The holidays are a time for connecting. Whether Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Passover, we mark these holidays as a time to join with family and friends and celebrate traditions. And there couldn’t be a more important time to find home than during the holidays.
In my memoir, Under the Birch Tree, I discover the many connections that bring me to a home place. When walking at night along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, I am reminded of the holidays at my girlhood home in the suburbs of Chicago. The festive white lights that guide my path connect me to a home place where holiday lights adorned neighbors’ yards with joy and good cheer. Sights connect us to home even though we may be miles away.
We celebrate traditions with beloved foods that are prepared only during the holidays. Christmas cookies and rugelach bring sensory awareness of sweet smells wafting through the house, becoming stronger as we near the kitchen. The recognizable sweetness in the air connects us to our memories of home when we baked goods for the holiday table with our mothers, aunts or best friends.
No matter where we are or with whom, we observe the holidays and embrace the many connections that bring us back to home.