We’re heading up the Eastern Shore yet again. Didn’t we just do this a week and a half ago for my mother-in-law’s 85th birthday? Now we are driving up to spend Christmas with our sons and daughter-in-law in Boston. I have no idea what my daughter-in-law will serve for Christmas dinner, but I know it will be wonderful. She and my son have taken great pains to get their apartment ready and festive for the holiday. Her parents will be driving up from New Jersey, so it will be a great family time. I wish we could have our daughter and her family with us, too, but they are on their way to Texas where they will spend Christmas with my son-in-law’s family.
We are actually seeing traffic on the Eastern Shore. No, not New York City traffic or even Virginia Beach traffic, but a line of cars in both lanes. I have no doubt they are headed somewhere to spend Christmas with friends and family. I used to get teary-eyed when I would hear the song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” because it made me think of Christmas in Connecticut with my parents and friends, and we were living so far away in Texas. Then Texas became home and we started new traditions. Our Christmas feast consisted of fajitas or machacado, King Ranch chicken, fresh flour tortillas still warm when I bought them at Central Market, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. Even when the kids grew up, they returned for awhile, my parents came, friends came, and our ranks swelled to twenty-five.
Moving to Virginia brought changes again to our holiday traditions, and once again that old Christmas song made me teary-eyed. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren would no longer be spending Christmas with us. They would continue to drive down to Texas. For the first two Christmases, my sons came, but then one got married and we decided we would drive up to Boston instead, as we had more time off than they did. I no longer would host the Christmas feast. It was time to pass the honors on.
Nothing remains the same in life. That’s the sadness and the exhilaration of it. I find that when you let the old things go and embrace the new, you find the real meaning of that song. As I am driving up to Boston, I am getting closer to home, for home is and always has been, being with those I love. Home is in my heart.
This will be my last post until the new year. I want to just enjoy my children and the old friends we will visit after Christmas. I want to wish all of you a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Catch you later!
- Christmas Cheer in a Desolate Land (comingeast.com)