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A wish for Christmas? – Headmaster’s blog – Wednesday 16th December 2015 – Ballard School

December 16, 2015

A wish for Christmas?

Three years ago we took an idea from a museum in London to set up a ‘Wishmas Tree’ on the landing outside my study. It’s a normal Christmas tree but without decorations. Pupils are encouraged to write dreams, wishes, thoughts and prayers for themselves and others on gift tags and then to attach them to the tree. Over the final ten days of term we had 52 wishes placed on the tree, interestingly one for each week of the year.

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There were a few specific present requests (I wish I have a video game), a number of imaginative ones (I wish I was a Star Wars character and I wish everyone could fly), some extraordinary wishes (I wish that I could eat everything in the universe in 2.13 seconds) and many hoping for a white Christmas! As usual, however, there were some very touching and poignant requests.

We can only wonder what lies behind the following heartfelt pleas – and I hope that these wishes, even prayers, do indeed come true:

I wish my parents were not in pain  

I wish my family would stop arguing and everyone be happy

I wish my family would be together for Christmas

I suppose we should take some heart from the fact that whoever wrote these anguished comments (and others to do with friendship – I wish my friends would be nice to me) felt comfortable enough to express their feelings in this way. Most ‘tags’ were anonymous but I sense that in our family-focused school there would be at least one person – prefect, teacher, mentor, tutor, matron, pastoral team member, ELSA assistant, school counsellor – to whom the distressed to go to and find a listening ear.

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One category was especially prominent this year – more so than before. In amongst the concern for the homeless, the poor and the refugee there were significant number to do with war, terrorism and conflict:

I wish there were no battles or war in the world

I wish for a world without terrorism

I hope for world peace

I wish that they would get rid of war

I wish there were no terrorists in the world

Clearly recent events in Paris have hit home hard. I wish everyone would treat people with respect clearly summed up the overriding concerns here. Who says that the youth of today don’t care and are self-centred and have their noses in screens most of the time? I don’t believe this to be true of most youngsters that I know. I wish that everyone is happy in school and I pray that more people will know the true meaning of Christmas were very apt statements of the overwhelming sentiments here as our Christmas Term comes to a conclusion and as we look forward to the festive season – and bright prospects in 2016. Every blessing for Christmas and the New Year!

                                                                                                                                                Alastair Reid (Headmaster)

We regularly tweet @BallardSchool and post on our Facebook page.

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