I’ll be home for Christmas | The magic of ruby red slippers

I’ll be home for Christmas
You can plan on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents by the tree

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

Tannin, 1943

There are many songs at Christmas which describe a longing to be home. However, home creates a wide range of different emotions and for some, home is not necessarily where your heart is. Yes, Christmas is a magical time of year, but if you had a magical pair of ruby red slippers, to take you home, what and where would home be for you. What does home mean for you?

Is there really “no place like home “? 

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!” (Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (Flemming, 1939). Home is a funny word. With hundreds of meanings, different places, and different people. It can be difficult to decide and define what and where home is. Home, in my opinion, is a feeling, not a place or a person, but an emotion rooted deep inside us. Home is where safety is felt not just physically but emotionally, and love is always flowing. It doesn’t have to be four walls and a roof, yet it could be… It’s somewhere that you can watch flowers grow and listen to the rain fall, but it’s also understanding this can be a metaphor for us as well. Yes, Home can be a place, but most of all home is within each and every one of us. 

Home is a place blessed, where you and the people who you recognise as family can be secure, have all you need, and share your sadness and happiness. Where you can help each other and find a place where we are free to be ’me’. It does not matter how big or small home is as it is not always bricks and mortar (Habitat for Humanity International, 2022).

It is not about blood relatives who are family as sometimes they are not the relationships that allow us to feel safe and be who we want to be.  Home is about you.  Home is where you can be yourself and no one judges you for doing so.  Home is being surrounded with people who matter. We are home when we feel contentment, happiness, and love.

In a care home in Toronto recently, a woman who was feeling quite distressed, saw a little pair of shiny red children’s shoes on a table, which had been brought in by one of the MCM team as a prop to illustrate the power of objects.  Her face lit up and she clasped the shoes close to her heart saying “Sophia, Sophia” repeatedly.  The shoes had clearly transported her to someone precious to her.  She kept smiling and rocking the shoes as if they were the child who had worn them. 

The true magic of the ruby red slippers is they transport us home, just as they took Dorothy back to a place of happiness (Aunty Em’s house) they too can transport us to a place where we can ‘BE’. This is the magic of Christmas.

Don’t presume that people living with a dementia, disability, mental health problems are thinking of home as the traditional stereotype which is often portrayed this Christmas.  To be truly emotion centred, understand what makes home meaningful for people and create a way for the people we care for to truly experience ’home’ this Christmas. 

There’s only one way to end this blog.  Close your eyes imagine a pair of ruby red slippers click your heels three times and say, ‘there’s no place like home’, ‘there’s no place like home’, ‘there’s no place like home’.

RN (Australia)
Managing Director MCM


Flemming, V. (Director). (1939). The Wizard of Oz [Motion Picture].

Habitat for Humanity International. (2022). What does home mean to you. Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Tannin, K. &. (1943). I’ll be home for Chirstmas [Recorded by B. Crosby]. Hollywood, Calafornia, United States of America.

2 thoughts on “I’ll be home for Christmas | The magic of ruby red slippers”

  1. Julienne Latham RN Nurse Consultant, RHM

    This is very tribute to the true meaning of home, Christmas and for me personally, the love of shoes. I have kept one pair of baby shoes for children and just to touch them brings back great memories. Merry Christmas to all of the MCM family.

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