I accepted the fact early on in my career that show business is not a Monday through Friday, nine-to-five job. An entertainer doesn’t usually get weekends and holidays off like “normal” folks. I don’t ever remember being home for a 4th of July celebration, and I’ve been on the road many times at Thanksgiving, New Years, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Groundhog Day. And, to be honest, I’ve complained about it a time or two over the years.
But now I’m beginning to realize that in these days of extended families, fractured families, and varied lifestyles, we traveling minstrels aren’t the only ones who have to adjust our schedules come holiday time.
A friend called Thursday night to tell me he and his family were headed to Indiana to “spend Christmas” with his parents and siblings. I double-checked the calendar, and “Christmas” isn’t until December 25th. He was going a tad early, wasn’t he? He said it was the only way he could fit a visit with his family into a schedule that also included spending time with his wife’s parents, both sets of grandparents, her children from a previous marriage, and various other kinfolks scattered around the country.
My son is an airline pilot, and being young and perched on one of the lower rungs of the corporate ladder, he has to fly on Christmas Day this year. So, our family will celebrate Christmas on Saturday the 27th when he has landed safely at home.
I’m not sure this is all bad. Christmas is a “day”, of course, but it’s also a “season” and a “spirit.” How many times have we all heard, “I wish the Christmas spirit could last all year long.” Well, maybe it can. At least nowadays it can extend from a week or two prior to December 25th until who-knows how much later. I know military families who aren’t planning to unwrap their gifts until loved ones come home in February and March.
Whenever and wherever and however you celebrate this holiday season, may it be a warm and wonderful time…and on whatever day your holiday arrives, may you be fortunate enough to spend it with the ones you love.