Whenever I hear Perry Como’s “Home for the Holidays” the nostalgia sets in.
I must be getting older because it feels good to reminisce about Christmases past. The soothing musical voice of Como takes me back to growing up in that white two-story farmhouse which still means so much to me. That’s the house where Mom would play her Christmas albums and we would all share a warm cup of hot chocolate after attending the late service at the First Presbyterian Church of Fairbury on Christmas Eve.
Christmas morning meant we would sip drinks out of the nice holiday mugs which were only taken out of the cupboard once a year. My brother and I would race upstairs, sometimes as early as 3 a.m., to wake Mom and Dad from a sound sleep. Their advice: “Go back to bed, it’s too early.” We would finally tear into those gifts shortly after 7 a.m.
Much of the late morning was spent watching a Christmas show on T.V. before heading into Chenoa to my grandmother’s house for a delicious roast beef lunch. Then, more gifts were unwrapped throughout the afternoon before we headed back to Fairbury for Grandpa Casson’s annual celebration with more food and gifts.
I especially enjoyed the holidays as a child because I was able to play all of my favorite Christmas tunes on my pretend radio station at home. I even hosted a holiday open house with refreshments, punch and personal tours of my studios. Nothing tops my one-man performance of “A Christmas Carol.” I think I had the entire book memorized (and still do).
Sometimes we need to pause and take in the magic and wonder of the season. A child is the perfect example. This is such a special time of the year for them and it should be that way for all of us. I will never forget that Christmas morning feeling growing up. Now I get to share that feeling with my wife and children. Seeing the looks on the kids’ faces as they race down the stairs on Christmas morning is priceless.
As Perry sang, “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” I second that.