Large vats of potatoes boiled on the stove, carved turkey kept warm in the Dutch oven, pats of butter sat ready to spread on the fresh rolls, containers of hot corn and green beans steamed up the kitchen, spicy stuffing took its place beside the turkey, juice swirled into the plastic pitchers, and freshly baked Christmas cookies and squares were neatly arranged on large platters. A dozen parents rolled up their sleeves, donned their aprons, and set to work to prepare the annual Christmas dinner. As we worked, we talked about the task at hand, but we also chatted away about our children, our marriages, and about how special Brantford Christian School is, as we watched our children frolick on the playground through the kitchen window.
This is my third year helping with the Christmas dinner and I love it! What do I love about it? I love the amount of food that parents donate: we always have leftover baked goods. I love contributing to such an important event. I love the camaraderie in the kitchen with the other parents. And I love seeing the smiles on the students' faces when they come into the gym, beautifully decorated for Christmas, and when they pile their plates high with festive food. I love to see the older kids holding the hands of their younger reading buddies. I love to see the teachers sit side by side with the students as they eat. I love to see the principal, a Bible open in his hand, reading the words from Luke. I love to see the kids fold their hands to pray. As a student, I never had a Christmas dinner. As a teacher, I have never taught at a school with such a dinner. So it is a real pleasure to be part of such an experience.
When the students file out of the gym, their tummies full, we know our mission is accomplished. We, the volunteers, sit down to eat our dinner. In the kitchen, it's clean up time. One by one we say goodbye. As I leave the kitchen to pick up my kids at their classrooms, I wish everyone a "Merry Christmas!" (Yes, you can still say that at our school.) I am happy the day went well, but sad to see it end -- until next year. Thank you, God, for Brantford Christian School and its staff! Sending our children there is the best Christmas present any parent could get.
Photo courtesy http://imagecache2.allposters.com.