“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.”
Perry Como’s voice should be echoing through your brain now with this famous tune. Undoubtedly many people have migrated home to southern Wisconsin this week for family reunions around this, the most anticipated holiday season of the year. Hanukkah, the festival of lights, is wrapping up and Christmas is just around the corner. For my nonconformist friends there is always Festivus For The Rest Of Us.
If you are not a Seinfeld fan, you may not get the last one. That’s ok, do a web search and prepare to chuckle.
I’m Christian, so my holiday is Christmas, pick yours unashamedly and enjoy. Whichever holiday you chose, here’s to sharing it with family and friends. With any luck they are one in the same.
Whether you are celebrating locally or traveling to celebrate at another locale, there is bound to be a homecoming. There is something special about homecomings. For me it is the familiar welcoming bark of mom and dad’s dog followed by warm hugs. If you know me at all, you know how much I crave a good embrace.
Returning home can be an adventure. For me it means a tour of the area. What’s changed, what’s new, what is gone? We long for familiarity. Is there still a Stavropolus cooking at Chili John’s? Does Walker’s still make those decadent pastries? Is my birth home still standing? And on, and on…
When I return home there are things that I must do. See as many of the old gang as possible. Make a tour of the homes I lived in to see if the owners have changed anything. There were three of them and yes, they have all changed and yes they all look smaller than they did when I was young.
Food is not only part of most celebrations for us, but food itself is a reason to celebrate. Types of foods are local are they not? Fish fry Friday is a very Wisconsin event. I’m guessing that the Friday following Christmas will be an especially busy night for local eateries. When I return home there is food that must be consumed or the trip feels less than complete.
Sharing local food is important too. We treat the folks back home to Wisconsin cheese, sausage, beer and coffee. Coffee? Yes, coffee. Berres Brothers coffees always come home with me. Plus Schultz’ Cheese Haus is a must stop before returning home as is Pernat Haase meats and New Glarus beer.
Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home and the Christmas season is when most transplants chose to be there. It is not the locale, we love Wisconsin and have no plans to leave anytime soon. It is the people. Cherish the homecoming, because the things we should be most grateful for are the people that bless our lives, not the things we give or receive during this most blessed of holidays.
As Tiny Tim said; “God bless us, everyone.”