Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Home for the Holidays in Branson, Missouri

I'll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me.
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love-light gleams.
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

Bing Crosby recorded "I'll Be Home for Christmas" in 1943 and it quickly topped the charts as one of America's most popular holiday songs, and has since been covered by Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, and several country singers. After the long Thanksgiving weekend ended, our family has started listening to the hundreds of holiday songs on our iPod. The combination of the tunes like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and the start of the holiday season has me thinking about hometowns, and friends "going home" for the holidays. As the sister in my family who stayed closest to home, I've had the good fortune of not having to travel during the holidays, just decorating the Christmas tree and having everyone come to me. Over the years, though, so many of my friends have shared their stories, both positive and negative, about going back home to see their parents and siblings that I'm considering a weekly feature during the month of December. It will focus on hometowns, heading home for the holidays, and family holiday traditions.

This week's "Home for the Holidays" post is dedicated to my former co-worker, Diane, who headed back home to Branson, Missouri every Christmas to see her parents and her brother. When we all returned to the office in the New Year, she would wax poetic about her the old-time charm of her family holidays in Branson... familiar faces and places she had seen over her vacation: the nostalgia inspired by views of the Missouri Ozarks; Lake Taneycomo; the historic, old-fashioned downtown where she shopped as a litte girl; Table Rock Lake; Silver Dollar City; and Celebration City.


Even though we don't see each other more than once a year anymore, I keep in touch with Diane and learned that she's made plans to bring her new husband home for the holidays with her family in Branson. Instead of trying to stay with mom and dad this year, though, she and her brother both got one of the terrific holiday theme packages available at the Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing and the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. If you'd like to head home to Branson, Missouri, or visit for the first time, you can select the theme package that fits you best: "It’s a Wonderful Life," "Santa’s Coming to Town," or the New Years’ Eve Package. Mom or dad won't have to cook with family style dinners, pamper yourself or a sibling with spa treatments, and surprise the kids with visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus at one of the two Hilton hotels in Branson.

Where are you heading home for the holidays?