I've vowed not to miss Christmas this year.
At one point last week my five-year-old melted down because there were still over twenty days until Christmas -- a figure which seemed cruelly insurmountable in light of her eagerness, like I had been mistakenly counting in dog years. A day is like a week to a kid who's waiting for Christmas, after all.
To aid the countdown and ease her emotional duress, I hung a simple paper chain in our kitchen.
Little did I know that this simple ritual would be as rewarding for me as it is for the girls. Another fall semester draws to a close, and once again, work flurries about me. There are final speeches to observe, final projects to evaluate, and final grades to upload, yet I each day I pause and regard that simple paper chain.
We're making time each day to sit together on the couch -- all five of us -- and read Christmas books or watch a Christmas video. It's become my favorite spot in the house, a cozy space where I can enjoy the view of snow-covered hills behind our home, a space where I can steal a moment with my favorite people.
This year, I've not only prepared my home, but also my heart.