Absence from those we love is self from self – a deadly banishment. - William Shakespeare
Christmas is traditionally a time for families and friends to join in one place - sometimes traveling hundreds of miles – to celebrate the season together.
Such is the case in my family. While I was not able to see all of my family this year, my mom and stepdad traveled from their home in South Carolina to visit my husband and I.
Christmas is obviously over, and we’re all-too-quickly returning to the routine of daily life. As my family prepares to return home, the distance between what they call home and what I call home becomes much too broad for my tastes. I realize it will be several months before we can see each other again, and I feel I need to grab every available second to just be in the same space.
I have heard people say that we live in a mobile society, and I have to agree. Thanks to interstates, planes – even trains – we can go pretty much anywhere. This definitely comes in handy when the economy is in the dumps and you have to go to where the jobs are, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.
But that’s a double-edged sword. I may be wrong, but I imagine that in bygone eras, families mostly stuck pretty close together. A week didn’t pass between visits. Now, if you’re lucky, you might see one another twice a year.
To me, the end of the holiday season always makes me pine for an era I never really knew. When you’re caught up in the routine of daily life, it’s easier to put out of your mind how much you miss those loved ones that you’re separated from. The holiday season – or more specifically, the end of the holiday season – brings that right to the forefront.
While, for me, this inevitably leads to a bit of melancholy at the end of the holiday season, it also makes the season all the more special.
And while I may find myself pining for imagined bygone eras, I also find myself grateful that I live in an era when technology can help make the distance between my loved ones and me a little more bearable – we may not see each other every day, but we can talk every day.
And thanks to shared cellphone plans, the phone bills are a lot more bearable.
Sara McManamy-Johnson is a staff writer for The Lebanon Democrat. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.