I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me…
It is a familiar song and one my Grandma always said made her sad as an adult. I didn’t fully understand why, until I was unable to be “home” for Christmas.
My first home and the place I will always think of when asked about home is Indiana. It’s the house where I grew up with my parents and two brothers. My heart aches for that home during Christmas. That comfortable place where so many memories are. I can picture the tree, the stockings, the decorations and all the love that exists.
But here’s the thing about home, it changes. I have a new home. I have a husband and three kids. We have a house full of our own memories. We have our own tree, decorations and traditions. And we have love here too.
Being a military family will for us likely mean living far from all of our extended family for at least another decade. This means being away at the holidays most of the time. It means creating a home where ever the Navy sends us. It means finding new friends who become family.
This is not uncommon nowadays. Many people move after high school or college. Jobs and family take us away from the place we first called home. And it’s not as easy to go be with all of your family at the holidays. That does not mean you can’t have a great holiday season though. You can use those friends who you hang out with and find somewhere to volunteer and serve those who are less fortunate. You do not have to dwell in the fact that you can’t go home. You can take the life you have, in the place you are, and make your own new home.
Allow yourself to be sad and miss the traditions and love from your first home. But do not let it hold you back from experiencing the wonderful new traditions and love you can have where you are.