Community spirit at Christmas

Published: December 18, 2017

Harmeny children have been out and about in the run up to Christmas, sharing their gifts and their talents.

Pupils again took part in Balerno’s annual Christmas Tree Festival, at which local groups and businesses are invited to decorate Christmas trees, which are then voted on by visitors to the festival.

This year, Harmeny went all white and gold, with a “Wish upon a Star” theme. The children made wonderful baubles made out of decorated polystyrene balls. They came in all styles, from Connor’s beautifully symmetrical, sparkly design to Mr and Mrs Claus, created by Dannon with a clever use of pipe cleaners for arms and legs.

Alongside the bauble were the wishes themselves. The tree branches held small stars dipped in gold paint, each one with a wish attached. The wishes were truly varied, from wanting to own lots of pets (“basically own an animal zoo”) to hoping that every child in the world could get a present.

Indeed, thinking about others has been a big theme at Harmeny this Christmas. The older children had a specially created “Acts of Random Kindness” Advent Calendar. Each day a child removed a bag from the calendar. It contained a chocolate for the child, but the bag itself – which also contained other light Christmas snacks – was to give to someone else of their choice. This was a very special way of sharing care for others.

On one day, some of the children took a few of the bags into Edinburgh, where they handed them out to homeless people they met begging on the streets.

It was really appropriate, therefore, that among the other wishes on this year’s entry into the Balerno Christmas Tree Festival was one that read: “I wish there were no homeless people”.