Most teachers in our area started their winter break (the vacation formerly known as Christmas) about 30 seconds after the final bell rang this afternoon. For the new teachers we work with in my office, this time of year marks a low point in their morale as they get through the mad house that comes with the first four months of having your own classroom. (Some researcher has even charted the roller coaster that is the first year of teaching.) But I think most teachers reach a low point at this time of year, although never as deep as when we first started.

Beyond just getting some extra sleep and regular meals, winter break (like the ever-shortening one in the summer) for me has always represented the opportunity for extended work on personal projects. Some will be mundane (the basement needs major work!) but they also include editing some video (break open the new copy of Final Cut Express!) and updating the web sites. Stop in occasionally at the other sections of AssortedStuff (at the top of the left column) to see just how far I get.

Whether you’re a teacher or not, I hope you take the opportunity to slow down a little, do something for yourself and enjoy some happy moments with people you love. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas (we’re a "mixed" household; we celebrate everything :-), the good feelings generated at this time of year are worth absorbing.