Everyone has their favorite Christmas song. Mine is “ I’l be home for Christmas”. The song was first recorded in 1943 as an homage to the troops in World War II who were away from their families. The last line of the song sums up the soldier’s lament: I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams”. Home for the Holidays has taken on a new meaning for our family. For years we had the massive family gathering at our place in snowy CT which included in no particular order: food, forced family fun and financial ruin. When I tell you we leaned in hard on the commerce of Christmas … we leaned in HARD. Some years I felt like total bill for the holidays was close to national debt of Iceland. Now to be fair I have no idea what the national debt of Iceland is, it just seemed like a decent country to use to make a joke about Christmas spending. But over the years the Christmas plans have changed… and it’s been wonderful.
The kids live in LA, the parents..so incredibly thankful to still have them both.. live in the Palm Springs area. So we now go to them. The last few years the Christmas experience has been less about snow and fir trees and more about cacti and sand. I mean there is A LOT OF SAND out here. Instead of a thin dusting of snow we now get used to a constant thin layer of dust. It’s not bad actually especially when you realize a “bad” day in the Coachella Valley is usually 40 degrees warmer than the frost bitten freeze of the great Northeast. I grew up there and spent plenty of years looking to avoid my three least favorite words in the forecast… “ a Wintery mix”. For the uninformed it’s a delightful disaster of snow sleet and freezing rain all in one wonderful piercing package of “why the hell do I live here?” In case you were wondering the 2nd worst thing to hear in a weather forecast where it’s cold is “raw”. That’s just a nice way of saying you’re going to be miserable because of a horrendous combination of cold temperatures and wind with the possible addition of precipitation just to make you really hate your zip code.
But the entire point about this isn’t the weather. It’s about being around your people. So home for the holidays takes on a new meaning.. it’s not about a place it’s about who you’re sharing space with. That’s the only thing that matters. So wherever you are on this Christmas Eve I hope you’re with the people that mean the most to you. I hope you have lots of hugs and laughs and I hope the fat man on the sleigh dumps more presents down your chimney than you know what to do with. We’re going to kick back, shake the sand off our shoes and look up at the palm trees. Have a great one.