Being around family is a great way to relax, recharge the fading batteries, and rethink about goals. It’s also a great time to catch up with what each brother, sister, nephew, niece, and parents.

This Christmas is going to be very different. My two daughters are in different states. One lives in Montana and the other Missouri. Both are working hard on graduate degrees. Each completed their first semester of rigorous programs and I’m very proud of their accomplishments. Neither arrived to graduate school in a straight path. Both took jobs between college graduation and entrance in their respective programs. But both are now determined to finish their degree programs and walk away just that much smarter.

What do you want for Christmas?

Because they will not be around, this year is different. My list of items to complete before traveling has grown larger than past years. Instead of one of the girls handling cleaning up the dogs – I’m making the arrangements. Instead of the cars being prepped – I’m making the arrangements. Instead of food being organized – I’m making the arrangements.

I guess it was time to grow up.

Nah – my simple Christmas wish – is for everyone to keep the child inside alive and happy. Dream big. Think about grandiose plans. Smile and laugh at the simple things, including yourself. And most of all – I wish to see the smiles of all my family.