Home for Christmas
When I listen to the lyrics of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" (by any number of artists) or "Driving Home For Christmas" (by Chris Rea) visions of long stretches of highway pop into my head, along with the wide expanse of prairie fields covered in snow. I have reached the point in my life that going home and being with family is what the season is all about, there could be not a single present under the tree; it wouldn't matter.
We haven't been home to Kamsack since early November of last year when my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. In one week we will begin the long drive down Highway 881, over to Cold Lake, across to Meadow Lake, south to the Battlefords and across the province to Kamsack, nestled just a few kilometres from the Manitoba border.
For me, going home for Christmas is a gift all by itself. This is the place where Christmas magic took hold many long years ago. Blowing snow, dark nights, quiet streets, midnight mass, and big family potlucks are my automatic associations when I think of the holidays.
I particularly look forward to watching Heather knit on the sofa beside Mom, Dylan play checkers with Dad, and Ben catch up with cousins who have popped in to visit. Family members and friends will come and go, time will slow down, and the spirit of the holidays will settle in our bones.
I'm looking forward to doing some painting at home. At Heather's suggestion, I'm going to bring a few canvases, my tabletop easel and my paints. It will give me something to do and an opportunity to share my process with those who might be interested in seeing it.
There is always the unknown about travel at this time of year. Snow storms and treacherous cold can grip this part of the country around Christmas. But, we will take our time and drive cautiously. All will be well.