Traveling at Christmas time is like no other travel, at least insofar as it involves traveling back to your origins — family origins, geographical origins, psychological origins. It can also be the longest journey of any. It adds a dimension to the phrase “going BACK” home.
For some it involves regression to childhood, or at least the potential for it. There are few people I know who wouldn’t agree that the impulse to regress is strongest when around family, and especially during holiday season.
But however dysfunctional one’s family is, ultimately it’s an opportunity to meet challenges head on, to continue the ongoing cycle of humility (and sometimes fun) that comes with feeling like a kid again, and understanding that nothing can be or ever will be perfect when it comes to family.
The message given at the Christmas Eve service we attended this year was about how imperfect we are and how important it is to realize that we cannot be perfect.
So visiting family around the holidays this year and every year has been about the realization that — despite how hard we try to get the wrapping perfect, or the gifts perfect, or the decorations perfect, or anything else perfect — it is enough to be good enough.