As someone who left her native state right after college graduation and never considered moving back, going home for Christmas is as much about returning to Louisiana culture as it is visiting family.
Louisiana culture is the way the grocery cashiers smile and chat effortlessly with you, and not because it’s company policy. It’s the respect children give adults that only starts with “yes, m’am” and “no, sir.” It’s the diverse range of southern accents you hear in the capital city, the ones you never hear in the movies.
It’s as comforting as the favorite dishes your momma cooks because you’re coming all the way from California.
I was born and bred in the big city of Baton Rouge, but my cousins live upriver in rural Pointe Coupee parish where our family has lived for almost 300 years. A land of sugar cane and pecan trees, oxbow lakes and heavy-limbed oak trees, sudden oil wealth and chronic poverty. We came for pecans and to visit family. We left with pecans, fresh eggs and a closer connection to cousins and to my heritage. And lots of pictures of course.
What does going home mean to you? What re-connections or new connections did you make this holiday season?