December, 2004 Contest: What is your favorite memory of a holiday spent at home?

Congratulations to our contest winner!
Arlene Lanz of Youngstown, OH

Twenty seven years ago I moved from Ohio to New Jersey to take my first real job. I wasn’t able to get time off to go home for Christmas and I was terribly homesick. The next Christmas, I was able to fly home for a few days. It meant so much to me to be with my parents and my younger siblings. I vividly remember sitting on the family room floor playing monopoly with my brother and sisters while the smell of turkey wafted in from the kitchen. Although the prior Christmas my Mom had finally bought an artificial tree (she had wanted one for years but I insisted on a real one), my father, knowing how much I loved live Christmas trees, went out and bought a small one with a root ball. That tree was planted in the front yard that spring and is now taller than the house. My dad is no longer with us but the tree always reminds me of him.