One of my holiday traditions each year is to read A Christmas Carol with my seventh graders, and "The Gift of the Magi" with my eighth graders. I admit, though, that of the two, my favorite is A Christmas Carol. We read each stave aloud together in the week or so before the holiday break, and every year, I'm reminded of why I love this book so much. It doesn't so much focus on Christmas as a day or a time of year as it does on the bigger picture -- keeping Christmas every day, for as long (or as short) as we live. Some of my favorite lines are found at the end of Stave Four, when Ebenezer Scrooge pleads with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, proving himself to be a dynamic character after all: "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future."
These words remind me of a simple truth about time and character: the choices we make in the past influence who we are today; by remaining mindful of how our past shapes us, we can make better choices in the present, which in turn, will shape our future. I love that Christmas is so close to the new year, because both events signify for me a simultaneous looking back and looking forward. Today is a snapshot, but we can't forget about the big picture.
Before I head off once more into the holiday breach, here's my latest project for Lilybee Design. Full details are on the Lilybee blog, if you're interested.
Ooh, and don't forget to check the Lilybee blog for daily giveaways. Today is day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas giveaways, so there's still time to enter.