Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune without the words,

And never stops at all.

– Emily Dickinson

December is a time for hope. While we don’t get to enjoy quite as much daylight and the chilly temperatures tend to keep us indoors more, we can invest energy in our hopes for the future when more light and warmth return. What goals can you set now that your future self will thank you for come spring? What small changes can you make in your schedule, your exercise program, or in the ways you choose to spend your free time that might manifest in a better version of you when the snow melts? While it’s important to maintain hope, we also want to find gratitude for what is. What tiny things are going well in your life? Can you document them in some way? Share them with your family? Jot a thank you note to someone who made something better for you recently? Ask each of your kids to think of one person who helped them, so far this school year, and remind them to jot a note of gratitude to that person. Or perhaps a note of hope and support for one person in their life who is struggling a bit? Maybe it’s just a text saying, “I’m thinking of you” or “I miss you.” Model how to pause long enough to search for hope and gratitude. Here’s to a warm, happy holiday season!