Saturday, December 24, 2005

Home for the Holidays

That's me, on the right, my sister on the left, mom all decked out in her Red Hat finest, and the tall bald one is my brother.

Christmas is the time of year we can count on all getting together. Some traditions carry on, generation to generation.

We grew up in Missouri. Our parents grew up in Kansas, and that's where the extended family lived. I saw my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins twice a year, summer and Christmas. We would always travel to Kansas for Christmas, going home to be with family during the holidays. We'd spend the week there, visiting all the aunts and uncles and cousins, opening gifts, playing with new toys.

Now, as adults with kids of our own, we still 'go home' for the holiday. Although the house we go to was never 'home' to any of us kids, we all still gather at mom's for dinner and gifts and fun. Now, our kids, the cousins, open the presents and play with the toys, much the same as we did. We don't have to spend 8 hours driving to Grandma's house, more like 18 minutes. We don't have to spend the whole week. just the whole day.

My brother is stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita Kansas, so the roles are reversed for him. As a child he lived in Missouri and traveled to Kansas for Christmas. Now, he lives in Kansas and travels to Missouri. Still, he's coming home.

With the 'war' raging across the ocean, and Bud being military, we have always known there was a possibility there would be a Christmas Day without him. In the 12 years he's been in the Air Force, we've never missed a Christmas yet. Even in the military, even after having just returned fromt he desert 3 days before, he has always found the time and a way to 'come home'.

Home isn't a house, a building, walls, windows, a door and a roof, home truly is where the heart is. Home is where ever family gathers to love and laugh and live. No matter how far we travel, no matter how old we get, we'll always be able to find our way back home, especially for the holidays.

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