Home for the holidays

I’m looking forward to having the lyrics of the classic tune “I’ll be home for Christmas” apply to me this year.

I have a long week of work to wade through before I get to make the drive up to the arctic tundra in Idaho that I currently call home, but I can already smell the Balsam & Cedar Yankee Candle my mom will have warming in the kitchen and hear the sweet strains of Kenny G’s “Holiday Album” that always fill our home at this time of the year.

I’m well aware, though, that for many people, a trip home is something that, for whatever reason, can be true “only in (their) dreams.”

With this in mind, I’ve been worrying about these individuals and wondering how they will be able to feel the comfort and camaraderie that are so characteristic of this season if they can’t find it in a familiar family room or cozy kitchen.

(The great room of my childhood home, which my uncle now owns and has elevated to catalog-worthy status with his impeccable eye for design, is one of my favorite places.)

I had several experiences this weekend, though, that reminded me that while these feelings tend to thrive within the walls of a childhood home, they exist elsewhere. And, perhaps more important than physical location is those we surround ourselves with during this festive time.

While the grounds of the Salt Lake Temple, the cushy seats at the Conference Center, and my aunt and uncle’s home were inspired settings for this past weekend’s holiday events, I’m certain that the love and warmth I felt were emanating from the faces of those who stood near me just as much as they were from the walls that surrounded me.

So while I hope you will be able to visit beautiful, soul-strengthening places this week, I’m praying wonderful people help you feel at home — regardless of where you are.