Happy cold, icy, snowy, sleepy Friday afternoon. It’s been an interesting December, as the weather has been surprisingly generous in precipitation. After the dry summer and fall conditions, it’s nearly shocking to feel such moisture in the air. Many of you have had several days away from school due to all of this winter weather. Our son is thrilled about this. I am certain that this break has allowed you some extra time to get ready for the holidays. It’s nice to have a jump start on relaxation, and I hope you have taken full advantage.
Since my last post, I have almost caught up with the rest of you. I only have two gifts to buy. The snow doused me into the spirit of the season. There is one thing, however, that I haven’t yet accomplished. I still have to decide on my New Year’s resolution. There are many things I want to change, so pinpointing which aspect I want to focus on for 2011 is proving to be difficult. It has to be a realistic goal. I have actually been surprisingly successful in sticking to my past three resolutions. I am a slow learner. I really don’t want break this cycle, so this decision is very tricky.
The Winter Solstice will take place this Tuesday, December 21st, at 6:38 p.m. EST. I plan to have my resolution in place by then. It will be interesting because this year’s Solstice will be accompanied by a lunar eclipse. If you would like more information, see NASA’s article, Solstice Lunar Eclipse. For the east coast, the lunar eclipse will begin Tuesday at 1:33 a.m. EST, reaching totality at 2:41 a.m. EST. I hope to be able to stay awake long enough to experience it. It’s times like these that make me wish I was still teaching. I would love to have the opportunity to study the Solstice and lunar eclipse with students. I didn’t teach science, but there is always a way to incorporate topics into drama and creative writing assignments (which I did teach). Ah, but being a parent fills that void. Our son is knowledgeable of the astronomical phenomena that drive our seasons, but there is always something new to discover with him.
I also wanted to remind you of some energy saving/green holiday practices. In the rush of the events, we sometimes forget.
1. When you are away from your home, lower the temperature in your house by a couple of degrees. Your energy bill will be a bit less.
2. Shut off your holiday lights. This prevents fire and saves money. Also, if you are thinking of replacing your holiday lights next year, consider buying LED sets. They usually go on sale after Christmas.
3. Recycle your gift wrappings and boxes. Leaving them by the curb allows opportunists to easily see what you received that they would like to have. It’s very good for our trees, too.
As we wrap up 2010, I want to wish each of you the most precious, memorable, peaceful, and bountiful Christmas. May the New Year bring reality to all of your dreams.