I have always loved Christmas. The sights, the sounds, the gifts, the food and the Hallmark movies! What’s not to love?
However, as I have matured, Christmas has become a more reflective time. My personal thoughts, while inspired by Christmas, include all of the poignant periods of growth in my life. These reflections stir my soul and help me realize that the people I have met and the events I have experienced have combined to add color, texture and contrast to my life. Each recalled situation has helped me to recognize the importance of human interactions and reconcile the life lessons that have shaped who I am.
With apologies to Mr. Dickens, the Christmases of my past and present have become sacred to me. My life’s relationships and experiences have deepened and broadened my perspective on life and provided direction and guidance as a student in the classroom of life.
I feel blessed and content with my own perspective of Christmases Past and Present. However, like Mr. Scrooge, I find the concept of Christmases “yet to come” to be a little frightening. Since none of us know exactly what future Christmases hold, I plan to rely on what I have learned from both the past and present as I prepare for the uncertainties of the future.
We should take comfort from our life’s work. We are students of human nature and recognize that there are far more good people trying to make the world a better and brighter place than the other way around. In just a few short weeks, we will return to our students and resume what we do best. We will continue to provide kindness, patience, encouragement, tolerance and understanding as we help prepare our students as they manage their own Christmases “yet to come.”
Thank you all for your efforts in helping to shape the citizens of tomorrow. This noble work is no easy task, and I can think of no finer group of professionals to accomplish the job than you. I am proud to be your colleague.
Tiny Tim’s closing words from “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens seem appropriate now: “God bless us all, everyone!”
I wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.
Richard Stokes is superintendent of the Carson City School District.