‘Tis the Season

Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe I am old fashioned, but it seems that the holiday decorations and ads are coming earlier and earlier each year. Please understand that our house is decorated the day after Thanksgiving (which seems about right to me), and it stays up until the second week of January (maybe a hair longer than normal). And when I mean decorated I mean it looks like an airport runway. But I saw holiday decorations in stores BEFORE Halloween…that’s just not right (in my humble opinion). While not the point of this blog post, it helps to set the stage.

During these weeks of turkey dinners, holiday music, Macy’s Day parade and anticipation of some well deserved time off, our school focuses on community service and giving back to our community. We have conducted our annual Christmas Mother Sock Drive, we are in the midst of our Toys for Tots drive and we are just starting our Christmas Mother Book Drive. We concluded October with our annual Cancer Awareness basketball/soccer game, where we raised over $3200 for Catherine’s Fight, which benefited one of our families who has a student battling cancer. These are all outstanding events, and part of who we are as a school. But to me, there is more to it than that. When I watch our students dedicate themselves to making these events successful, I see so much more than pairs of socks, stacks of books and cash being donated. I see students who think about someone other than themselves. I see students who are grateful to be able to help others, and do it with a smile. I see students who put the needs of others before their own. I see hope and sacrifice and compassion and caring for others. I want to say that is what the holidays are all about, but that is wrong. It is the way we should treat each other all year long, and our students are wonderful examples of that.

We hear and read all the time about how this generation is so wrapped in their devices and screen time that they have no concept of human interaction. While there may be some truth in that, I also think we need to temper these types of remarks. We need to provide students opportunities to be contributing members of society, chances to see beyond themselves. When we do, they normally rise to the challenge. When they rise up like that, it give me hope for this generation. We should all be proud to be a part of that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


About drellena

Principal of Tomahawk Creek Middle School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals.
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