Home seems like it ought to be a pretty straighforward idea. Either you're home or you're not. But for me, as I assume for plenty of others in our increasingly mobile society, home has been a bit of a slippery concept for quite a while now.
I used to go home for Christmas every year. I could very easily phrase it that way because I was going back to Wisconsin, to the house I grew up in. My parents don't live there anymore and I have no desire to move back, but Wisconsin will always be tied up with my idea of home.
Until this year, I've spent the Christmases since my parents moved at their house in Texas. It feels like going home for the holidays since all of my family is there, but I make the distinction when telling people I'm going to my parents' house. Even when I lived there, Texas didn't feel like home to me because I never really felt like I fit. Still, if home is where the heart is, San Antonio is a home of mine.
It was DC where I felt at home in terms of the place fitting me. If friends can be chosen family, can a city be a chosen home? When we go back to DC after leaving here, it will feel in many ways like going home. But even then, we won't stay more than a couple of years. If we're going to feel at home, then home is going to have to be something we take with us.
This year, we didn't get to go home for Christmas. We had Christmas and will spend New Year's Eve at home though, here in our Okinawan concrete box house, together. It was different, yes. But still good.
Happy holidays, Internet. From our home to yours.