When I was a child, whatever else happened on the day, one thing I could always rely on was that The Wizard of Oz would be shown on TV at Christmas. With it's vivid colours, memorable songs and wonderful characters, it provided a magical journey to escape to for a while. I'm sure it gave my parents a break too. I was an only child after all. I didn't have any siblings to amuse me. While I travelled with Dorothy and Toto, my mum could have a rest after cooking Christmas lunch and my father would barricade himself behind whatever book he'd received that day. I would sit on the floor in front of the television, probably much too close to be any good for my eyesight, and drink in the familiar adventure.
Looking back on it now, I think what enchanted me about the story, and so many other children too, is the fact that this isn't just an adventure in a magical land. It is a journey from a normal, often unappreciated, seemingly grey landscape, through a terrifying but wonderful land of colour and darkness, to the realisation that home wasn't so grey, so colourless, so lacking in magic. As an adult, I can relate to that. For years, I looked out there for excitement, for opportunity, for fulfilment. It's only now, when my parents are gone, and I'm a parent and homemaker myself, that I can see the magic within. Christmas brings me back to that thought each year.
Home may be with a large family, 2.4 children, a partner or a couple of cats. It may be where you live, your parents' house or just a feeling inside. The details don't matter because at the end of the day, there really is no place like home.