Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Travels: Home for the Holidays

Join me on the train again. . .

Here's what greeted Heather when she arrived.
My first seatmate on the journey was Heather. Heather was a bubbly 18-year-old college freshman from a small town east of Dallas. This was her first trip home from San Antonio since school started in August. She was as wriggly as a preschool child in her excitement. By the time she left the train I knew all about her, her parents, her brothers and sisters, and even the names and ages of her nieces and nephews. She was heading home to her family.

I was headed away from my home, toward my daughter's home. She has a new home, one I hadn't seen yet. I was almost as excited as Heather to be spending the holiday with my family. It made me think about how children come home for the holidays, and then one day you realize they are actually going home after the holidays. Your home is no longer their home; they have been visiting.

It's not an instant thing, this switch from coming home to going home and I expect it happens as many different ways as there are people. There's no single point at which the place you live becomes your home instead of your house, but once it has happened, your childhood home, the home of your parents, is no longer your own home.

Being home for Christmas is a major wish for many people. Going home for Christmas is a major stress for others - partly because not everyone in a family agrees where home is. There are no easy answers. Still, Christmas is the celebration of Love coming to us, so whether you are in a house in Houston, a condo in Colorado, or a tent in Tanzania, whether you are going home, or staying home, I wish you Love.

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