The holiday season is a time when thoughts of family, home, and hearth are strongest for me. Growing up, our family celebrated Easter, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas together. There were times when we were also together for Mardi Gras, Mother's Day and Halloween. However, Thanksgiving started the holiday celebrations. Back then, department stores didn't start advertising for Christmas in conjunction with Halloween. We were allowed to enjoy each holiday with a singular focus and anticipate the next one. Thanksgiving meant prayer, food, and football. Christmas meant parties, egg nog, funny milk, food, gifts, and church. New Year's was champagne and noise.
A side note: funny milk is so named because of the alcohol in it. ;-)
Life is fluid, though. Always changing. Always in motion. As children turned into adults, they began having their own celebrations. Some moved away, leaving a void in a lot of hearts. Christmas across the miles is bittersweet. You appreciate the memories you have and wrap them tight, holding all close to your heart. The laughter. The joy. The food. The traditions. All create wisps of pleasure that puts a smile on your face and bring tears to your eyes.
Eventually, the longing drifts away and the special times are tucked into a special place in your heart. Holidays across the miles demand new memories and experiences seperate and apart from your loved one(s). We hold to the hope that, one day, when distance doesn't separate you, old memories will become new again.
For some of us who are spending the holidays across the miles with half a world between you and another person, love will forever bind us.