“What I remember most from when my children went to school is not all the anxiety about classes or the hectic mornings when everyone had to be on time, it’s the Christmas celebrations. On the last day of school before Christmas holidays, they would invite us to the school celebration. Everything was decorated with ornaments and crafts made by the students. The moms of the various school committees would bring snacks and Christmas desserts like melomakarona or kourabiedes and would treat everyone who got there. But the most exciting thing was seeing my children’s faces looking for us in the crowd while they were singing or playing their parts on stage. The most exciting thing was their excitement to show me their classroom or introduce me to this or that teacher or friend and try to make me part of their little school life and community that would take up so much of their time and would help shape the people they became later in life.
So when my daughter moved to the US and had children there, the thought that I would never be able to share memories like this with my grandchildren made me really sad. I could never imagine that the online Greek school I found to make sure that they learn Greek would actually give me the opportunity to share moments like these with my granddaughters. That’s why this online Christmas celebration means more to me than you even realize.”
This is part of a thank you note sent to The Greek Online School after this year’s online Christmas party from a Greek yiayia who lives in Thessaloniki and has made sure that her granddaughters who live in Maine in the US will learn Greek and be exposed to Greek education, too.
The importance of Greek School traditions
According to the School’s educators this is the main reason why they organize online Christmas celebrations; to make sure that these students make memories from school traditions like a Christmas party. But also, these online celebrations and gatherings are a great way to bring families together, to involve grandparents who live in Greece and see their grandchildren once a year in their Greek education and time at Greek school.
That’s why if you found yourself at one of the Greek Online School’s online Christmas parties, you would see students singing Christmas songs and carols. Υou would hear them talk about Christmas traditions that come from their place of origin in Greece. Υou would see them playing games to test their knowledge on Greek Christmas traditions. Βut you would also see the proud smiles on the faces of their grandparents who connect from the other side of the world to see their beloved grandchildren take part in their Greek School Christmas celebration.
Greek Christmas Traditions
“Moments like this, these memories that we have the honor to share with Greek families is what keeps us going and trying to be the best version of ourselves as educators to give these students what they deserve and their families what they hope for,” says Mrs Stella Bompotsiari Vri, founder and director of The Greek Online School.
And the efforts of this online community of Greeks to bring younger generations of Greeks closer to their language and heritage do not stop here. For the whole month of December they have been running a survey on Greek Christmas traditions as a way to see which traditions are kept by Greeks abroad and as an incentive to teach these traditions to little Greeks in their online classrooms.
It goes without saying that the young students of The Greek Online School love unwrapping the Christmas spirit together with their teachers, classmates and families and they have a way to make the holidays even more special for everyone involved by spreading Christmas bliss through their screens.
Click here for the Greek Christmas survey.