Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Carol Countdown: 17 Days to Go!


The school kids are hyper all the time now. They're bouncing off the walls and can't wait for vacation. Whenever one of my students says to me, "I can't wait for Christmas!" I have to chuckle inwardly. You think the kids are anxious...the teachers are chomping at the bit!

School is like a massive sugar high these days! Lots of high spirits and squirrely-ness and exuberant behavior. If we can only survive eight more days!

One of the activities in our family's advent countdown was the Balloon Stomp. It would definitely fit the activity level I see at school. It easy peasy too! Every player gets a balloon and blows it up. I think there was a rule of not putting so much air in it that it pops when you look at it! Get some yarn and cut a 18-inch length. Tie one end loosely around your ankle and tie the other to your balloon. Each person can decide the length of yarn between ankle and balloon, the only rule being that the balloon has to touch the ground. Experience has taught that the closer the balloon is to your ankle, the easier it is to defend.

The goal of the Stomp is to break everyone's balloon by stepping on it with your foot. At the same time, you must protect your own balloon. The winner is the last person who has an unpopped balloon.

One person yells "Go!" and the madness begins. It's wild, it's crazy, it's a madhouse. Boy, is it fun! My kids have fond memories of this game and that's the idea. Memories and traditions. Glue that holds us together.

Amazingly enough, I just heard this song two years ago. The great Louis Armstrong originally did it. I actually heard it done by Garth Brooks, but when I went to find it on iTunes the only version I could find was Louis Armstrong. And what a version!

Searching for it on YouTube, I found this incredible video someone put together. It has fantastic editing. There are clips of Armstrong himself singing the song interspersed with period cartoons. It's a treat! Sit back and enjoy: "Zat You Santa Claus"
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