When You Can’t Go Home for Christmas

So much about the Christmas season beckons us to revisit childhood warmth. Nostalgia is around every corner in traditions, decorations, and family visits. It reminds us of simpler times and calls us to concentrate on what’s really important.

We go to great lengths to preserve and protect these feelings, these memories. We want to feel that same warmth and excitement that we felt in a childhood Christmas moment. We travel great distances and bake cookies like our Grandmother did, all in an effort to go home once more.

So what about the years that we can’t “go home” for one reason or another? How do we contend with the separation from that warmth we yearn to have, and still find sweetness in the Christmas season?

My Grandmother’s house smelled of fresh rolls, chocolate chip cookies (I was certain they were the best in the entire world!), roasted turkey and mashed potatoes. It was a strange and glorious combination. Coming in from the cold, the heat somehow enveloped my body like a cup of hot chocolate warming me from the inside on a chilly, snowy day. She kept the thermostat at 84 degrees, which almost always resulted in us eventually opening a window to let in the frigid air just so we could breathe freely once more. The house was busy and noisy with all the family there, cousins to laugh and play with, aunts and uncles telling stories. It was warm for so many reasons other than the temperature. Life was happening.

When you can't go home for Christmas

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