There’s a boyish warmth in Kenny Loggins’ voice that’s endearing. It’s still present even as the guy turns 70 this year (a stat I know without looking up, which I’m simultaneously impressed and mortified by). When I hear “Celebrate Me Home”, I still imagine a young man, back in his hometown after a semester at college, dropping his duffel bag and enjoying the reconnection with his loved ones at Christmas. There’s food, and laughter, and hugs. It’s the perfect homecoming.
By the time I discovered “Celebrate Me Home”, Christmas had already stopped being particularly important to me. Through the ‘90s and most of the ‘00s, being “home for the holidays”consisted of me shifting around uncomfortably around my relatives and counting the hours until my social obligations were done and I could go to a bar (and in later years, just go home.) “Celebrate Me Home” comes from an idea that I romanticized without having ever really experienced it. As I’ve gotten older, traveled a bit, my loved ones have become more spread out over the country and the globe, and my idea of family has grown to include less of the people I’m bound to by blood and more of the people I legitimately love, I’ve begun to appreciate and relate to the song more. “Celebrate Me Home” was special the first time I heard it, but it’s become more special the more I identify with the sentiment.