For some reason, the holiday season always reminds me of coming home. It’s likely because for most of my adult life I lived somewhere that required me to travel home to see family for Christmas. I remember spending more than half of my holiday budget on flights for my wife and I then another third to ship any gifts we may give or receive to and from each respective location.
Should we travel, stay home or sit and question in atrophy?
I remember one Christmas in particular flying from Los Angeles to Little Rock on standby with Southwest Airlines. For anyone unfamiliar, standby is where you wait for open seats to come available on a flight, and then you get to hop on at the last minute. That long list of passengers they call on right before the plane takes off? Those are your standby flyers.
Usually, this is pretty easy to do, especially if you are not headed to a favorite location or are willing to fly at an unpopular time slot, but this was Christmas. It was not the smartest idea, and we only made it to Dallas before we finally gave up. I think we spent as much money on hotels over three days as we would have, had we just bought a ticket outright.
This seems poignant this year, as so many of my holiday traditions have been tossed amuck. Having lost our family’s matriarch and patriarch in the past year, a lot of the running around has ceased, and the stillness in its place is deafening.
It’s not as if other holiday traditions do not still go on, or new ones will pop up in their place, but what will they be and who gets to decide? For the first time, I feel the pressure of deciding how I’m going to spend my holiday season. Should we travel, stay home or sit and question in atrophy?
Unfortunately, it is the later. As much as I am an advocate for change, the idea of change during this time of year makes me weary. It seems simpler to put on a cozy pair of socks, watch a couple of lousy holiday movies and each too much divinity.