re-cap of the fun.
We asked the students to make wishlists for something they want, something they need, and something to read. We compiled that information into a google drive spreadsheet and sent it to our faculty. Teachers were able to put their names next to items/students they would donate to. We also included some supplies we needed, like wrapping paper, tape, plates, and napkins. We sent the spreadsheet out the week before Thanksgiving, allowing plenty of time to shop.
My teammate had the brilliant idea to pick up the red Target bags you see in the picture above- she bought 50, and we could have used 50 more! They were so perfect for holding all the presents, as well as canned food and clothes that were donated also.
My teammie and I constantly get donations brought to our classrooms, so we allow the parents to "shop" twice a year. We had four long cafeteria tables filled with clothes. Our Student Council spent over an hour sorting, folding, and displaying each article of clothing. There were also 3 long cafeteria tables full of canned and non-perishable food that was donated by the Student Council around Thanksgiving.
Those red bags really came in handy!
This is one of our newest sweethearts; she had never received a present before. Watching her clutch those bags made me teary-eyed. (I held it together this year until after the party...then I bawled in my car!)
The food for the party was donated by a faculty member's husband who works at Texas Roadhouse. He also happened to help us out as the big man in red. The same family also donated for about 6 of the students. They're just amazing- proof that there are good people in the world.
We had some gifts donated that weren't specific to students, so we held a raffle. Everyone who came (big and small) received 3 tickets; they could enter their ticket for any prize they would like. Some of my littles were confused with this process, as we had done raffles before in the "you get what you get" style. They stood guard at each cup, watching to see how many tickets went in. One sweet firstie came up to me and said, "Someone put their ticket in my cup!" Then I understood why they were standing guard! #itsnotyourcup #stepawayfromthecup
We wanted to dress up the cafeteria, so I picked up some white bags from Michael's and tossed in some battery-operated tea lights. Of course I had to make them pretty! My teammate jokes about how I couldn't live without Pinterest...she's right! I searched "Christmas hand-lettering" and just copied the ones I liked the best. These were so easy and came out great- I'm keeping them for next year!
Lucky for us, there was already a set and Santa chair left over from the chorus concert, and I put up our little tree next to it.
We had a fabulous party. We couldn't have done it without the help of our faculty and family "elves." We are so grateful for all the help and donations we received. Now that the party is over, "It's time to get started on next Christmas!" (From Elf!) Just kidding. I need to sleep!
I wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years!