My seven year old sneaked into my bed last night. Under normal circumstances, I would have waited until he was asleep and taken him back to his room. But instead, I pulled him close and held him tight. I thought of all the parents in Connecticut who would not be able to do the same.

Like so many Americans, I am heartbroken about the horrific massacre that took place Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. As a parent, I grieve for the 20 beautiful children, and 6 brave teachers and administrators who lost their lives at the hands of the gunman. And I fear that something like this could happen in my own community.

I have three school-aged children, one of whom is the same age as many of the children murdered. I couldn’t wait to pick them up from school on Friday, to squeeze them tight and to tell them how much I love them. It’s unfathomable to me that anyone could target an innocent child. And yet, occurrences like this seem to have become all too commonplace.

As my children and I baked Christmas cookies over the weekend, I was overcome with emotion. I thought of the parents who wouldn’t get the same opportunity to see their children’s smiling faces, hear their sweet giggles and watch their little hands create works of art.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed during the holidays and lose patience with those around us. There’s so much to do and so many gifts to buy. But tragedies like this have a way of putting things in perspective. Really, the best part of the holidays is the opportunity to share our lives with the ones we love.

May your holidays be filled with peace, joy and laughter.

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