14 Literary Quotes On Going Home For The Holidays

The holiday vortex has officially begun. Thanksgiving to January is pretty much just a hazy swirl of pie and aunts. There's eating, and presents, and endless explaining to your grandparents that your job in social media management is, in fact, a real job. In the midst of all the chaos, though, most of us wind up on a lengthy bus/car/train/plane ride, silently pontificating on the idea of going home while locked out of Candy Crush. So here are a few literary quotes to remind you that you're not alone in going home for the holidays.

If you're like me, then you already live near your parents, and gathering for an official holiday dinner can feel a little odd and redundant. Like... I saw you yesterday, I've made no major life changes for you to disapprove of since then. Or, if you're like me in college, then you live far away from your parents, and traveling back home to sleep in your childhood bedroom can feel a little odd and regressive. Like... I swear I'm a real adult, and yet here I am in a room full of beanie babies, arguing with my mother about my hair.

So however you feel about traveling home for the holidays, one of these authors probably feels that way, too:

1. And when, at last ....I stood in London with ten pounds in my hand—five of which I promptly lost—the ancestors dwelling in my blood who, all my life, had summoned me with insistent eldritch voices, murmured together, like contented cats.

― P.L. Travers, What the Bee Knows: Reflections on Myth, Symbol, and Story


2. Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.

― James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room


3. When one is traveling, everything looks brighter and lovelier. That does not mean it IS brighter and lovelier; it just means that sweet, kindly home suffers in comparison to tarted-up foreign places with all their jewels on.

― Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making


4. I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one's skin, at the extreme corners of one's eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.

― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter


5. Parents are like God because you wanna know they're out there, and you want them to think well of you, but you really only call when you need something.

― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters


6. The desire to go home that is a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.

― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics


7. I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.

― Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


8. The important thing about having lots of things to remember is that you’ve got to go somewhere afterwards where you can remember them, you see? You’ve got to stop. You haven’t really been anywhere until you’ve got back home.

― Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic


9. There is no comfort anywhere for anyone who dreads to go home.

― Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Town on the Prairie


10. Home wasn't a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.

― Sarah Dessen, What Happened to Goodbye


11. This, after all, was the month in which families began tightening and closing and sealing; from Thanksgiving to the New Year, everybody's world contracted, day by day, into the microcosmic single festive household, each with its own rituals and obsessions, rules and dreams. You didn't feel you could call people. They didn't feel they could phone you. How does one cry for help from these seasonal prisons?

― Zadie Smith, On Beauty


12. “I wonder if it will be—can be—any more beautiful than this,” murmured Anne, looking around her with the loving, enraptured eyes of those to whom ‘home’ must always be the loveliest spot in the world, no matter what fairer lands may lie under alien stars.

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island

13. You can go home again, the General Temporal Theory asserts, so long as you understand that home is a place where you have never been.

― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed


14. After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.

― Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance


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