Before adding the next posting, Christmas at the Luzhou Protestant Church, I’ll include a short mentionable concerning the campus Christmas Activity Night.
The Idea Emerges
A few years ago, I had an idea that my Christmas lessons shouldn’t be just enjoyed by my students but for the entire campus. At that time, I didn’t have a lot of volunteers to help devise an activity night so I enlisted the help of my seniors. We had one room where students could come to take their pictures with Santa Claus. It was certainly successful but I really wanted to expand it more in the future.
Creating Christmas Activity Night
When the college moved to the new campus, however, things really became organized with the establishment of the English Association, a club of students interested in the English language. Many were not English majors, nor could they even speak English, but they had a fascination with the language and were eager to learn more about countries who spoke it.
With the help of 230 members in this club, and a student elected club president to assist me in organizing it all, Christmas Activity Night blossomed into a huge event. The first year, we had the use of an entire floor in Classroom Building 4 with 6 classrooms for activities to take place. It was fantastic!
This year, however, we had some trouble finding a venue. The school closed all classroom buildings for 3 weekends because testing was being held for outside organizations. The college is often enlisted to proctor and hold exams for the city government’s civil servant, administrative leaders and Communist Party member positions. When that happens, Friday noon to Sunday 5 p.m., all classrooms are off-limits and the entire building is on lockdown.
Christmas Activity Night can only be held on weekends because during the week, evening classes are going on and mandatory evening study hours are enforced for students who are not in class at that time.
I was lucky enough to end up in Building 3, where the English Language Resource Center is located, because no testing was being done there. Two large, empty rooms were available for the activities and the hallway as well, which was fine, but due to the limited space, I had to scale down a bit on all that I had hoped to include.
Planning and Holding Our Christmas Event
The divisions for the night included: Tree decorating, Picture with Santa Claus and Elves, Gift Wrapping (wrap an apple or orange, label it with a tag and give to someone as a gift), Candy stations (say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy New Year,” and “Happy Holidays” to receive a piece of candy), and making snowflakes.
I met with 30 volunteers over the period of 3 weeks to prepare them for all that needed to be done. Saturday morning, December 8, we all met at 9 a.m. to begin set-up.
We finished up in the late afternoon and at 7 p.m., we ushered in both children, parents and college kids alike for our 2-hour evening.
We didn’t have quite as many visitors as last year but it was still a great success.
I remember last year, we only had about 50 apples and oranges to wrap, which was definitely not enough. This year, I had our president order 200, which were delivered by the seller.
Special Christmas-designed paper was ordered from the Internet, all different colors, along with fun holiday hats for people to wear during photo sessions with our Father Christmases (two) and their helpers.
We were completely busy the entire 2 hours, with many not wanting to leave even when it was time to close up shop at 9 p.m. We had a full hour and 1/2 of clean-up, including putting all the decorations back neatly in their boxes for next year, and finally went home at 10:30 p.m.
I was truly grateful for all the help given as I could never have done this all on my own. All my volunteers really went overboard with their enthusiasm and careful preparation to get everything ready. It was such fun and I can’t wait to do it again next year!
Enjoy the show!