We’ve come to that pleasant place in our family life where mornings look something like this:

High-schooler gets up all on his own (who hoo!), reads the headlines and yells, “Love ya, mom” as he heads out the door to catch the No. 80-something bus down Cleveland toward another day of whatever ninth-graders do … algebra, texting, science labs, hanging out with friends, Spanish II and some more texting.

Dog wags tail happily – maybe a bit enviously – peering at the bigger dogs out for their morning walks.

And the 10-year-old belts out the familiar words of “Zippity doo dah, zippity aye, My oh my what a wonderful day …” Yes, she sings as if she is on stage at Orchestra Hall while she dresses and packs her school bag. She keeps humming even as she brushes her teeth, pausing only momentarily to spit. Then she begins again: “Zippity doo dah … ”

I feel a bit of that same “zippity” and a large dose of “doo dah” as I glance at Bulletin Today and around campus this week and feel the energy of post-Thanksgiving, pre-finals, beginning-of-Advent buzz.

Students returned with the glow of warm Thanksgiving rituals on their minds, ready to tackle the last two weeks of the semester. The annual tree lighting ceremony on the quad draws ooohs and aaahs and merry songs of the season. The Music Department prepares to lift us with five (yes, five!) December concerts. Residence halls are donned with lights, garland and collection boxes for donations of gently used mittens, scarves and coats for communities in need. Members of the student government hand out ice scrapers, hot chocolate and snow emergency/winter safety information. Faculty and staff anticipate the annual President’s Christmas party where we will raise a glass to good work and rich fellowship. In Murray-Herrick, students are treated to a literal feast of goodness – hot food, great conversation, festive desserts – by their dean of students.

And this is just the first verse; there is so much to make St. Thomas a beloved place to be in December! My oh my what a wonderful day (plus many more) here on campus.