December 2016 Director’s Column

Dear Family & Friends of Good Shepherd School:

After his son was severely wounded in the Civil War, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote this poem, “Christmas Bells.” Coupled with the recent loss of his wife, Frances, who had died as a result of an accidental fire, Longfellow was inspired to write the powerful words of the little known fourth verse: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep…” These words were later joined with an 1872 melody composed by Englishman John Baptiste Calkin; “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” has been recorded by an eclectic group of artists ranging from Bette Midler to Sarah McLachlan and most recently, Echosmith, with each artist bringing their own unique style to the words and melody.

In Chapter Five of his 1962 novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury describes this carol as “immensely moving, overwhelming, no matter what day or what month it was sung.” In the 1983 film version of the novel, Mr. Dark and Charles Halloway both quote passages from the carol, and Mr. Dark ominously states that “it’s a thousand years to Christmas!”

In a child’s eyes, this may seem very true! Although the time until December 25th is slipping away quickly for adults as we run on our imaginary treadmill to send the cards, wrap the presents, bake the goodies, decorate the house, trim the tree, etc., it is very different for children. For them, the time from December 1st through December 25th seems to drag on very slowly or even stand still as they wait impatiently for Santa to deliver those long-awaited presents!

December is another busy month here at Good Shepherd Lutheran School, where time never stands still! Besides learning all of the songs and poems for the Advent Programs, which are being held December 14th and 15th at 5:30 PM, the children are enjoying discussing all of the holidays that each family celebrates. Teachers talk about families, friends, love, giving and sharing. We are lucky to have families from a variety of different cultures/religions who celebrate different holidays; therefore, it is wonderful for us to be able to share holiday traditions and to learn and appreciate likenesses and differences.

December also brings some great events that the PTC (Parent Teacher Club) has planned! Children will get to shop in the Little Elves Gift Shop December 5th through December 8th. This is a beautiful experience for our children, and they are thrilled to buy gifts all by themselves for their loved ones!

The Gingerbread Workshop will be held on December 9th at 7:00 pm. Children and adults alike are welcome to decorate their own authentic Wilton gingerbread house and snap a shot with Santa (aka Bob Rickmeyer). Please do not miss this fundraising event for the school – cost is $15 and slips MUST be handed in by 12/5/16 in order to ensure there are enough gingerbread houses for everyone!

With the weather getting colder, it is imperative that children have adequate clothing for the weather conditions. Teachers enjoy taking the children on nature walks and will continue to do so as long as weather permits. If you are a school parent, make sure that your child’s extra clothes set is complete and that the clothes are appropriate for the weather.

Also, please plan to wrap yourself in the warmth of this season and stop running for a moment to see the joy and wonder through the eyes of a child. Isaiah 11:6 …”and a little child shall lead them.”

We ask that you continue to keep the staff and school families in your prayers.

Peace and Blessings,

Teresa Ratkowski

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