What is it about the holidays that changes the mood so easily? You know what I’m hearing from colleagues lately? LAUGHTER! Most everyone is in a lighthearted, festive mood. Joy can be found at every turn, guffaws in every classroom, skipping in every hall. The whole mood is positively delighftul. Not to mention the fact that everyday a different talented baker in the school is spoiling me with a bag or box of delicious cookies, baklava, or candy. Assistant principals are throwing parties, kids are licking candy canes, and music is swimming sweetly from speakers.
It is a special time of year. At the end of a trying three months, and as we look forward to spending time with family and friends, this last week before the winter break has done a wonderful job of helping us all keep in perspective the fact that work is just one important part of our lives.
With that in mind, I am looking forward to having my family and friends over for my first major holiday party Monday night. Fifteen people, ranging in age from seven months to 85 years, will gather around my table to celebrate Hanukkah. I specifically planned the menu to reflect the importance of family (after all, that’s what the holidays are about). As such, I am making my mother’s mother’s signature meat dish that I prepared once with her several years ago. She made it for every holiday and we grandchildren are making sure that tradition continues. My dad is making her vegetarian chopped liver, and I can’t remember the last time we had that. I also baked my father’s mother’s rugelach, which were my and my sister’s favorite when we were kids. I may also make her sandies, another cookie that I used to love eating straight out of her freezer.
This party is just one of the reasons I am looking forward to the time off. I know that I walk back into school each January feeling refreshed, thrilled to see everyone, feeling fresh as a daisy. We need the recharge. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
If today is your final day before the break, make it a fun one. I wish everyone a restful break and happy holidays.