The holidays are upon us. Thanksgiving is “late” and Hanukkah seems early. Thanksgiving is Thursday and Hanukkah starts tomorrow and before you know it Christmas will be here with New Year’s Eve following close behind. The commercials on the television, the internet and radio talk about “being home for the holidays”. I have been pondering that concept. I grew up with very little extended family around. The holidays were always in my home with my mom, dad, brother and two sisters. My grandparents were in Oklahoma and England so we didn’t see them on the holidays. When I was very young we lived in Oklahoma but I have no memories of grandparents. We then lived in Utah and Arizona before moving to New Jersey when I was in the third grade. My mother’s brother and his family would eventually move to New Jersey from England via Canada and the holidays would then involve extended family and I have very fond memories of those times.

When Bruce and I married we started the every other year tradition at Thanksgiving – one year (even) was my family and the next year (odd) was his family. We started that because when we were dating we ate two meals each thanksgiving and that is ridiculous. I still do every other year and for that reason I have never cooked a turkey. 🙂 I have hosted Thanksgiving on an even year either at home or the Barn but I am grateful that my brother-in-law cooks the turkey. This Thanksgiving I will share lunch with my 95-year-old mother in law in her new assisted living residence. Then travel to PA to have Thanksgiving with Meghan, Kyle and Kyle’s parents. Not two full meals but a light lunch (hopefully) and then the main meal. Yummy!

As far as Christmas celebrations that we tweaked through the years. Van Hine celebrations usually were Christmas Eve and Clark were more Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Christmas mornings however were always just the two of us at home and then the three of us when Emily was born and then the four of us when Meghan was born. Last year was the first time in my entire life that I didn’t sleep in my own bed on Christmas Eve and it was delightful to be with my sister and her family. This year like last year Christmas will take place in a new way and that is okay.

I love the holidays. I love everything about the holidays. I love traditions but I am also open to new traditions and new ways of celebrating. I want the holidays to be filled with the people I love, great conversations, yummy food, a little laughter, lots of hugs and hopefully at least one board game. So in thinking on this “home for the holidays” concept and I think home is more about the people you are with than the place you are in and the holidays is more about time spent with those people than a date on the calendar.

Be safe as you travel this holiday season and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!!

019 On a totally different note, do people really buy cars as gifts for Christmas? There seem to be a lot of car commercials.