For most of us Christmas is the most sentimental of all the holidays. And that is largely because of our association of Christmas with home and family. It is certainly the most sentimental for me. (It may surprise you, but I get emotional at the end of both Grease and Dirty Dancing every time I watch one of them!)
My favorite Christmas songs underscore the point. Every time I hear the Eagles’ version of “Please Come Home for Christmas” I get nostalgic. If possible, Christmas is “the time to be with the ones you love.” I don’t care who sings “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” it always gets to me. And last week I heard one about being home for the holidays by Kenny Loggins entitled “Celebrate Me Home.”
When I was in college (45 few years ago) I remember students asking one another “are you going home for Christmas?” Because the break was shorter not everyone went home for Thanksgiving, but pretty much everyone did for Christmas.
I lived just north of Cincinnati and it was easy for me to go home on holidays or for a weekend or for just an evening. But two years I did not go home for Christmas. One year I went to Florida with friends and another year to Florida and then to the Bahamas. Both trips were adventuresome and fun, but both times I missed being home for Christmas.
The 10 years Jan and I lived in the Philadelphia area we went back to Cincy every year for Christmas. During our 32 years in California we only went back for Christmas a couple of times, but in California we had our two children with us most of those years as well as “family” from our church.
Here are a four quotes that reflect the theme:
“Christmas is all about love, family and children. It doesn’t matter what we ear or what presents we get as long as the holidays are spent with loved one.” Anonymous
“The best present on Christmas is spending some good time with family realizing the importance of love sharing things that give you real joy. So have fun with your family.” Anonymous
“Christmas time is cherished family time; family time is sacred time.” Anonymous
“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” Burton Hillis
Christmas last year we had just moved and were living with our daughter and two grandsons. Our son, Rob, and his girlfriend, Jill, joined us. Even though we had just moved and did not have our own house, we were home for Christmas because we were together for Christmas.
This week Jan and I will celebrate our second Christmas in Amarillo and our first one in our own house. Only the two of us will be in town for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but we’ll be home for Christmas because we will be together. And not only that, more family will be joining us Christmas night.
The reality is that not everyone can be or chooses to be home or with family for Christmas. And there are a variety of reasons why that is so. Whatever your situation or circumstances, I hope you have a meaningful and enjoyable Christmas.
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