This year Colin was in another Christmas play / musical.
How I managed to leave my phone at home I'll never know. Actually I plugged it in to charge. That's how I forgot.
Good thing my Mom was there, too. As a member of the local press they even reserved her a seat in the front row. Good thing, indeed!
All the pictures are courtesy of her!
So one day in school they were discussing Christmas, kindness, joy, bla bla bla.
The teacher gave them an assignment: every kid was supposed to think of something nice that they can do for someone.
Before they went home the teacher announced that there was going to be a girl joining the class. Sunaya, a refugee from Sri Lanka. Maybe these days Syria might have been more suitable, but the purpose was served anyway.
The kids had all kinds of clichés about foreigners and reasons why they didn't want to sit next to the new girl: Refugees aren't really refugees, they only come here to benefit from the good life, and us taxpayers foot the bill, if at least it was a boy who plays soccer, she doesn't speak our language, we can't talk to her,...
(I'm so glad Colin's role didn't involve stating any negative comments!!)
So on her first day she got a rather frosty welcome and had to sit alone in the back.
One girl - Laura - was brainstorming ideas for her homework at the dinner table: helping with the laundry, baking cookies for the neighbor,... Her older sister Fiona accused her whole class of being a bunch of hypocrites.
The parents reminded the kids not to bicker, but the sister explained why:
Here they were, thinking of ways on how to be nice at Christmastime while not being willing to integrate the new girl!
Her classmates reacted hostile. Laura was a traitor, a stupid cow, no longer their friend!
Laura wasn't gonna budge. She asked them to just imagine having to leave their home with nothing, coming to a foreign country, not speaking their language, not having any friends, wouldn't they be glad if some kids played with them?
One child after the other apologized to Sunaya, offered to help with her homework, walk her home, share their snack.
The next day the teacher had bad news: Sunaya had been involved in a car accident! With both her legs fractured she needed to spend several weeks at the hospital!
"Oh no! She's gonna miss our Christmas party, she was looking forward to it! Just now that she has become our friend! What can we do?"
With the teacher's and the doctor's help they moved the Christmas party to the hospital! Colin's role had her hand the gift that they all contributed to, they sang, and the teacher was reading a story.
There was more! You might have heard the story of the four candles peace, love faith and hope before:
May all of your four candles always be lit!