“Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go…”

It’s a tune that’s easy to dismiss as overly nostalgic, old-fashioned or irrelevant. Who rides in horses on sleighs to Grandmother’s house in the middle of winter? I’ll take one sedan with extra heat and Sirius on the side, thanks.

The truth is that though we might not have horses, sleighs or even a Grandmother, most of us have a place.
A home, a person, a special spot in our memory where we travel year after year to savor old memories and create new ones.
A gathering spot — tangible or otherwise.

Whether we get there in a jam-packed minivan over miles of interstate, in the window seat of a commercial jet or merely in our thoughts as we transition to a time of new traditions and memories, the holiday season is by nature one of warmth and kinship. Of sharing one another’s lives and tables.

Our gatherings don’t need to look like a page torn from a magazine, meticulously staged and expensively prepared—though they can be.
The fine china (in the family for generations) may have a chip or two. The turkey (Uncle Bill’s first attempt) might be a little on the crunchy side. The kids will probably fight over how long to count in hide-and-seek, and Great-Aunt Myrtle will most certainly overshare her most recent medical history.

Don’t you see? That’s all part of the story. It’s our own “over the river.”

Our own place, time and gathering.

Our own holiday memories—made together, with love.

Submitted By: Abbey Roy, Newark, OH

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