If you tune your radio to 100.7 FM, the Christmas Carols have begun with favorites like I’ll Be Home for Christmas, There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays, and Please Come Home for Christmas.
With Thanksgiving only a week away, decorations up on Main Street in Lansdale, and invitations arriving for holiday parties, the excitement is building for the holidays.
Americans spend on average $50 per year on Christmas decorations (but we all know the house that likes to “blow the budget” on the over the top exterior displays). Wreaths, poinsettias, trees, lights… the big blow up Santa Claus in the front yard … it just isn’t Christmas without it all.
Why do people put so much effort into the decorations? Because it is all part of celebrating the holidays, even if you never have chestnuts roasting by an open fire, everyone has their special traditions and decorations that make their house feel like home during the holidays.
A house is so much more than a financial investment. It is the place where you live, where you raise your family, where you create memories that last a lifetime. It is where you celebrate the holidays, the birthdays, the graduations… It is also where you mourn the loss of loved ones and retreat to when coping with life’s disappointments, devastations, setbacks, and worries.
When there is a weather emergency, local officials will urge everyone to just “stay home.” If you had a long day, you just want to “go home.”
Home Sweet Home, There’s No Place Like Home, Home is Where the Heart is… It seems like it is not just the holidays that inspire the heartfelt desire for a place to call home.
What makes a house a home?
- Some people say it is when you make a house your own. Whether it is setting up your kitchen for the first time, hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner, painstakingly painting and decorating a nursery in anticipation of a new arrival to the family, planting your first garden, or simply hanging a special picture on the wall, home is where you leave your mark, your footprint. You start (or continue) a tradition, a memory, a feeling, a way of life.
- Others say a house becomes a home when it becomes your sanctuary; the place you feel safe, comfortable, loved, accepted. That may mean fingerprints on the windows, crayon marks on the walls, shoes piled up near the door, and dog hair stuck to the couch (and your pants). But that may also mean the aroma of your grandmother’s homemade tomato gravy and meatballs, a family heirloom proudly displayed in the living room, a mantle full of Mother’s Day cards, and the beds being remade with down comforters and flannel sheets for the winter.
- Still others argue that home is where you grew up; the house where your parents still live. Period. But that situation is more the exception than the rule with the changes that life invariably/eventually throws at you.
You can own the biggest, most expensive house on the block, but the house may never feel like a home. On the flipside, you can be in a job where you move every few years and are forced to uproot your family and live in apartments or temporary housing, but each and every stomping ground holds a special place in your heart.
The oldest houses in America date back to the 1600s. The closest one to us is The Hendrickson House; it is one of the oldest still standing stone houses in America.
Originally it was built in Chester in 1690 but was moved to Wilmington, DE in 1958 via a process where the house was completely dismantled stone by stone and painstakingly rebuilt with every detail recreated. That is a labor of love (not necessarily financial acuity) to move or completely restore an old house.
But some people feel pretty passionate about their homes.
So wherever it may be, may you be home for the holidays and enjoy!
Every Wednesday at noon, the Scott Loper Team of Re/Max Realty Group in Harleysville offers some sage advice to potential and current homeowners in our area. The Scott Loper Team includes Scott Loper, Lisa Loper and Gina Wherry, Re/Max Realty Group, 439 Main Street, Harleysville, PA 19438, 215-256-1200.