This year we played Christmas Friend again at Jhamtse Gatsal. Christmas Friend is a bit like Secret Santa, where we exchange letters for a month before Christmas. All the students, teachers, volunteers and some management played. The good thing about Christmas Friends is that the kids can share their feelings comfortably and play with the staff. The whole month was full of guessing and excitement, but the kids always guessed their secret friend quicker than the staff.
Kids got an opportunity to practice their writing skills and creativity; every day we would wake up to new letters being delivered. Throughout the month, kids gave their Christmas friends drawings, snacks, and other small gifts to make their friends happy. It was fun watching kids trying to send letters to their secret friend without them finding out. Some kids sent and received as much as five letters in one day, while others got annoyed because they were not receiving any letters at all.
At the same time, everyone was busy making a special gift for the final day – Christmas Day. When Christmas Day came, everyone was excited to find out their secret santa. We gathered in the prayer hall to exchange gifts. Some were surprised, but some already knew who had been writing them letters. Kids are always excited to receive gifts, especially from each other. Our oldest child, Maling Jangmo, was gifted a laptop by Vasudha (her secret friend) as a gift to prepare her for college. Overall, it was a wonderful Christmas, and we look forward to playing again next year!