Sunday, December 18, 2011

Home for the Holidays

by Tamara Hogan

Weasel lends a helping (?) hand

Christmas. It's a time to get together with friends and family, to catch up, to chat, to exchange presents...and of course eat too much.

Home for the holidays. It resonates, doesn't it?
Mr. K waits for his turn

In my family, we tend to gather at the home of my youngest sister, the only one of us to have produced a grandchild - a dear girl named Taylor that we all adore and shamefully overindulge during the holidays. In addition to my sister's home being centrally located, the house has a huge family room equipped with a fireplace, with enough room for everyone to sit comfortably for hours.

Because we will be sitting there for hours. We open our gifts in rotation, from youngest to oldest, one gift at a time, cycling through everyone until all the gifts are open. Though my niece finds this approach excruciating, there are several benefits: 

- everyone gets to ooh and aah over every gift, and
- there's time to visit and talk - with breaks in the action for pie, of course!   

(There's also the inevitable round of "boy toy" and "sweet young thing" jokes as my Mark, nearly five years younger than me, opens his gifts immediately after Taylor in the rotation. ) 

A couple of years ago, Australian comic and musician Tim Minchin released what's become my favorite Christmas song, "White Wine in the Sun", about the joy he experiences spending the holidays with his family:

"Home for the holidays." However you define home, and holiday, the season is about togetherness - whether with your family of origin, the family you've chosen, or some fortunate combination thereof.

The people who make you feel safe in this world.

So however you celebrate the season, whenever and however you and your dear ones gather, I wish you glad holiday tidings, much happiness, and some white wine in the sun.


  1. Happy holidays to you and yours! And a great new year with lots of great new books to read and write!

  2. Loved the song! It pretty much says it all.

  3. Aurian - Thanks so much for stopping by! I KNOW that 2012 will bring a lot of great books from the CasaBabes!

  4. Cheryl - family and loved ones are definitely what make the holidays such for me. And isn't it fun to discover new music? ;-)

  5. Tamara, lovely post! Loved the part about opening presents and teasing. Family...that's what the holidays are about!

  6. Carolyn - Yeah, even after 13 years, it's still fun teasing Mark about how he gets to open his presents right after Taylor in the rotation - though it was even funnier when she was five. ;-) He's a good sport about it.

  7. We also open presents one gift at a time, and often the present has a story to go with it. It takes a while, but it is a wonderful tradition. Wishing you a very merry Christmas!