When I taught in the traditional school, this would typically be the week of final exams. Monday through Wednesday would be spent presenting projects, reviewing the semester's material, cramming in last-minute poems we never covered adequately during the course of the semester, and preparing for final exams. Thursday and Friday would in essence be half-days, with exams in the morning and students typically released at lunch. Only the buses wouldn't run, so the kids who didn't drive would be stuck at school with the teachers who were frantically trying to get tests graded, averages calculated, and that damn holiday greeting on the classroom door that got old about a week after Thanksgiving Break removed so it wouldn't be there upon the return to school in January. Oh, and guess which kids don't drive? The very young ones and the thugs. Just the type you want to be stuck at school with on the last two days before Christmas Break.
Now, though, I don't have those worries. While this week IS technically the end of our semester, our students don't take final exams, and if they haven't quite completed a course (or two or four), they just roll over into next semester and finish it in January. Or next August, depending upon the student. If a student is diligent enough to have already completed a course (or four or five, in the cases of REALLY diligent students), he or she has already started on those courses also. That's what I love about the flexibility of our school. With a seat-time waiver, students move on when they finish a course's material, not according to some calendar. (Doesn't that just make sense?) Seniors who finish their courses early don't have to attend school anymore. They just sit home eating Cheetohs and watching bad television and music videos and wait for graduation day to roll around in May.
I don't have the stress of Christmas shopping. At least not to the extent that some people do. Hubby and I don't buy each other gifts anymore, so I don't have to worry about what to get him. And I don't have to worry that he will spend too much on something for me. I've already bought Sweet Girl's presents and sent them home with her, so I don't even have to worry about shipping them in time to get to her house before Christmas. Except for the bajillion little things I keep seeing that I think, "Oh, Sweet Girl would really like that." She was thoughtful (?) enough to bring home her Christmas stocking this weekend, so I will have to ship that to her. (Wouldn't it be a scream if I just sent it to her as empty as when she brought it? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.) Hubby insists that his daughter and granddaughter just want money, and he doesn't even really believe in buying them a trinket in which to wrap the money. He would just hand over the cash right out of his pocket on Christmas morning if I left it up to him. He bought a new air conditioner for his mother back in August or September, and he told her that was her Christmas present. She would be totally fine with it, but we usually buy her a box of candy. One year she commented she would like for SOMEONE to make her a pretty pink sweater, so I stayed up for several nights leading up to Christmas crocheting like mad to finish a sweater, and I've never seen it again. (Forgive me for repeating myself. I know I've told that story before, but I can't remember when, and one or two of you might not have been around back then.) When she took it out of the box on Christmas, she said, "What is this?" Hubby snapped, "It's about ten thousand hours of work is what it is." I love that man.
I don't have much stress associated with Christmas baking, either. Unless I just choose to, which I may do this year. At school Thursday we are going to order box lunches (much less stressful than the traditional potluck lunch, and if our principal had a
Another thing I don't have to stress about is the issue of family get-togethers. My family doesn't get together for Christmas anymore, so my sisters and I will make the trek to Mom's house next Saturday and have breakfast. Then we will sneak off and REALLY have a good time with just the three of us. Ho ho ho. Hubby's family gathers at his mother's house on Christmas for gift exchanges (children only, and we don't participate) and lunch. In the past his mother has done most of the cooking, but we have slowly taken over that chore and divide it up among us. Even though my mother-in-law lives at the end of our street, we are usually the last ones to arrive and the first ones to go home. I must have been suffering from a slight stroke or something last night, because I suggested to Hubby that if his mother wasn't going to cook, it makes more sense to have the gathering at OUR house, where there is more room for people and parking. He said quickly, "Hell no. At least if we have it at her house we can go home." Good point.
With all this stress-less existence, I shouldn't be dreading the upcoming week so.... dreadfully. I just hope these five days won't drag their little feet.