The Sounds of Christmas: Going Home for Christmas

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

 “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”
-John 14:3 (NLT)

Steven Curtis Chapman is one of my favorite musicians.  His song, Going Home for Christmas, will always hold a special place in my heart.

Photo from Steven Curtis Chapman’s website.

This Christmas song was playing on our car radio and quite frankly, made me a little sad one Christmas as we were buying a Frazier Fir wreath for my grandmother’s bedroom door.  She had been bedridden for a few years due to the results of some mini strokes.  Christmases were not the same anymore for this homemaker who had enjoyed preparing her home for the gathering of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren on Christmas Day.

As the fragrance from our morning’s purchase began to waft through the family SUV, and I contemplated how different Christmas had become for this precious grandmother of mine, I just couldn’t handle the lyrics to Going Home for Christmas that day.  I turned off the radio.

I told my husband I thought this would be the last Christmas my grandmother would spend here with her family.
We arrived at her house and hung the wreath on her bedroom door so she could enjoy its beauty and fragrance.  She was resting so well that I didn’t want to awaken her, but something told me I should, so I did.

I was the only one in the room with her and she greeted me with a smile then looked at the doorway.  I thought she was noticing the wreath, but instead her broadening grin turned into a voice of sweet welcome as she encouraged me to take note of someone at the door whom she was welcoming to come toward her.

“Oh, look how beautiful!  Come on in!,” she said.

I turned to look and there was no one there.  Hmmm.

Her expression and voice were the same I had seen and heard numerous times when she would take note of little ones heading her way.  She delighted in my little boys and so I had assumed she was greeting them when she spoke.

In a little while the boys all came back to her room and hugged and kissed her.  We told her how much we loved her, pointed out the fragrant wreath, and bid her goodbye.

Back in the car, I turned on the stereo which had a cd in it.

Guess which song was cued to play next?  You guessed it!  Going Home for Christmas.  The very song I had stopped on the radio, was the song on the cd and so we listened to it.  I cried.

In the late evening of the same day, I would receive a phone call from my brother informing me of my grandmother’s passing.

Now those lyrics from the song truly resonate with me as I remember the Christmas Mama Smith no longer celebrated it with her family here, but instead in her home there.

Her wreath would be transformed into flowers for her grave and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” would be sung at her funeral.  That’s another song I never can sing in quite the same way any more.  As for her welcoming grin and words to whomever was visiting her at the doorway that day…I have a feeling a few of the herald angels were present in those hours before she left us that day.

Now you know the reason this song makes the playlist of my personal favorite twelve songs of Christmas.

To hear a sample of Going Home for Christmas, go to this page.
To hear the entire song, go to this page.

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