Crazy, busy, hectic. These are the words that have characterized my speech the past few weeks. The flurry of preparing for the holidays disrupted by an unanticipated week away from home just days before a week of travel really threw me for a loop. And if my stress level wasn’t enough, my family couldn’t figure out our plans for the life of us.

The crazy part about this story is that it’s such a widespread theme. We marvel as we drive around town how stuipd, selfish and insane people become this time of year. Driving, shopping, getting the stuff, checking off the gift list . . . the emphasis on stuff, on everything other than what really matters (always, not just during the holiday season), is enough to make a person really wonder at it all.

Which is why for the next few days, I’m taking a break. Taking time for relationships. To spend some hours sitting in the den with my grandpa before his next chemo treatment. To sit up until the wee hours of the morning talking with my cousins about the honeybee crisis, the state of Congo’s gorillas and the fate of the beluga whale. To avoid the mall and opt for the warmth of conversations and a cup of hot tea.

To enjoy the peace and life and light of those near and dear to me. I’m making time for relationships, and in the spirit of the season, I hope you do the same.

Take your moments back. Make time for relationships, not just now, but every day. Love life more.