Times have certainly changed - for me, at least.
This year could be the first year I've ever not gone home to spend Christmas Day.
My reasons for this are simple. And not surprisingly, my reasons aren't unique.
I have in-town responsibilities today (on Christmas Eve) and on Wednesday, which leave me little more than the one day (Christmas Day) for me to travel home and back.
It is doable, I believe. But it would be cutting things close. You never know what might happen with traffic and other potential emergency situations.
A couple of people have offered to carpool with me for one day. Although, I'm not sure which day of this holiday season any of them were talking about.
I may just take them up on the offer to go home for Christmas.
I'm thinking it would be like a good old-fashioned road trip. That, or it could be more like a tiresome and pricey ($100 for gas) ordeal for me. It's been a year, exactly, since I've been home, and six months since I've seen my parents.
They sort of expect me home this time a year, as it's been sort of my unspoken tradition for all of my life, thus far.
And admittedly, I like to return home this time of year to take full advantage of the home-cooked food.
It may be late today when I decide whether to go home. I will have a few hours to spend - enough time to eat and nap.
If I decide against it, it means that I have let the hectic holiday season and the dread of driving get the best of my more wholesome intentions.
And I've heard this story so many times before. People are simply too busy for the holidays these days.
And with Christmas Day coming at possibly the worst time of the week -- near mid-week -- I'm sure there will be so many more examples like mine, in which people have to choose to relax their traditions, and succumb to the holiday Grinch and grind of this commercial world.
To work I go today. That, I have already decided. But, will I go home for the holidays? I suppose I have a few hours at work to think about it.
Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (770) 957-9161.