Are You Home This Christmas?

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the atmosphere of all the families of my hometown coming together at Christmas Eve church. I love the enjoyment and glee on my nieces’ faces as they open up their presents. I love the turkey dinners, the ongoing sweets and the quality time spent with family. I love the lazy days cuddled up with my new book and spending hours on end just reading. I love watching the snow sparkle off the Christmas lights as I drive around sipping hot chocolate and checking them out. And I love that I don’t have any obligations, any expectations and any reason to even get out of my pajamas if I don’t want to.

However, over the last few years, COVID has wrecked havoc on my Christmas traditions as I was unable to get home and spend that quality, and much needed time, with family. Sure, my ex and I made the best of it, and celebrated in our own way, but it was not quite the same. It is not the same as driving to the island in anticipation for seeing everyone, even if I had only just seen them. It is not the same as sleeping in my childhood home and waking up first thing in the morning excited for presents in the same way as when I was a kid. It is not the same as seeing all my extended family for our big Boxing Day party that I look forward to all year. And it is not the same celebrating together the past Christmases, or the memories we all share of the people who are no longer with us. It just wasn’t the same.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto on

And in not being able to get to the island for Christmas, I was reminded on how much the feeling of home meant to me. How the enjoyment and best part of Christmas is being surrounded by people who love you, people who want you and the moments you spend together. This year, I will be able to go home for Christmas. To go to this place that not only raised me and made me who I am, but who continues to bring those feelings into my life. And as I write this, in the midst of the holidays, I am so grateful for that.

I am grateful that I have a family who loves me to go home to. I am grateful that I have both the money, the time and the ability to travel home, but also that I am fortunate enough to have an actual home, a house, to visit and celebrate at. I am grateful that I do not need to worry about having the ability to buy presents or celebrate the opening of those presents with the people who matter to me. I am grateful that I have a local church that I can celebrate the true meaning of the season at. And honestly I am just grateful at the end of another year, as I look to the future, I am so damn fortunate.

So, as I write this post, snow softly falling outside the window, snuggled up under a comfy blanket, I want to remind all of you to find your sense of home this holiday season. It may not be a place, or location, but rather a spot where you feel seen, where you are loved and where you matter. And then celebrate that. Take a moment of grace and be thankful. Thankful that this season is a reminder that we ALL have Christmas wishes that we hope will come true and we are lucky that ours have.

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future.”

– Agnes M. Pahro

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