This is one of my favourite times of the year. The days leading up to the break are very busy, but the sense of belonging at our school is more appreciable. It is humbling and heartening to be a part of so many thoughtful students and staff who are engaged in such a wide variety of socially responsible endeavours - volunteering locally and in the downtown east side, gathering blankets and toiletries, collecting food, raising funds for less fortunate families at our own school and for the people of the Philippines, knitting scarves or singing for local seniors are just a few examples. It is genuinely inspiring to be a part of such a caring community.
I also look forward to having some time away from work and enjoying a little holiday cheer: good food, gatherings with friends and family, the chance to read a couple of new novels and going for walks and getting more exercise. I will enjoy watching the World Junior ice hockey tournament, this year being played in Sweden (Go Canada Go!). Most importantly, the Christmas break is a chance to reconnect with our two children who will come back home briefly - one from an athletic scholarship at university and the other from playing junior hockey in Saskatchewan.
I love my children more than I will ever be able to fully describe and being a father is the very best part of my life. When wrestling with dilemmas at work, using the framework of "what would I want for my kids?" has also made me a better educator. I miss them when they are away but also admire their independence and resilience. I am blessed to be able to share in the lives of two very interesting and thoughtful young adults, siblings who love and care for one another, but also different and unique people.
I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday and hope you're able enjoy the gift of time spent with family and friends. I will leave you with a timely blog piece written by our daughter - Merry Christmas and please enjoy "The Art of Giving".