Home for the Holidays
If this blog post has the appearance of being hastily written, it’s because it was. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas, and getting my latest book published, it didn’t receive the usual six or eight rewrites my posts usually get. It’s also going to be a bit shorter than usual, as well.
It’s Christmas Day, today, and I’m brought to mind of a radio broadcast by the late Paul Harvey a few years ago. I rarely disagree with anything commentator Paul Harvey had to say, but with this broadcast I have to take exception. On this particular segment he mentioned the reasons why Americans like to be “home for the holidays.”
He had concluded it was all the imperfections that made home so attractive during the holiday season. Imperfections such as a scratch on the living room coffee table that a young bride had wept over. An old stain on the kitchen wall where a young baby was doing target practice with his oatmeal cereal. An old sofa that was losing some of its stuffing. There were others of these so-called imperfections that he mentioned, but at the moment they escape my memory.
One conclusion I drew from his comments, was that the homes he was describing sounded like homes that received little maintenance. A stain on the wall can be painted over, a scratch on the coffee table—unless it’s a deep gouge—Old English furniture polish can do wonders for; couches can be recovered. While I don’t dispute his contention that people like to be home, or return home for the holidays, my reasons for this attraction to home are entirely different from his.
What I recollect about the holidays as a youngster was helping my mother decorate the Christmas tree. The lights had to be just so, and although she would let me help her with this operation, after we had these colorful illuminates placed on the tree, she would send me off into another room on some errand while she straightened up the discombobulated arrangement of the lights I had helped attach to the tree.
After placing all the ornaments, it was time to hang the icicles. During the war years of World War II, icicles were very scarce due to a tin shortage. So, to Mom, these little stringers were more valuable than gold. They had to be meticulously placed so as to hang straight, and could be easily removed and saved for use another year.
As I grew older, other things I remember about “home for the holidays” was coming home from school and smelling the rich aromas of cookies or fruitcakes baking in the oven. On Thanksgiving, it was the aroma of sage dressing and the turkey cooking; the hot rolls being baked. It was hunting Jack Rabbits on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. It was the anticipation of playing the role of Santa’s helper for my two younger sisters.
Later still, when I graduated high school and entered college, home for the holidays took on another significance. Coming home to those same cooking aromas, and, better still, being able to partake of Mom’s cooking rather than the bachelor meals I and my roommate hatched up. It was getting together again with old high school classmates at ice skating parties in the city square ice pond, or parties at our individual homes; more rabbit and duck hunting with friends.
When I married and started my own home with it’s memories, it was still those same rich holiday aromas, but in addition to that, it was sharing in the kids’ anticipation of Christmas morning; the frustrations of assembling toys that never came with adequate enough instruction manuals; and finally seeing the delight on the children’s faces when my all night assembly project came to fruition and everything was finally placed under the tree.
Yes, Mr. Harvey, while I disagree with you on the reasons why, I do agree there is no place like “home for the holidays.”
MERRY CHRISTMAS! to all, and to all, may God bless.
Now I’d like to tell you a little bit about my latest novel, LouIsa—Iron dove Of The Frontier, now available for purchase at www.amazon.com. You can scroll back up to the “Books” page at the top of this website and read about her and even read some excerpts from the book. Enjoy.