When I was younger, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas were a mystery to me. The whole family would gather around the dining room table (ok, the grown-ups did... we kids were banished to the card table) and eat for about fifteen minutes. Then they'd all slowly start pushing back their chairs, an inch or so every hour, til they were at least a good foot from the table. The whole afternoon they'd sit there just talking and talking. I was too old to go outside and "play" and too young to care much about the conversation, so there was nothing else to do but wait it out. I always wondered how they could sit for so long just talking about nothing.
Now that I'm 21, married, and only see my family a couple times a year, I understand. I miss it. I would love to go home tonight and sit around the table for hours with my family and talk. Just talk. Home is that place where you're always welcome, always accepted, always loved. You understand how you became who you are when you're with your family. You see how your parents lovingly discipline your younger siblings and how they encourage them and praise their successes, and you realize how grateful you are that they did the same for you.
Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Dad.