I love snow! I remember the first time I saw it snow. I was in sixth grade in South Texas where snow was not the normal. This particular day that it snowed, school was let out early so I rode my bike home in the snow with my mouth open hoping to get a snowflake inside like I’d seen on television. It was such a wonderful, unexpected adventure in a less than wonderful, unexpected time in my childhood.


Fast forward 20years and I no longer was the child but had three of my own who, like me, loved the snow and had only seen it a few times more than I had at their age. I didn’t have a lot of examples for raising children but I did try to give them new wonderful adventures of all kinds and I mainly tried to raise them with the sense of love and security that I had lost as a child. Through doing this with them, I discovered the true meaning of the proverb, “Home is where the heart is.” I learned we didn’t always have to be in our house to feel at home. In fact, sometimes, that’s where we didn’t need to be.

Let me explain. When our children were little we’d have large family gatherings at Christmas. But then we lost some loved ones and some moved far away and we also moved. The next Christmas it was just us and I explained to my youngest son over and over we wouldn’t have any extended family with us and why, but he really didn’t understand. I even tried coming up with new traditions.

But as we sat there at the table for Christmas dinner he asked with a sad little face, “Mama, when’s everyone coming?”


That was the moment I knew we had to do differently. Our first Christmas by ourselves in our new house was our last for several years.


This proverb, “Home is where the heart is,” refers to the place, your home, being where you prefer to be, where you feel most secure and loved, where your memories are the fondest, where you hang your hat. We normally think of our home as the place where we grew up or live presently. Do you have a place in mind when you think of home? I can attest that it’s not always a particular house but it is always where your heart is or was. This proverb is mostly known to have started from Pliny the Elder, a Roman author, naturalist, and philosopher,  who lived from A.D. 23-79, although, its original origin is unknown and it’s believed to have been around forever.


So with this proverb in mind, our next Christmas and several after were spent at different ski resorts, just us. We learned to ski. Our sons learned they could sit on their skis and lean back while going down the slopes to the point where their pockets would fill and compact with snow so at the bottom of the slope they had ready made snowballs, hence the immediate snowball fight. They learned that going from the hot tub to making snow angels and back gave a chilling sensation and we all learned that hot chocolate, at the end of a hard fun-filled snow day, was the most rewarding treat! We got to see beautiful Christmas Eve candlelight ski shows and we skied Christmas Day with Santa and Mrs. Claus. But the best memories were the times we had just being together. We’d already opened our gifts before we left home so we spent time reflecting on the true reason for the season, Jesus, and each other.


Our “home,” during those Christmas seasons wasn't a house, it was wherever we were together. It wasn’t the place but the people. It was truly where our hearts were.


What are you reflecting on this holiday season? What do your memories associate with when you think about going home?  Even now, whenever I have hot chocolate or see the occasional snow in Texas, I remember those cozy Christmases at the ski resorts years ago and I reminisce all over again. It brings happiness to my heart. I hope your heart finds its’ “Home for the Holidays.” 


And remember, through all your holiday cheer,

Christmas comes but once a year.

Let your heart to our Savior, Jesus, respond.

And your “home” will last to “Infinity and beyond."

Let it Snow
by Carole Gilbert

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