Home for the holidays

By Megan Wehring

374 miles. Five hours and 51 minutes. 

That’s how far away I live from my parents. Now, that may not seem that far in your eyes or it could deter you from getting in the car and making the drive. As for me, I would do anything to go see my family anytime of the year. I’m especially grateful that I get to visit them for the holidays. 

For my husband and me, it is our first Christmas together. However, we will not be sitting together around the tree unwrapping gifts the morning of the 25th. Why? Let’s say that we learned the meaning of compromise during the first six months of marriage. 

Keeping up with traditions 

Matching pajamas, last-minute gift shopping, singing carols on neighbors’ front steps and catching a flight home just in time and the list goes on for holiday traditions.

I remember growing up, waking up every Christmas morning before everybody else at the house. Nothing has changed. I just get so giddy the eve before the big day and it’s not necessarily for the gifts under the tree. There’s just something about the environment on Christmas that is so warm and inviting that I look forward to every year. 

My mom and I would always make sugar cookies with icing. A lot of icing. Oh, and sprinkles too. We would have this one plate designated for Santa’s midnight snack when he would visit our house (even when we lived in a house that didn’t have a chimney). I’m guessing he came in through one of the windows. 

We would also always watch “White Christmas” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” my dad’s favorite, when everybody was home for Christmas Eve. At some point, we would drive around town gazing at our neighbors’ light displays decked on their homes while listening to classic songs like “Let It Snow” and “O Holy Night.” Come Christmas morning, my dad would make dozens of his infamous cheesy sausage balls that we would snack on while we opened our stockings and throughout the day. 

Most of those traditions remain true now that we are adults. For the last couple of years, we switched up the gift exchange since all of the kids have left the nest. Now, we draw names for the main gifts while our parents still stuff our stockings with all kinds of goodies and we do the same for them. 

Savor your time 

When we are kids, we cannot wait to grow up yet when we become adults, we wish we could just be kids again playing outside with zero worries. Why? Well, I think we take precious moments in life for granted until they slip away from us. 

This holiday season, I encourage you to savor the time you have with your loved ones. Maybe you could only get one day off from work and you choose to spend that with your family, make sure you dedicate that time wisely. 

Whatever it is, I think the years 2020 and 2021 have taught us that the cliche saying is true: “Life is short.” Go make all of the memories you can and tell your family (or maybe that special person) that you love them. 

Happy holidays!

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About Author

Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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