I have to admit to no small amount of joy at having over two weeks off.


I need a break. I need a change, to just do some of those things that I keep saying “when I have time.” Well, now I’ll have some time to do those things. At least until January 3rd.


Not that this time of year really lends itself very well to having gobs of extra time: we’ve got three Christmas celebrations coming up in the next two weeks. But that’s really the payoff to all of the shopping, cleaning and prep: the time with families.


We’ve made the decision to host all three events, and I’m looking forward to each of them for similar and differing reasons. I enjoy cooking for a crowd, and we’re even going to break with tradition when my side of the family comes over.


The kids are hitting that period of anticipation: the girls are on winter break now, but Patrick doesn’t start his until Friday. But I think they’ve suddenly become aware that we’re only a week off from Christmas, so there’s a quiet kind of excitement that’s starting to build. That’s fun to see this time of year.


But the fact that we’re a week off didn’t really hit me until today in church–it was a service with hymns and readings, no sermon and lacking some of the usual structure. And singing along to a couple of the hymns made me realize that maybe it’s the experience of age, but you start associating hymns–especially Christmas hymns–with events or people. It makes this time of year alternately difficult and very enjoyable, which is probably how it’s meant to be: Just to be rich and fulfilling and deeply emotional.


It’s a good time to take a break and focus down on things other than work right now.


See you tomorrow.