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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Huge Success!

Many, many thanks to everyone for helping us make the 1st annual Y.E.S. Christmas party a huge success. The students and parents were greeted by our surprise guest (Santa Claus). In the U.S., it’s not a big deal to see Santa at a party. Actually, it’s not a big deal to see Santa in Japan. The surprise for everyone was that Santa looked like, well…Santa. In Japan, these terrible looking disguises that look like a red Robin Hood are offered as a Santa costume. So when the kids and parents saw a “real” Santa, they freaked out. It was a great photo opportunity for everyone. Santa didn’t say much since his Japanese was rusty, but the kids had a good time trying to figure out who he was. “Of course, it was Santa!” we repeated throughout the evening to every child that asked.

The parents provided a wide assortment of edible delights. The students provided entertainment by giving speeches and singing songs in English. They performed magnificently! The kids enjoyed the freshly popped kettle corn.
I enjoyed looking at the faces of the kids as they tried to break open the piñata. I'm sorry that you can't see their faces because of privacy issues. (Erika did a good job at adding "hearts" to the pictures.) The youngest kids were the first to give it a try. By the time we reached the oldest kids, the piñata was getting heavy. I think it weighed over 10 pounds. The scene was perfectly choreographed as the last student gave the piñata a mighty blow. The contents showered onto the floor and the kids scrambled to gather the goodies. The super balls worked as planned (earlier post). They bounced all over the place!

It was time for the parents to have some fun. The Christmas Quiz Game Show was a hit. Candies worth various points were given out as each question was answered correctly. The one with the most points at the end of the game was given the privilege of choosing the first present under the Christmas tree. The highlight for me…playing the guitar and singing Silent Night in Japanese. To add drama, I turned the lights down and the room glowed with Christmas lights. The audience sounded like a choir and it was an emotional experience. I redeemed myself for an earlier childhood trauma (earlier post) and I was able to sing without a mistake. Woo hoo! It feels good to get that monkey off my back.

Everyone went home with a candy train, a present, a foam picture frame ornament, an assortment of candy, photos, a full stomach, and many good  memories. What’s next? Santa will make an appearance on the 25th in Yufuin. It should be a lot of fun.   George

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