Winter break – short, sweet and appreciated!

There is something particularly sweet about winter break and I am usually a bit down the days before school is about to start again. It always comes as somewhat of a shock that it’s almost over – how can it be, already? I am convinced there must be another week off, that the calendar has it wrong. But, double-checking the dates does not help, school is starting again and that is that.

Maybe it’s precisely because it’s short that I find it so sweet: there is no time for the kids to really get on each other’s nerves and everyone is just happy to get a breather from the alarm clock in the morning, the daily lunchboxes and the hectic morning commute. Unlike during summer break, there are no camps to shuttle kids to, and activities in general seem to be on a break.

And it’s not just that we don’t have to rush out in the morning, or that we are not spending afternoons stuck in traffic. It seems that no one else is either – there is a calm around town; people are walking a little slower, taking the time to say hello and extend wishes for a happy new year!

Other parts of life slow down as well this time of year, for example, my daily email count is way down. It’s oh so nice not to have to click through email after email deciding what needs attention and what does not.

The other night after dinner we all lingered around the table, well into the evening, just chatting. No one had to leave in a rush to finish homework or head to practice. Everyone’s phone was put away. It’s amazing where conversations can take you when you have the time to listen and ask questions. I find winter break so great because, for a couple of weeks, the days are a little less fragmented and that lends itself to peace of mind and a possibility of discovery. I wonder if we don’t have too little of that in our daily lives?

I have decided to try to enjoy these last few days before it all revs up again. I tell myself there is no reason to worry too much about school and activities. In my experience, once everything is in session it’s as if the sheer momentum of “what needs to get done” propels us forward, and somehow we just do what we need to do, without too much thought.

As this is the time of year for wishes and resolutions, I wish my kids would get to appreciate winter break as more than just time off school, that they could truly get a chance to put school out of mind for a few days, without the need to check grades online, or compare notes with friends about who got what on which assignment. I have a lofty wish that they would take a break from social media; that they too would get the chance of feeling how sweet it is when distractions are fewer, and time slows down just a little. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll wish for the holiday day calm to last a few more days for all of us; now that would be a great start to a happy new year!

By: Felicia Shermis

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A joyful holiday season? Yes, please!
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