HOME for the Holidays


“It was the policy of the good old gentleman to make his children feel that home was the happiest place in the world; and I value this delicious home-feeling as one of the choicest gifts a parent could bestow.” excerpt from “Christmas Eve” by Washington Irving

When I read this line from “Christmas Eve”, I just loved it! One of the choicest gifts a parent could bestow”…..what was it? A “home-feeling” he called it. The man in the story had been recalling his holidays at home and excited about joining in those familiar traditions again when he arrived home.

I have to ask myself. Do I give my children a “delicious home feeling”? I know I want to. And I agree, I think that must be one of the most wonderful gifts I can give to my children year after year.

When I recall the holiday seasons in my life, my mind does not settle itself on the gifts I received or how moist the turkey was, or if the pies were burnt. But, what I do remember is my home, family.

Here are some of the things that say “thanksgiving” or “Christmas” to me……Dad fixing the turkey every year, Mom and Dad saying ” Happy Thanksgiving” with a hug when I first saw them in the morning, Looking at the familiar Christmas decorations on the mantle year after year, arranging the Christmas presents around the tree (that was MY job!), Watching videos with my younger brother of our family Christmases from years past, visits to grandparents, Special services at church, special meals the way only Mom can fix them, the smell of the attic when we would take the decorations down, sitting by the fire with the family and looking at lights on the tree, making donuts (too many times!), singing and dancing and excitement Thanksgiving night when we kick off the Christmas season… that’s just a few, but it is nothing spectacular, and yet, I would not trade anything in exchange for those memories. Because all those things are wrapped up in the general wrapping of HOME, FAMILY, LOVE. You can’t replace those.

What’s my point? Make memories with your kids! Start this year. Make your home a place that is filled with love and togetherness. Don’t allow yourself to be too busy and harried to enjoy the holidays! I just cringe when I hear a mom say “Oh dear, Christmas is almost here” (with a sigh) or “Thanksgiving is just a month away?- don’t remind me- I have too much to do!“

If that is your attitude, you do have too much to do. Don’t rob yourself and your children the joys of the season because you are grumpy because you have “so much to do”. Find joy in those tasks. Remember that it is a gift from God to have a family to serve. Give yourself the freedom to Say NO to activities or events. You can’t do them all. This holiday season, be sure you set aside time at HOME with just you and your family, doing special things together. Will it be spectacular? Probably not……but it will be memorable.