Article by Georgia Limcaoco

There are only two weeks left of school in 2016, and many members of the ISM community are looking forward to the long-awaited holiday break. With three full weeks of vacation, many students and teachers alike will be visiting or celebrating the holidays with family, binge-watching the latest Netflix shows, and eating way too much food. But some holiday plans aren’t as predictable as others. Here are some weird things that teachers at ISM will be doing or have done over the holidays.

Mr. Rodgers will be spending the break in a whirlwind of non-stop travel. His itinerary includes three continents: Asia, North America, and Europe, and activities planned include attending an American football game, an English football game, and a wedding!

Meanwhile, Ms. Dodd’s family participates an interesting annual holiday tradition. They play a game called “Nasty Santa” in which the same horrible gift gets put into the family gift exchange and is re-gifted each year.

“A few years ago someone put in a really horrible gift for the exchange, and Doddy got it,” she explains. “He wasn’t happy, so he saved it and has secretly put it into the gift exchange every year.”

Ms. Gough’s family buys a “surprise” tree from the Christmas tree lot each year.

“We choose a tree that’s wrapped up in netting and we don’t open it, we just buy it without any idea what it might look like,” she says. One year, they opened the tree in the living room and found a squirrel hiding between the branches!

Another one of her family’s interesting traditions includes a Christmas pickle. “We have a pickle ornament that someone hides in the Christmas tree,” Ms. Gough explains, “and whoever finds it supposedly gets a year of good luck.”

Teachers staying closer to home have plans just as interesting in store. Ms. Yek will be staying in Manila to watch performances of “A Christmas Carol (The Musical),” of which she was one of the dance choreographers! She will also be decorating her house and continuing to expand her collection of Nutcracker dolls.

While not all of us have Christmas pickles to find or Nasty Santa presents to open over the vacation, a long and well-deserved break from school should be just what we need to come back refreshed and renewed for the new year. Two weeks and counting – happy holidays, ISM!

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