Home for the Holidays

Posted: 17th December 2013 by admin in Uncategorized

I was listening to the song, “Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays.” My parents live about 10,000 miles away, my brother about 3,000 miles from me and I am somewhere in the middle.  Home for the Holidays is technology, skype & gchat.  Home is virtual and watsapp.  Its figuring out how to make a call and hear voices across continents for as cheep as possible so you can talk for as long a possible.  

I like to ask what traditions people have as a family, what nuances differentiate them from their neighbors.  “We always put the sprinkles before we bake the sugar cookies” or “we always always decorate on Thanksgiving after dinner.” “We have to wait till Christmas Eve to put up the lights.” Beautiful differences, & little nuances that feed into our sense of self & community.  

We made kalkals (an India sweet, however I think we may have made up the name or it may have gotten distorted over the years, since not many other Indians recognize the name) to distribute. I don’t know the recipe and it seems too lonely to make them without my mom, so I don’t.  I pick a recipe from pintrest.  I bake more than I have ever baked in my life, I give it all away, I do this alone.  To be fair, my dog is with me begging the whole time, so not entirely alone.  It was fun, I made candies and toffees and felt accomplished.  It makes me feel at home to use my mom’s kitchen even if its for a non-family tradition.  It made me feel less in loss.  

However Christmas gifts are more complex than they have ever been.  Either I need to save them till I see all of them or I need to get them ahead of time to send them over with someone else.  Gift Delivery is another ironic gift of loss and gain.  To give something with your own hands, to see their reactions to funny gifts, thoughtful gifts, gifts that make us silent with gratefulness.  Its a strange thing to save surprises and these days the delivery person takes pictures of the person with their gift.  That way we don’t miss “the look.” But don’t we? Still the consolation though small is one to be grateful for.  

For the holidays, I will leave home and travel home to my brother, where he and I will skype our parents who will be at home.  They say the world is getting smaller.  And so it is we will be in different time zones but someone there is this crack in the wall, a space time continuum that connects our lives and we can joke and laugh, ignore comments, and change topics.  We can talk over a meal (which will be different cuisines and meal times) together for the holidays.

And “no matter how far away you roam, If you want to be happy in a million ways
For the holidays you can’t beat home, sweet home.”  

  1. Robert L says:

    Loughborough University :))