I consider myself to be a connoisseur of Christmas music. As a child, I can still see myself sitting in the basement of our row house. Surrounded by the glow of our white Christmas tree, I listened to old 45s of Chuck Berry, Nat King Cole, The Drifters, and the Jackson 5. But of all the songs I loved growing up, I would always come back to my favorite, I’ll Be Home For Christmas.When I was young, I thought the song was simply about someone who longed to be with their family for Christmas but for some reason couldn’t. Even then, I was listening to music and making up stories about the songs in my head. I imagined it was like a movie where the guy can’t get away because of his job. He’s forced to decide between keeping his job or going home to see his family. Then at the last minute, his family shows up and surprises him. Another Christmas miracle, the screen goes black, our hearts warmed and filled with holiday cheer.
But alas, I grew up and time marches on taking those we love from this world and into the next. That’s where I think the real meaning of this song lies. Now when I hear it, I see myself sitting at the window of my childhood home. I’m looking out into the street from my living room window. I see the cars and children passing by, I see my relatives’ arms bearing food and presents. There would be snow and mistletoe and presents under the tree. I’d see my Mother, Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles all surrounded by the glow of the tree. Yes, I’d be home for Christmas for a just a moment, in my dreams.
The dream never lasts long, a child in need of something often calls me back from my reverie and it’s then that I realize the importance of the memories we are creating now. One day, my own children will sit at their windows and reflect back to this time. I hope they have a lot of wonderful memories to choose from when they go home for Christmas.
I may not be able to celebrate the Holidays with all of my family but thankfully I have my children, D and dozens of new friends who have found me through my writing. You all are the real gifts this time of year.
Dear friends and readers, I want to thank you for your loyalty, your support, and your encouragement this past year. 2016 was not the kindest year to most of us, myself included but it is my fervent hope that 2017 will be amazing for everyone. I think we’ve earned it.
Wishing you all Happy Hanukkah, a joyous Christmas, and a wonderful New Year from my family to yours.