This is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the decorations that begin to show up in the malls, on storefronts, and in our homes.  I love the lights that seem to surround us wherever we are. I especially love the Santas that I’ve collected over the years that I can finally bring out of my attic and adorn our tables and bookshelves. And I particularly enjoy the noisy, loud, and battery-powered contraptions that are also part of our family decorations that sing, bark, and dance, allowing all of us to celebrate the holidays. Unfortunately, our grandson Henry loves to “push the buttons” to play them…all at the same time!  Regardless, it is all festive, stimulating, and special!

Yet, we should never lose sight of the real purpose behind the season. With the beautiful diversity of our religious backgrounds in our school family it is a very holy time of the year for many of us. It is also a time to openly express our gratitude, love, and our appreciation for each other. It is a time to give and a time to enjoy the special feelings that only this holiday season can bring forth.

I urge all of us in our homes and families to enjoy this season! Let the tension and frustrations that are such a part of our everyday life to “fall off” our minds and bodies like the heavy snowdrops that can buildup on a tree. Please let it fall off.  If we allow those “issues” to build up or stay too long, just as snow on a tree, it will break those branches.

Let’s also make certain that we take time to smile and think about how fortunate we are to have our families. I hope that they surround you during this special time, either in person or in your memories. I encourage all of us to look at family albums, make phone calls or find ways to connect with our loved ones, so we can make this a wonderful time for all of us.

Above all, we need to keep a sense of perspective in our lives and in our families. It is so easy to let things pile up on us in our charge through the daily experience; it is a normal human process. But keeping a perspective on it, allows us to realize how fortunate we are to be educating our children in this great country, to be free to challenge our own thinking and thoughts along the way, and to be preparing our children with the confidence and competence they are going to need for whatever the future is going to bring them.

If you are like me, I am stunned by how quickly this year is racing by us! You will even be more shocked at how quickly we will get to the end of it. This is why we need to work to make each and every day as positive, effective, and joyful as possible. That doesn’t just happen. It comes from intentional and deliberate hard work.  And lots of passion for living and enjoying the beauty of being with people who mean the most to us.

Please join me in making this holiday season one of the best ever, so that we can all look back at those smiles and reflect on the great feelings we felt. I wish everyone all the best over the holiday and into the New Year. We have exciting things ahead in 2014 and we look forward to working very closely with you as we continue to grow and develop our wonderful school.

Best wishes to you!