I've finally made it to the mid-point of this difficult school year. Now it's time for a much-needed break and I plan to try and enjoy every minute of it. Yesterday was a half day for students, and staff got to leave shortly after they were dismissed. We go back on Monday, January 2nd so it's just over two weeks that we get off.
Last month the principal asked if I'd be willing to change offices, since the one I was in was very large and could be used as an extra conference room (which we need on a regular basis). Of course, I agreed. My new office, while smaller, feels much more comfortable, somehow. The principal mostly leaves me be, and that's just how I like it. I've been more productive and less stressed out, and I hope that continues when I get back. On Thursday the principal brought me a nicely wrapped package of goodies from a local baker as a Christmas gift. She told me that I do a really good job, that she's glad to work with me, and that she "hopes you're happy working here". My husband said that translates to "please don't quit!" and I think he's right! (I'm still planning to look for a better spot this spring).
Christmas is going to be super simple this year at our house. Gregg has only gotten paid for one week's work in over a month now (and that came from the late owner's brother). There's been some problem setting up his paycheck/direct deposit account with the new owners, and he's starting to get a bit upset about it. He's been working a lot of hours, helping to get the store reopened, and we need his paychecks to start coming! It's put a damper on our Christmas spending, as modest as that generally is around here anyway. And to be honest, I'm just tired. I don't feel like cooking and baking up a storm, or of putting up lots of decorations that just have to be taken right back down. I don't want to fight traffic, or crowded stores, or go to a bunch of social events.
We do have a Christmas tree, and colored lights on our potted ficus, and candles and greenery on the mantle, though. I love lights and sparkle during these long, cold nights. I'll do a little bit of cooking and baking, just not as much as usual, and Martina and I are exchanging books again this year. I highly recommend having a book exchange with a friend if you're both readers--we tried it last year and liked it so much we decided to make it an annual thing! I plan to have a few other friends over for a glass of wine or mulled cider during the holiday season, nothing fancy. I want to do less work, spend less money, and take time to enjoy simple things over the next couple of weeks. I'm grateful that my little family has made it through another year together, loving each other, and safe and sound and healthy. That's all I need for Christmas!