Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays. ‘Cause no matter how far away you roam, when you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze, for the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!… From Atlantic to Pacific, gee the traffic is terrific!
Originally released in December of 1954 by Perry Como, this song has become associated with the holidays ever since. What is more, one of its lines refers to pumpkin pie, so I have always thought of it as part Thanksgiving, to boot.
There is some truth to this song in several ways. First, it is absolutely true that traffic during the holiday season is beyond crazy and I appreciate the snarky sarcasm of that line. But second, for many of us, going home for the holidays is a central part of our traditions.
Here’s the thing – many of us can’t go home for the holidays. Some, like me, live and work a long ways from the homes of our childhood (which, in my case, does not even exist anymore with all of my parents being gone). What is far worse, however, is that many people are unable to go home because they know they will not be welcome or accepted there as they truly are.
I raise this not to say this is a bad song. I honestly still love it.
Nevertheless, what we do need to openly talk about is that some people are hurting throughout this season because they can’t go home. It is an unfortunate reality for so many people.
But there is something we can do to help: we can be a home for those who do not have a home to go home to.
Learn this statement well: “For those who cannot go home for the holidays because their family will not accept them, I am now your family. Eat your vegetables. Hydrate. Remember, you are loved more than you can imagine. And you are always welcome at my table.”
Because home is ultimately about love. And we can always make home together.
Traditional Hymns & Carols: Of the Father’s Love Begotten
Lessons & Carols: Sussex Carol