I must admit that I am an easy target for the holidays. I grew up in a family where my brothers and I just loved all the anticipation and excitement that came with holiday decorations and music, family gatherings, and yes, trinkets and stuffed stockings and sleepless December nights. We would often sneak into each other’s rooms and wake each other in anticipation of the holidays and the fun and tradition that awaited us. We had our favorite music and our favorite stories and our favorite cookies. As an adult, I enjoy the preparations: the writing of cards, the baking of cookies and divining that one original gift that will make all the difference for a loved one…these are all activities that happily preoccupy me at this time of year.
So yes, there are two trees in the Pink House, stockings hung by the fireplace, scarves being knitted, cards being written, and holiday menus being planned. But there are also whispers of gratitude as well as worries about our children traveling home safely, Hannah from California and Alex from Connecticut. There is anticipation for the speedy recovery of some family and friends, and wishes and hopes for the future: the future of my family, of this school community, of our local community, of our country, and of our world. If I let myself, I could become paralyzed by all there is to do, and all that could go wrong, and all that might not get done. Instead, I want to focus on what is simple and good and right and humane–and just be grateful for the here and now.
In the spirit of giving, I offer up the following links for our collective enlightenment and education. Keep the peace and be thankful for all that we have in our lives. Right here. Right now.