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I’ll Be Home For Christmas

This
song, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, was first recorded in 1943,
by Bing Crosby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFGfCn5rKIM). The
lyrics, written for soldiers during World War II, ends with the words
Christmas Eve will find me, Where the love-light gleams, I’ll be
home for Christmas, If only in my dreams
.

At the
age of 13, I didn’t understand the depth of the meaning – where
else would someone be, than at home? At home where Christmas tree
lights twinkled in the living room, secret gifts under the tree and
the scent of newly-baked peppernuts coming from the kitchen. As time
ticked by slowly on Christmas Eve, we waited for Dad. When Dad came
home from delivering last minute packages from the old parcel post
truck, we were prepared for the Christmas Story of Jesus’ birth read
from Luke 2, singing Christmas carols and prayer on our knees,
Home
for Christmas
took on other meanings. During our 60 years of
marriage, there were years when it was impossible to ‘be home for
Christmas’
. That longing to be home with family never ceases –
but the location of home as a physical place – changes. It is a
process of learning just what home means.
The file
of Mom’s writing reveals her understanding of being ‘Home for
Christmas’. She writes:
In
1928, our first Christmas was spent away from home. Christmas meant
home, love and family. To me, being home for Christmas was a given.
Surely we would go home for Christmas. The waves of nausea of the
first pregnancy were over and we planned to make the long, cold trip
of 300 miles. Pop installed a heater in our car. We hoped it would
not snow.
The
night before we planned to leave, I became ill. My ears ached and my
fever was high. I had the flu! Oh, I was very brave and didn’t even
cry. Pop bought a tiny Christmas tree and decorated it. With the
new Chevy backed under the window, he hooked the tree’s lights to the
battery of the car. I appreciated his concern for my happiness but I
was really too miserable to care.
The
night before Christmas Eve, the telephone rang. It was my Dad, “We
have been expecting you. When are you coming?” That opened a
flood-gates of tears! I had never been away from home for Christmas,
but God had a plan for me. With a new post office job for Pop, it
was 13 years before we were at my parents’ house for Christmas. I
discovered that Christmas is not a place, not certain people, but
celebrating Christ in the heart is the joy that cannot be taken away
by big snows, distance, illnesses or job.
Christmas
Wonder
What
is the wonder of Christmas/ That pulses in the hearts of all men?
This
spirit of giving and sharing That defy oral words or the pen?
No
evil intent in this wonder, But joy with each gift that we give.
The
secrets, the lights and the carols – A warmth-shedding glow as we
live.
This
wonder is the love of Jehovah – That gave us a Savior in birth
Reminding
man’s hearts that God’s goodness Sent Jesus, His Son, down to earth!
God’s
love is the wonder of Christmas That thrills human hearts everywhere
A
wondrous reminder each season; ‘Tis the gift of God’s love that we
share! (ADS)
When our
parents’ ‘home’ is no more – where is our place at Christmas time?
That is when we teach our children what ‘home’ is. Is there a
‘forever-home’?
In the
last paragraph Mom wrote this….
How I
have appreciated our loving family circle, even after Poppa and I sat
side by side alone on Christmas Eve. We were so thankful to be ‘home
for Christmas’ We always prayed our children had joy in their own
circle of loved ones and that they might appreciate their children
while they have them at home for Christmas! And what if I celebrate
Christ’s birth alone – I have a heart full of happy memories! And
the joy of finally being …. at ‘Home for Christmas’ with our Lord.
No
matter where we lay our heads at night, if we have Jesus in our
hearts, we are ‘home’. Even if our earthly family is miles away,
when we find those who have Jesus in their hearts, we are ‘home’.
When we give our love without reserve to the ‘least of these’, we are
‘home’.
God
welcomes us ‘home’ when we praise Him and love his Only Son! May
this Christmas find us truly ‘at home for Christmas and every day’.
Glory to God in the highest, and
on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:14

Comments? eacombs@att.net

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