I’ll Be Home For Christmas: Holiday Coverfolk 2010, Vol. 3
(Plus bonus coversongs of holiday longing and loneliness)

One of my favorite Christmas themes is homecoming. The concentrated call for togetherness, whether wistful or wanton, is tied tightly to the seasonal trend towards family and friends, the desire for closeness around hearth and heart, a ward against the chill and the commercialism.

The intimacy that results - just us and the tree, or perhaps the crowd brought into the home - frames a set of a songs that celebrate being home, or express a longing for it, depending on the narrative stance. But in all cases, the motif is clear: Christmas is a time for love, in its infinite forms, and love from afar is always a poor substitute for love up close.

In our case, that means a renewed commitment to the family itself - a topic on our tongues in the Howdy house, as we look back on an unusually hectic year, in which we allowed management to supplant the true rituals of home, and lost sight of the noble goals which we have long established for both partnership and parenting. It’s early, yet, for resolutions. But a last minute argument-slash-decision not to compromise on the Christmas tree, which now stands proudly decorated in the midst of pre-party chaos, reminded us that the struggle to regain the introspective closeness we have lost will need to be at the top of our self-improvement list in the coming months.

I know that we are blessed to even have the opportunity. Not all of us have the luxury of family nearby, or a home to come home to. But home is something that lives in our hearts, an ideal as much as a roof and a bed. Just as a house is not a home without the love it represents, so can a home be a person, a helping hand, even a familiar voice on the telephone this time of year.

So love the ones you’re with, but love the rest of the world, too. Make peace with your enemies, and bring cookies to the neighbors unannounced. Skip the flat tone of the facebook message, and call that long-lost friend instead. Head out for that drink with a coworker or friend you’ve postponed for far too long. Empty your closet, and give your extra clothes to Goodwill; take that extra present to the Toys For Tots drop-off center in your town. Send a belated Christmas card to an anonymous soldier. Volunteer to serve Christmas dinner at the local senior center. Pay the toll for the cars behind you, and drop that extra dollar into the open hand of the lost and lonely.

Make everywhere part of your home this holiday season. Open your heart to the world, and the world will fill your heart. And may you, too, be together for Christmas, whatever that means for you and yours.

…and some bonus hope and longing songs, for those whose homes will be empty this season…and those who can’t go home again, just yet.

Cover Lay Down is still feeling the holiday spirit. Are you? Then don’t forget to check out our previous Holiday Coverfolk features from this year and last!

Category: Holiday Coverfolk

5 Responses to “I’ll Be Home For Christmas: Holiday Coverfolk 2010, Vol. 3
(Plus bonus coversongs of holiday longing and loneliness)

  1. Twitter Trackbacks for I’ll Be Home For Christmas: Holiday Coverfolk 2010, Vol. 3 (Plus bonus coversongs of holiday longing and loneliness) — Cover Lay Down [coverlaydown.com] on Topsy.com

    [...] I’ll Be Home For Christmas: Holiday Coverfolk 2010, Vol. 3 (Plus bonus coversongs of holiday longi… coverlaydown.com/2010/12/ill-be-home-for-christma…plus-bonus-coversongs-of-longing-and-loneliness/ – view page – cached Folkfan since childhood, coverfan since my teens. In my other life, I teach. In summer, I staff folk festivals. [...]

  2. splendid

    Oh how i love to read your words! Thank you so much for this inspiration, especially this time of the year! thank you for the time and love you put into this place, i really enjoy learning of all these new artists!

  3. Michael

    The link for the Bill Janovitz song has a typo. It should be: http://coverlaydown.com/tunes/bjan.mp3

  4. boyhowdy

    Nice catch, Michael - hope others listen in, now that it’s fixed!!

  5. Viv

    Hello there! I just came across your website looking for the Shawn Colvin cover of “Crazy” and now I subscribed to your RSS feed because your site seems to be right up my alley. :) Maybe you’ll be interested to know that Rachael Cantu also recorded some Christmas songs that she put up for people to listen to for free.
    Happy holidays!

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