I am responding here to Carolyn’s invitation to reflect on the above question now that Christmas is past — I’m not sure what all to give credit for the fact that this year I did sense much less emotional tiredness and the resulting “unglued seasonal stress” in the classroom. Intentionally planning to do only a few extras made a difference within myself and I am sure that also helped the general atmosphere of calmness and the ability for students to focus. Then too the few extras that we did do had more of a focus on giving rather than receiving and I expect that too made a difference. We did our traditional memorizing of the Christmas story and presentation to the 1st and 2nd grades and instead of a Christmas party, we went caroling for a few of the grandparents close by. Both of these things gave students an opportunity to give, and they stepped up to the plate beautifully. I loved ending the final day of school (we went through the 22nd) with a spirit of joy rather than the feeling of barely making it.