What a magnificent end to the semester! All the Christmas concerts, plays, and class parties have been wrapped up. Semester exams, projects, and essays have all been completed and submitted (filed away for grading over the break I am sure). All the plans and preparations have run their course and come to fulfillment in the form of snacks, games, gifts, and memories that will delight parents and students for years to come. The hustle and bustle in the halls vanished fairly quickly, after the office was able to gain control of the tv in the foyer, and now the school sits strangely quiet.
The rhythm of the academic year is extremely predictable to most educators and parents. The weather turns colder, grass fades, and leaves begin to fall; all these coincide with shorter days and mysteriously shorter attention spans. Now, I know this is a great generalization and doesn’t apply to all students, so I say it mostly in jest, but for sure these last two weeks of school present major hurdles to students’ focus. And why shouldn’t it? If anything should be able to draw our attention, it should be Christmas.
With all the racing and running towards Christmas Break, I believe it is all too easy for us to glance over the beauty of Christmas break. We need Christmas break; it’s good for us. There is no doubt in our CSW community that Christ has come. There is no argument of that amongst us. His birth was an actual event that ushered the Savior into the world. We don’t have to justify our “Merry Christmas” as we pass in the hall, and that is amazing, in and of itself, and I am extremely grateful for that.
Christmas Break is necessary because it allows us to alter our “normal” schedules. It shakes us out of our comfortable routines and gives us the opportunity, if we will take it, to focus on the truth, goodness, and beauty of Christ. The three things we desire to teach our students to recognize and pursue (Truth, Goodness, Beauty) are so obvious in Christ’s birth that the world does whatever it can to obscure them. The world would have us busy ourselves, chasing our tails and the ever elusive, must-have “something or other”, so as to have us skip over the Truth of His coming, the Goodness of the Gift, and the Beauty in its presentation.
Fortunately, the world can’t help but acknowledge something is different during this season and we are blessed to know what that difference is. Christmas break should be used to acknowledge, rest in, and revel in His birth and His gift.
I pray your Christmas break will be shared with family and friends, focusing on Christ and His gift to us, with much rest and just as much revelry. I’m also pretty content in the knowledge that the hustle and bustle has moved from our halls to your homes.
Wade Ortego for all of the CSW Administration