Is there anything more adorable than a primary school holiday concert? You can’t help but smile at the slightly drooping, homemade reindeer antlers propped on the jiggling heads of 30 first-graders as they prance across the stage. Six-year-old boys in scratchy sweaters, hair slicked back, impish grins spreading across their faces, as they nervously fidget on narrow risers oscillating from inaudible shy notes of “Silent Night” to the clamorous, off-key crooning of “Jingle Bells.” Wobbling ballerinas plucking too tight tights from uncomfortable places in front of an entire audience of camera-wielding adults, producing videos sure to provide decades of blushing entertainment at family gatherings.

These precious moments are the snapshots of our lives. They are a sort of cross-generational tether that, when held onto, connects us to our past and our future. In this way, they provide us comfort and continuity in a day and age when we yearn for both.

For me, they are a poignant reminder that what goes on at school is more than just test scores. School is about growing into ourselves, finding out who we are, what we are good at, what we enjoy. It is about making, losing and remaking friends; about failure and triumph and everything in between.

On that stage are all of the possibilities of what the future might hold; they are the holiday season’s greatest gift and I am so thankful they are a part of our lives. To all of you I wish a merry holiday season, a happy New Year and a toast to droopy antlers, scratchy sweaters and uncomfortable tights — may they be forever with us.

Contract Publishing

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