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Archive for Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holidays at home

It’s no wonder that everyone wants to get home for the holidays.

December 25, 2011

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Every Kansan is painfully familiar with Dorothy’s assertion in “The Wizard of Oz,” that “There’s no place like home.” Robert Allen and Al Stillman expanded that message in their classic 1954 song, “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” and it’s hard to argue with that sentiment.

Members of the Jayhawk basketball team scattered across the country after Thursday night’s game in Los Angeles, driving home with relatives or catching flights so they could spend a few days with friends and family at home.

Getting home for the holidays probably was a motivating factor for members of Congress who finally passed contentious legislation Friday to extend payroll tax cuts for two months. Either that or they simply concluded they would only do more harm than good if they stayed in Washington any longer.

Whether it’s across the country or across town, Americans are traveling or welcoming family members home for the holidays. AAA estimates that 91.9 million Americans — 30 percent of the population — will travel more than 50 miles from home during the holiday season. As a result of fewer flights and higher airfares, the association said, most of those people will be traveling by car; only 6 percent are expected to fly, down from nearly 20 percent last year.

There is, perhaps, no group more happy to be home for the holidays than American troops returning from service overseas. Last Sunday, family members gathered at Fort Hood, Texas, to welcome home about 300 soldiers who had been serving in Iraq. The scene was repeated across the country numerous times this month for military personnel returning from Iraq and other deployments around the globe. The joy for those families was not only in being reunited with their loved ones but also seeing them safe and at least temporarily out of harm’s way.

For most of us, “home” is the place were we are “safe” both physically and emotionally. It is the place where we feel warm and loved by family or friends. No wonder people try so hard to get there, especially at the holidays.

We realize that not everyone will be safe and warm at home this Christmas, but our wish for everyone is that they find a place and some people who will offer them some comfort and the feeling of peace that should be a part of this season.

Merry Christmas!

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