During the last few days of December, a lot of people tend to start looking ahead to the new year. They’re busy making resolutions; promises to themselves (or others) about things they want to change and/or do better. And, for the most part, they seem to tie it all to one particular date — the first of January.
I used to look at the new year in much the same way. But, not anymore.
For our family, important new beginnings and significant milestones don’t take place on January 1st. Instead they’re sprinkled throughout the year. Like in March, when my husband and I will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our first date. And in August, when my son will begin a new school year as a fourth grader, the same grade I taught for more than half of my teaching career.
To my readers, warm wishes for a happy and healthy 2017!
When my husband and I first moved in together, we weren’t yet husband and wife. (We were engaged to be married and were a year later). We also weren’t two people with a lot of disposable income. Actually very little disposable income. Finances were so tight, that I kept a record of every dollar we spent. What wasn’t absolutely necessary, wasn’t purchased.
Except for one thing. I wanted (not needed, but deeply wanted) a real live Christmas tree. Growing up my family always had an artificial tree. In fact for most of my childhood, our tree was white (to resemble a snow-covered tree) adorned with blue ornaments. (Which in fact worked out quite nicely since blue and white are the Chanukah colors, and my family celebrated a mish-mash of Chanukah and Christmas).
But living on my own I wanted a tree. So we saved our money and bought one. And every year since, we’ve had a live tree.
This year it was our son who found the “perfect” tree. And this year it was mostly our eight-year-old son who decorated the tree. But that’s what makes the tree become our tree.
Happy Holidays to all my readers!
Our favorite hot chocolate mugs
If I’m honest, sometimes mothering seems like an endless to-do list.
There is the list of things to do before school each morning, the list of things to do each afternoon after school, and the list of things that need to be done each night before bed.
There are appointments to keep track of. Haircuts. Dental appointments and yearly doctor’s appointments.
But the other night, my son said something that made me stop and really just appreciate the moment. He was in the bath, covered with bubbles. And when I asked him if he was comfortable, if the water was warm enough, he didn’t just say “yes.” Instead, he said his bath was so good, so warm, so cozy that he felt like he was “swimming in hot chocolate.”
All I could do was smile and issue a quiet thanks for that moment. And for all the little moments in between the chores on the to-do lists.
On Sunday, we took our eight-and-a-half year old son to see the theatrical production of White Christmas. He’s never seen the movie, but prior to buying tickets, I showed him a couple of clips on YouTube to see if he’d be interested in the show. He was.
Our son is very musical. He loves to sing, and he loves to dance. So it seemed like White Christmas would be an ideal choice for his first theatrical stage show. (My son did attend a small theater production of Sleeping Beauty with his second grade class last year).
My son was enraptured during the performance. He smiled, he oohed and aahed when the artificial snow came out near the end. He clapped enthusiastically. And he told us he’d like to see another show again.
Although before the show, my son was a bit nervous. As we settled into our seats, my son had wanted to know if there were any bad guys in the show. Was there anything bad that would happen? And I could confidently answer “no.”
Which makes me love White christmas even more. It’s all about friendship and love. About doing something nice for someone else. About having faith in others. Important lessons for all of us.