Another Christmas here in Thailand. When I asked three students in an extra class that I teach on Fridays "What is Christmas?" I got two "A day we don't have to learn" and one "A day when we get a present". Pretty much what I expected from 4th graders though.This morning the school decided to throw pointy dunce hats on everyone and have an impromptu Christmas assembly. Our principal didn't react well to the speech given by Teacher Joyce, Filipina art/substitute teacher, who gave a true history of Christmas, it's meaning, Jesus Christ, etc.The Principal's face looked like she was gonna eat somebody at every mention of Jesus, religion, etc. I think she wanted a speech about Santa, gift giving, jingle bells, etc.After the Jesus speech, there suddenly appeared a microphone and sheet music in the foreign teachers' hands and they expected us to sing. Didn't happen, but we stood there and smiled.Jingle Bell Rock was the song we were supposed to sing, but after an awkward two minutes of silence mixed with someone trying to find the correct track on the CD player. I mouthed the words to "Feliz Navidad" when they played the first verse by mistake, to the amusement of the kids in the front row. Eventually we just sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" or something like that! Not to be Grinch or Scrooge or anything, but, a little preparation?We did have a surprise Santa this year, a student rather than a teacher. I took a few photos of the proceedings and thought I'd share. I'm glad there are very few of me in my dunce cap...at least on my camera.Christmas is not as celebrated as New Years here, and although they come wrapped in Christmas paper, the kids bring us a lot of cool New Year's gifts. This one that G.M. gave the teachers is a model sail boat, unique!O.C. dropped off some sushi candles this year to go with the brownie candles and heart candles of previous New Years. There are cookies, chocolates, candies, calendars, highlighters, diaries, blinky pins, and key chains also bulging out of my desk drawers, all from the kids. Kids are cute when they come and give you a piece of candy wrapped in a piece of recycled paper with "Happy New Year" hastily penciled on the outside!No matter the size of the gift, it's really the thought that counts, and some of the kids are satisfied with a "Merry Christmas" and a high five from T. Guy! Santa on the other hand, never mind wearing his clothes backwards, looks like he's worn out already, and he's still got the rest of the world to get to! Get to work Santy!!!