Thursday, December 12, 2013

Santa's Surprise Visit

The Holiday Season officially starts once the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade makes its way across 34th Street and Herald Square.  From that moment on, it's hard to go an entire day without seeing Santa.  Whether he's ringing bells outside a grocery store or posing for pictures with screaming toddlers at your local mall, The Man in the Red Suit is everywhere.  Working with elementary kiddos, you'd better believe I've seen more than my fair share of Mr. Claus this December.  But, today my entire concept of a visit from Santa changed.

As part of DCS's Teacher of the Year celebration, I'm visiting the winners classrooms, snagging some B-Roll and interviews for a massive video I'll be making for the Big Day.  

Well, today, I stopped by the classroom of a Special Education teacher at Saxon Heights Elementary. 
This little guy was so excited to see the Big Man in his red suit!
He apologized for his day being pushed back by about 15 minutes, explaining most of his class was still at lunch.  He asked if I had other plans, wondering if I'd be able to stay.  After reassuring him filming his class was my main priority, he revealed that Santa himself was scheduled to make a visit once all the kiddos returned back from lunch.

As the students made their way to their desks, Mr. Claus walked in behind them and sat down in a white rocking chair.  Immediately, a debate broke out as to who would be the first to sit on his lap.  Each of the eight students present sat on Santa's knee, got their picture taken, and received a perfectly wrapped package.  The verbal students too told the festive figure what else they wanted come Christmas morning, while the non-verbal little ones smiled or pointed to his beard.

One at a time, they opened their gifts.  As the ribbon and wrapping feel to the floor, I was excited to see that each present had been specifically chosen by Santa, with the help of our Saxon Teacher of the Year, for the student.  For example, one of the precious babies wants to be a cowboy when he grows up, sighting Woody from Toy Story as his ultimate role model, so he received a cowboy hat.  His little sister opened a cell phone-esque gadget that plays music.  The second she heard one of its 25 tunes, she started clapping her hands and dancing.

Literally, from start to finish, I loved every second of getting to peak in on their Christmas party.  I feel like so often we get so consumed with the hustle and bustle of the Holidays.  But, seeing these kiddos today, as their faces lit up once Santa walked in the room, made all the Christmas craziness worth it!

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