Home for the holidays

News | December 21, 2022

The theme of this year’s Advent devotion is: Do you see what I see? An array of St. Paul voices selected a photo or photos that hold very special memories to them, then sat down and reflected on what that photo means to them. What do they see and remember that others may not when looking at this photo? Through their words and stories, hopefully, you’ll see a little of what they see.

Home for the holidays. I hear the crooning of Bing Crosby and Andy Williams, playing from the HIFI console in my childhood living room. Nostalgic memories of Bob Hope. Comfort and joy. Growing up, home for the holidays was an annual occurrence and included extended family as many lived nearby. There was less over the river and through the woods when we gathered around Grandma’s table.

In time, my generation began to relocate from the embrace of our humble beginnings, traveling to places away from our small Iowa town. Home for the holidays took on another meaning, another view through the seasonal lens. From being at home to traveling a road to its return. Always wrapped in the pageantry of Christmas.

The photo I am enjoying this season is of our Davenport family gathered around the Christmas tree, freshly positioned in our living room. We make time during Thanksgiving break and before we again separate, left with the promise of sharing togetherness again soon. As our boys have grown into adults, my view of home for the holidays expands to yet another lens.

As I look at the joy on the faces of those I love, home for the holidays has shifted to the anticipation I feel knowing the boys will again be with us. Coming from their young adult places, returning to reside in their rooms. Going about their routines and movements, faithfully followed by our cats. Home is where we welcome them from the trails that make them weary, where they melt into the comfort of the familiar.

Home for the holidays is a time to share in the things we can do together, the time we simply spend sitting quietly in front of a warming fire. Whether for hours, or less, I savor the moments.  I let them wash over me like tinsel over the branches of our aromatic tree. We have made the holidays a celebration of togetherness, of laughter, and of love. I am grateful I am home.

Scott Teasdale lives in Davenport and shares life with Cynthia, and sons Thompson and Lucas. When not working on project management, Scott enjoys time on the tennis court and reading fiction. Cynthia is passionate about advocating for family and others through volunteer work. Thompson, 25, is a history enthusiast and develops business for Axiom Law in Chicago. Lucas, 21, is an artist with a creative taste for cartoon arts and writing and is a junior at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

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