10 Phases Of Holiday Homecomings

So you left your hometown, wherever that is, for a reason. You moved on to bigger aspirations, brighter lights, more opportunity, or something like that.

Your family is all still back home, and you happily visit during holidays. (OK, maybe not all holidays, but maybe a big one at the end of the year.)

Depending upon how many years it's been since you moved out, you may have been through a number of phases. I've been through them all and am happy to be on the other side.

If you're in the early phases, you probably have to go through them all, but remember: family is family and they love you no matter what phase you're in.

You don't have to prove anything to get their love. It's already there. Enjoy the holidays!

Year 1: Hungry.

You've been gone for under a year. It's tough out there. City life ain't cheap. You're hungry. At home, you stock up on canned goods, ask your folks for a trip to Sam's Club or Costco for Christmas, and return to your city apartment with much needed food. You call as soon as you return to the city and thank your folks. You won't be hungry for a while.

Year 2: Oh, that's cute.

You've been out for a year and have experienced some cool things in the city. You go home and see your old friends, your old room, your family. You start labeling everything as "so cute." Things become precious. You become distant.

Year 3: Too cool.

You're starting to gain confidence in city life. You have your job, your friends, your life. You're cool. You buy cool things for your friends and family back home that are inappropriate for their lifestyle. Things that you would like, not them. Like over-priced scented soy candles and vintage jackets. You explain to them why these items are cool.

Year 4: Clone.

You've decided how you are is pretty great. You get your family things that match your interests. Matching sweaters, matching socks, matching dresses, matching books. You change the subject often to your interests, because they're the most interesting things to discuss, obviously. You bring home things they should be doing because you've discovered them, and obviously that's awesome.

Year 5: Culture Shock.

You've gathered some knowledge in the city. You have a bit of culture, or at least you think you do. You try to drag your family to foreign films, modern art museums, and bring up world events at dinner. You discuss politics with such passion you sound like you're running for office.

Year 6: What's in Your Fridge?!

You lecture your entire family on the vast knowledge of food and health you've gained in the city. You replace the contents of their fridge with organic produce. You bring home a juicer and a high-powered blender. You blend, you juice, you lecture.

Year 7: Brag time.

You've now accomplished some pretty cool things. You bring up all these cool things in detail over and over. You bring home articles written about you and point out things on the internet in which you are involved. You want to make your family proud. You don't realize they already are.

Year 8: Extravagance.

You want to show how successful you've become. You buy expensive gifts you wouldn't really buy yourself to show off your success. You point out how luxurious the items are and how it's no big deal you bought them because you are doing so well.

Year 9: Too busy.

You actually think about not going home this year because you're so busy with your life in the city. Hopefully you go home, but you considered not going.

Year 10: Love.

You realize your family has always loved you no matter if you were a kid or a grownup, successful or not, hungry or not, able to afford fancy presents or not. You realize you are loved and love your family. You bring gifts they actually like. You eat what they cook and enjoy it and have the best time ever. You vow never to not appreciate your family and where you come from again.

Happy Holidays!
xo