Christmas and thoughts on home

This is what Christmas means to me: Long plane ride--hooray we're here! FUN FUN FUN with family, sledding (yes, we LIKE sledding, unlike some others), cold feet, "Mommy, I'm tired," hot chocolate, FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, more family FUN, FUN, FUN, Christmas Eve full of family FUN, FUN, FUN, "Mommy, I'm tired", Christmas morning, "Mommy, where are all MY presents?", family FUN, FUN, FUN, and more FOOD, FOOD, FOOD, wow I have a food coma (is it possible to experience death by chocolate?) long plane ride, "Mommy, I'm tired and my ears hurt," and finally we are home. Whew. We spent Christmas, obviously, in Utah with both my and DH's families. We love our families tremendously, so we brave the long lines (MIL: Oh, the Salt Lake airport won't take too long--you sure you want to be there more than an hour early? ME: Wow, you really never fly at the holiday season, do you?) and the inevitable crankiness that go hand in hand with too much traveling, too much sugar, too much excitement and tired 3 year olds and have a great time. We split the holiday between both families, but stayed with my inlaws. Nate and I slept in the same room that he slept in for, oh, about 18 years, give or take a few years for a mission, etc. The house he grew up in looks different than it did when he lived there, but not THAT different. We pointed to the spot in his front yard where we used to flirt, the bench we sat on and talked for 4 hours before we decided we should get to know each other better, and the spot where he got up the nerve to kiss me for the first time. Lots of memories. It's a good house. I have no such house. I was born in California and moved to Utah when I was 11. I left home for college when I was 18, and haven't been back, really. My parents have sold the house we lived in when I was in high school, and have since bought a house that has nothing but adult memories. Those are good, too, but there's nothing like seeing places where major events happen in your youth, and remembering the lessons learned. Jacob also thinks that Santa always comes to Grandma's house. Why would he think otherwise? The 4 Christmases he's known have always begun there. There is something kind of powerful in this house, this place where so much has taken place. Like I said, it doesn't look exactly the same as it did when Nate was a kid, but it's still the same place with the same people, and the same love. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about how I've lived my life. I've lived in lots of different places, seen a lot of different things, and met a lot of really wonderful people. But in so many ways, it's nice at Christmas, a time when you want to feel snug and cozy and loved, to go back to a house that says, "Hey, I know you. Welcome home."


Blogger john f. said...

Wow. Thanks for those thoughts on the power of place, especially a house that houses the memories of childhood--both your husband's and your own child's--as well as your own courtship memories. Pretty cool.

I love going by the house that I grew up in in Dallas. My parents no longer live there, and the house they live in in Mesa is wonderful for its adult memories, but simply cannot replace the Dallas house in my mind and memories.

12/28/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Laura W said...

For the first time since we moved to Virginia when I was five (and I'm now 31), we did not spend Christmas at my parents house- instead we gathered at my brother's (he has the only kids in the family so far- it only seemed right to have it at thier house).

It's amazing how many things I previously took for granted that I missed this year- the homemade nativity scene and the enevitable retelling of the story about the year we threw away the baby Jesus (oops), the younger kids inching their way down the stairs on Christmas morning until dad said it was ok to come down, even the mismatched serving dishes. The sweet potatoes just didn't taste the same on a proper china platter.

Now that all my siblings are adults, my parents are looking to move to a smaller, more manageable house. I will miss the history and tradition that is tied to that place. I know that we will develop new traditions with our own families, but I will miss the tangible memories of childhood Christmases and the opportunity to pass those traditions down to my own kids.

12/29/2005 12:53:00 AM  
Anonymous JKS said...

I sometimes think it would be nice to have some roots.I also don't have a home "house." I don't even have a home state.
I grew up in 8 houses in different states/countries. In the 13 years since I married, my parents have moved 7 times I think.
I look on the bright side, though. I think of the advantages to seeing the world from different perspectives, rather than from just one. My experiences are a part of me and I wouldn't change them.
Plus, this Christmas we met my parents and the rest of my family in Hawaii. Christmas was in a couple rented houses....but they were 50 yards from the most awesome beach I've ever seen.

1/04/2006 12:11:00 PM  

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