I’ll be Home For Christmas

I smell cinnamon and pine. I hear the sounds of rhythmic pa-rum-pa-pum-pum’s in the background of every shopping mall and doctor’s office, and they remind me that the Special Day is nearing. I watch the shoppers and taste the ginger, and mostly, I feel the briskness of my walks from my car to work (and back again), and I race the almost-snow to dusk so that I can wrap my presents and bake my cookies. My most favorite holiday is back, and this year, it has shown up in its very best attire.

Okay…I know. Not everyone is hopping aboard the Santa sleigh. Not everything about the season is fun and exhilarating. Many people hate the stress; the pressure to buy more and spend more and be more…. chipper, is just exhausting. People seem ruder. Traffic is worse. Everywhere is unbearably crowded, and every intended gift that seemed purely perfect in November is now sold out – or worse, overpriced. So we make a choice: breathing in the nostalgia of the holiday or caving in to the annoyance of the hubbub. Which do you choose?

I was watching the news on a Thursday evening in early December. The Chicago Post Office was urging residents to claim letters to Santa, written by underprivileged children who would probably see close to nothing under their Christmas trees this year. “Over 4,500 unanswered letters…” the news anchor mentioned quietly, and then it was on to the next segment. The following Saturday around 12 noon, I went with a few others to retrieve a letter. We parked, took an elevator and a few staircases to the main building, and prepared to read through several notes before choosing the right one.  We reached the desk, and inquired hurriedly, wanting to do a “good deed” and get on with our day.

“The letters are gone,” the postal worker smiled, “they’re all gone.”

Not nostalgia, not hubbub, just thousands of people making a choice to make a child’s Christmas magical.

This got me to thinking. Maybe Christmas is a way of bringing us home. Some of us go physically. We sit by the tree with our eggnog and our board games and our indulgent meal, and we enjoy the company of people we love. Others of us go home to the place in our hearts where the excitement of our first Christmas remains. We stick true to our early traditions, partaking in the very same activities we always have: watching the same movies, cooking the same food and reading the same stories.

And then there is circumstance. It can prevent us from being surrounded by people we love. They are too far away, or have passed on, and we can only be encircled in the memories we have with them. Christmas emulates goodness but it also magnifies sadness. We miss them. Maybe this is the time we choose to bring others home. We answer a letter, or we say a prayer of thanks, or we commit to creating a new tradition that embraces what we always loved about this time of year.  

So, as much as I love the cinnamon and the constant shopping, those are not the things that make this holiday shine so bright. It’s being at home. And no matter where our home, it is always the people who make us want to be there.

Then, even when the obligatory winter flu sets in, or when it gets too cold to not yearn for summer, or when the chaotic commotion seems just too much to bear, we commit to remembering the reason for the season.

Christmas is about renewed joy and hope for a better next year. It is about miracles and forgiveness, and most of all, it is about recognizing the people who make us feel better. They are our family, our friends, or the people we wish were here. They are our homes. They remind us of where we came from, and they lead us where we need to be. They are Christmas. They are Christmas every day.



11 thoughts on “I’ll be Home For Christmas

    • You are so talent Bridget:) Please keep on writing your blogs. They always make my day. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. You’re the Best. Love always Laura

      • Hey Bridge – I am really impressed with your thoughtfulness and intelligence. Good blogging (is this a word?) beautiful girl. Merry Christmas.

  1. Always a pleasure to read your beautiful thoughts Bridg. And what a wonderful story of all the love in the hearts of humanity.
    Merry Christmas Love You!

  2. I absolutely agree that for those of us who don’t have family near by, the Holidays can seem like just another day. Especially with Christmas on a weekend this year. Your family is what makes Christmas a special time of year for us. We’ve adopted our own traditions, sayings, and cocktail concoctions. But the most magical part is that it doesn’t matter which service we attend or restaurant we eat at, as long as we’re together, it’s Christmas to us.

  3. What a perfect blog to read the morning of christmas eve!!! You are so special and thoughtful!! We are all so blessed to have you in our lives.
    I love you my dear sweet friend!!!
    merry christmas!

  4. Bridge like so often you said it all…its not about the perfect gift but about the visits and people we connect with……..even if they are in heaven!
    mama c

  5. After losing my last grandparent this week your blog really hits home. It makes me happy to know he is now home with all are other love ones that have past. It also reminds me of the comfort of my own home over the holidays. It helps me remember the good times and the hope of a new year full of even better times and memories! Thank you for your comforting words they always make me smile, think and tear up!

  6. Oh Ms “B” we should all be so wise,but thankfully we have you that so elegantly always puts life in such a perspective that we all need to sit back realize and embrase! Christmas is all about the family,friends,memories,and traditions that leave our hearts full of love of dear ones that are with us in spirit and dear ones that fill our lives each and everyday. It is such a blessing and a gift to be able to share stories and make new memories with family and friends that are so important in our lives, including the ones that are looking down upon us and taking care of us!Again, I thank you for yet another wonderful and inspiring blog You are incrediable!!
    Love, Aunt Mia

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