Most people have heard the song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” which was written by lyricist, Kim Gannon and composer, Walter Kent. Most of us also know that the song was recorded by Bing Crosby, putting it in the older, classic category. We also knew that if was probably written, and in reality was written to honor soldiers overseas, who really wished they could be home for Christmas. I wasn’t sure what year it was written, but have since looked it up to find, exactly as I expected, that it was in 1943 during World War II. Our boys were off fighting, and Christmas was going to be very different that year, for the families, but mostly for the soldiers, many of whom would be away for the first time in their life.
These days are really no different, except that quite possibly the old song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” has taken on additional meanings. For those who have soldiers serving all around the world, the old classic meaning brings a renewed feeling of the old meaning of wishing their soldiers were home. For many others of us, who have loved ones who live far away, it brings memories of Christmas’ past, when our children were little and everyone was with us, gathered around the tree and dinner table. Others are fighting off the Covid-19 virus, and are quarantined this Christmas. And still others are facing a very different kind of sadness and loneliness this Christmas. Some have lost loved ones to the Covid-19 virus. For others there are other causes for their loved one’s passing, but it doesn’t matter what the cause…the passing of a loved one is the worst loss that can ever be felt…any time of year.
The song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is the epitome of of our longing spirit. Sometimes we feel like we need a good cry, and yes, we probably do, but that will never really ease the pain…especially the pain of loss. Time and prayer are the only was to move forward. We will never forget our loved ones, but we know that they are safe in Heaven, and we will see them again soon. Our soldiers will come home, our children living far away are only a plane ride away, our loved ones who are ill will recover, and there will be other Christmases. Can we ever get this Christmas back…no, but most of us can celebrate when loved ones get home or well, and still others can talk on the phone, Facetime, or Skype, so the miles seem to melt away. Whatever the reason for our fractured Christmas, this year and years in the past, we can all relate to the meaning behind the song, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and when we all get to Heaven, we will truly see that dream come true.