Updated: Dec 29, 2020
I plan to be home for Christmas this year. Well, let's be clear, the choice was made for me. Maybe just for 2020, we can change the name of the song to: "I'll Be Quarantined For Christmas."
Being home for Christmas is great for some. I include myself in that group. I will certainly miss the holiday fam-time this year, not to mention my sister's awesome Italian Christmas feast –– we're not Italian, we just always eat Italian food on Christmas Day; a tradition my mom started many years ago. But aside from not getting to see my brothers and sisters, and gorging myself on lasagna and chicken cacciatore, being home for Christmas ain't such a bad thing.
For my ninety-one year-old father, I think he would prefer not being sequestered for the holiday, especially considering he stayed home last Christmas because he wasn't feeling well. I guess he figured he would get his fill of holiday cheer the following year. Ah, the naive optimism of 2019. My wife and I usually spend Christmas Eve with my father, but not this year.
For my father-in-law, on the other hand, I think being home for Christmas will suit him just fine. He spent Monday night in the hospital under the watchful eye of his cardiologist. He was experiencing shortness of breath. They sent him home the next day, though, so any notion of spending Christmas in the hospital was put to rest. Not to mention he'll get to spend Christmas in a home he can call his own; something he hasn't been able to do in several years. (For those of you who don't know, my wife's parents have been living with us for the past five years or so, but we just bought a house for them.) We haven't even moved all the furniture over there yet, but he's been spending every night at the new place, sleeping on a mattress on the floor. If there was ever any question if he would feel at home in his new place, there isn't anymore.
Home is a relative term. It isn't always about the building where you sleep at night, although sometimes it very much is about that. Home is the place you want to be at the end of the day. It's the place where your family is. It's the place where you go after a hard day's work; where you can sink into the sofa and your dog can put his head on your lap. It's the place where you feel like you belong. And if you're fortunate enough to have a place where you feel like you belong, then you have a home.
Yes, I will be home for Christmas. And I'm quite thankful for that. Not everyone has a place to call home. Not everyone has family to miss being able to visit this year. I won't have any of my sister's lasagna on Friday, but I still got eggnog, a remote, and "A Christmas Story" and "Scrooge" on Blu-ray. When you think about it, what more do you really need?