“I’ll be home for Christmas . . . “
“Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays . . . “
You can’t miss it this time of year. No matter where people live or how little they talk to family throughout the year, inevitably they want to go home on December 25.
I’m right there with the crowd–and in the traffic! There’s a longing for home that hits harder around Christmas than any other time of year.
On any given night, I easily find myself reminiscing of Christmases past . . . of the family favorite recipes we’ll whip up again this year . . . of chilly nights Christmas caroling . . . of that icy Christmas we needed Santa’s sleigh to get to Grammy and Granddaddy’s . . .
If you weren’t already feeling nostalgic, here . . . listen to some good ol’ Bing Crosby.
So what is it about Christmas that breeds homesickness? My guess is that is has less to do with the holiday season and more to do with our human nature.
Sure, Christmas makes us sentimental, but deep down is a longing that surpasses visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. The desire extends beyond December 25 and well into the new year. But why?
Because God created us for something more than this world. We don’t belong here, so we long for home.
That longing was put in us by God Himself so that we would seek Him, (think Wise Men) that we would worship Him, (think Shepherds) and that we proclaim His glorious name (think Hosts of Angels).
See, this yearning for home thing is appropriate at Christmastime after all. It’s what the whole Bethlehem-Manger-Scene story is all about: Jesus, leaving His home and entering ours, to show us the way to our forever home.
Homesickness is really about longing for heaven.
Coveted time with family is just the precursor to eternal life with our Father.
Unfulfilled longings are only a sweet reminder that Jesus is returning for you.
So this year, like always, I eagerly and unashamedly look forward to time with family and all things Christmas . . .
. . . the fireside chats and hot spiced tea, playful rounds of cards, peanut butter bon-bons and other delectable goodies, singing Christmas carols in church, stealing kisses from my niece and nephews . . .
Because longing for good things is good practice for longing for the greatest of things . . .