YAC news, Giving Games 4th Mission and Profesor Carol's Advent Tidbit
Art by Fiona R.'15
1. Hope for the Holidays Infant Crisis Services Drive: Our Lower and Primary Division students are ICS Hope for the Holiday donors for the next two weeks. Lower Division is collecting diapers, baby formula, etc. this week and Primary Division students will be donating next week. This project was organized, in the LD by 4th grade team in collaboration with Classroom with a Cause, YAC Freshman Chair Katherine S.
2. At YAC meetings, YAC has been decorating placemats for Children's Hospital to brighten a bit hospital meals. YAC also continues to make pinwheels for Syrian Refugee Children. Each pinwheel will receive $2, up to $400,000 from the Bezos Foundation to provide educational and mental health services through the International Rescue Team. This is part of YAC's Students Rebuild Challenge.
3. YAC seniors are facilitating a blood drive next week with the goal of screening 50-70 people and getting at least 35 donors. The blood bank will be taking donations at the Cochran Library from 7:30-12:30 on Thursday, December 10th.
4. Our citywide Youth LEAD OKCasady is collecting gently worn clothing for Metro Career Academy, a full service school that enables teens to stay in school by providing all the resources they need including food and clothing. Youth Leaders will meet to organize an event at Metro Career Academy on Sunday, December 6, from 1:30-3:30 (Planning team meets an hour early and stays 30 minutes after). The event will take place at Metro Career Academy School from 12:00-2:00. Casady and Heritage Hall Youth Leaders will caravan together to Metro Career Academy. Cyclones will be excused from classes at 11:30.
5. Casady Alumni volunteered at the Food Bank on 12/2/2015. Joyful time giving to other's needs with old friends, new parents, and grandparents! Go Community Club 2001 Officers!
6. Art Club YAC members are making Christmas Stocking for a school of African Refugees. Pictures and more news about a possible Art Club event in a couple of weeks forthcoming.
7. Project Warm, https://goo.gl/photos/UFQdEhMbLTN5B6NQA. Second graders made Baby Blanket for the Salvation Army. The Service-Learning Program connected to this project in memory of Annie Hill whose freshman project was Blanket for Positive Tomorrows. She named the project, Project Warm.
Teens and Schools Pay it Forward: Compassion Giving Games DAY FOUR
Reflect On Yesterday's Mission
Before moving on to your fourth mission, take a moment to reflect on yesterday’s mission. Which person did you choose to write your letter or draw your picture about? What makes this person special? Do you think they know how important they are to you? What are other things you can do to show how thankful you are for this person? Discuss these questions as a class, or break into small groups.
Agents, your fourth mission… is to LAUGH!
Laughter brings joy to everyone who hears it, so give joy to your classmates, friends, or family by laughing together. Set a timer for 60 seconds and just start laughing --- at nothing! Before the minute is up, you’ll be hysterically laughing at your own laughter. It might even be hard to stop laughing once the timer goes off!
With the good feelings you received from this experience, find ways to bring joy to others throughout your day. Be goofy to make someone laugh, leave a note for someone that makes them smile, or even dance silly for no reason with your friends! Bring this joy home to your family and friends!
Agents, remember... As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on theCompassion Report Map! Your report inspires others, amplifying the power of your compassion and generosity!
Did you know that laughter is good for us? Really good for us. Laughter reduces stress and pain in the body, and gives a boost to our creativity, problem solving abilities, and even our memories! Laughing increases blood flow in the body and strengthens the heart, just like exercise. And laughter makes us feel more connected and bonded with others, helping boost our self-esteem and motivation with feelings of increased hope, optimism, and vitality. It even makes us more friendly, and yes, more generous toward others!
Advent in Germany is the time for the Christmas Markets. The old-fashioned wooden kiosks have been painstakingly assembled and filled with gingerbread hearts, woolen caps, Italian cakes, and hand-blown glass ornaments. Vendors will work in the cold for weeks.
Christmas markets become the focus of civic life across Europe during Advent. But no one does it better than the Germans. Known also as Christkindlmarkt, the German tradition stretches back to the Dresden Christmas market, 580 years old this year. You read that right. Five hundred and eighty years! Yet even older forerunners are documented, including one in Vienna as early as the 1290s. So the basic elements of this tradition have strong roots.
Weihnachtsmarkt in Halle – baerchen57 (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
The central squares of most good-sized German towns are filled with rustic kiosks and decorated with evergreens. The façades of the surrounding buildings are outlined with white lights. The air thickens with the aroma of cinnamon, chocolate, powdered sugar, and mulled wine. And anchoring it all is a huge Christmas Tree, set right in the center.
To me, the most striking thing about the Weihnachtsmarkt is the daily lure it has for the regular townspeople. Yes, tourists do make up part of the crowd. In fact a few years ago, the Christmas Market in “our” small city of Weimar (our second home) was named by CNN as the world’s best. This accolade surprised everyone and absolutely resulted in more tourist visits, but fortunately Weimar has not been overrun.
But it’s the townspeople who fuel Christmas Markets. Friends and family trek regularly down to participate. Toddlers enjoy the kiddie rides and miniature Ferris Wheels. Children gravitate to the petting zoos placed around the life-sized Nativity Scenes. Moms and daughters browse the hand-blown glass ornaments and rows of candles. Ah, the candles, from stout ones for table tops to small tapers whose flames power the blades of the Adventspyramiden (multi-tiered wooden pyramids).
And everyone eats and drinks! Steaming bowls of soup and plates of dried butter fish, slabs of bread layered with garlic and cheese direct out of wood-burning ovens, lollipop-like sticks of fruit dipped in chocolate, and, of course, Gluhwein, mulled wine (which, I think, must be an acquired taste!).
This year, unfortunately, we will not be in Weimar for Christmas. My husband spent an extended time there in the autumn while I led tour groups through Eastern Europe. Right now we need some quality time in Texas with family and friends. So I will miss my spiced lentil soup and pakora from the Indian kiosk—a new addition to the line of Weimar’s traditional vendors. But we have seen the Christmas Market enough times to know the rhythm.
A few days before Christmas, when our U.S. culture is gearing up to its most hysterical nearly-Christmas frenzy, the Weihnachtsmarkt closes. Done. Yes, the kiosks are shuttered, the goods are packed up, workmen dissemble the huts, and the shopkeepers go home so they can prepare to celebrate Christmas with their families.
Unimaginable, isn’t it? But, as one shopkeeper said to me, “Why would any want to ruin Christmas by shopping right up to the last minute?”
It’s a good lesson for Advent, isn’t it? A last-minute buying frenzy just isn’t the goal of the Weihnachtsmarkt. Instead, it prepares the season, keeping the focus on tradition and interaction with loved ones. Meanwhile, I do wish I had one of those gingerbread hearts or some marzipan potatoes.