I ask my students to write me a letter about their plans for the Christmas-New Year break. Their plans can be as fanciful as celebrating Christmas on Mars with Superman to as heartfelt as wishing divorced parents would get along or deceased grandparents were here again. I make a mug of hot cocoa and sit in my living room next to the pretty tree adorned with silver and gold and read their letters. I’ve done this for several years now. In the past I told the kids that it would help me to not miss them so much. I don’t think I said that this time which is odd. I write a letter that I copy after I sign it and give them an idea of my plans, too. I hand it to them on the last day before the break. I see them reading it and laughing about it. Here is the text of my letter to my students this year.
We have gone through an entire semester together for sixth grade, and we have more to learn, read, and write before the school year ends. Please know that I am proud of your hard work, and I want your success in life always. I plan to spend time with my family in town this year. I also plan to cook quite a bit of food and will be busily baking cookies over the weekend. No, you can’t come over and have tea and cookies with me. Nice try! I will be walking and/or running for my exercise, as is my routine. If you see me at the grocery store or shopping mall, it’s okay to say hello to me unless you can tell that I’ve not had my morning cup of coffee. In that case, avoid eye contact and run for your life. If I am entering Starbucks, wait until I come out with my venti caffé mocha before approaching.
Seriously, I plan to read several good books and take some naps. I like to drive around neighborhoods with lighting displays and feel like a little girl again. I do the “oohs” and “ahs” just like you when you see a really exquisite display of electrical lighting artistry as you go along the road. I’ll be sipping hot cocoa with a hint of cinnamon in it to make it perfect. I would love to visit Disney World for Christmas, but that’s not going to happen this year. It’s been a dream of mine for several years now.
Take care of yourselves, and enjoy the winter break whether you celebrate Christmas or Hannukah or neither one of the winter holidays. Relax with your families, and be kind to your pets and siblings. Don’t visit the notorious dentist, Dr. Numbfang under any circumstances. Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Seasons’ greetings to you and your families.