This is the first whole Christmas eve I spent with my kids. It felt enchanted, healing some part of me that was grieving. A part of me that had been silenced for too long. I remember when they were younger and sent to a friend's house so my ex-husband could have my complete, undivided attention. And without considering what I wanted, I always agreed to that plan. After all, I reasoned, when others were happy and satisfied there would be time for me to consider my own happiness and satisfaction. I was wrong: guilty of self-neglect I have only now, this year begun to ask myself: what do I want? what makes me happy? what fills me to the brim and overflowing with joy and gratitude? Slowly I realize that I was just surviving. Focused on the dreams of other people around me, I had lost touch with my own dreams and possibilities. They had all morphed into the familiar habit of wanting to please other people, people I wanted to love me. When I talked with my kids about our celebration we shared our ideas, and tried to imagine all of them happening at sometime during the weekend. We wanted to allow time for plans to change if necessary or desired. And we wanted to allow plenty of space for simply "hanging out", being quiet together. Time to say good bye to last years nonsense, and resentments was included. We want to start the new year as light hearted as possible. Remembering how much freedom we have in our worlds. How much joy and space for growth. All the opportunities open to us, the value of our contributions to our communities and friends.