Coming Home For Christmas

Coming Home For Christmas

Coming Home For Christmas

Christmas is quickly approaching, and between all the shopping, decorating, parties and baking, it recently hit me that this will be the first year I won't be in Wheeling with my family on Christmas day. Even though I'm excited to be spending the holiday with someone special to me and his family, knowing that I won't be "Home for the Holidays" this year has made me reflect on Christmases from my past.

Of course, there are all the wonderful childhood memories I have, such as waking up to find that Santa brought me the most amazing Barbie Dream House or that  he delivered a teddy bear to Grandma and Grandpa's house for me, but it's the more recent Christmases that stand out to me now.

In between the family traditions of Christmas Eve mass at St. Vincent's followed by the annual showing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and even my brother always making breakfast Christmas morning, there are the Christmases that have marked my journey back home to Wheeling.

I moved away more than eleven years ago, thinking that I'd never live in Wheeling again. Coming home for Christmas during my college years was always about having fun, catching up with my friends from high school and retelling stories about our days at Central that we've told a thousand times. It was Christmas of 006 when I realized those carefree days were coming to an end when I accepted a job in Charlotte, NC and moved four days after Christmas to start my post collegiate life.

A year later, when I came home for Christmas for the first time after truly being away, I realized how much I missed and loved my hometown. It took another two years and a move to another state, but before I knew it, it was a few weeks before Christmas in 2009 and I was moving back up north.

I spent the next three years living and working in Pittsburgh, PA, but still found myself longing for home, my little town in the heart of the Ohio Valley. So I decided to officially put my roots down in Wheeling and in what has seemingly become a pattern, I moved again just a few weeks before Christmas last year, but this time, into my first home in my hometown.

Looking back, I love that such a wonderful time of year seems to have had a minor role in my journey back home. There have been a lot changes over the years and I have so many great memories of Christmas in Wheeling with my family and friends. I'm really looking forward to the new memories and traditions that I'll be making this Christmas.