Imagine if this holiday season, you didn’t have your home—the place where you string up lights and decorations, pull out the tree ornaments, and enjoy delicious family dinners—to return to. Imagine if this year you spent the holidays in a motel after your family’s house was destroyed in a hurricane.
In Zach Morrison’s short film, Pieces of Belmar, this picture is a reality for one family. The short film follows a young woman named Alyssa whose family has lost their home to Hurricane Sandy, the storm that ripped through New Jersey in 2012. As she journeys through her Jersey Shore town, Alyssa learns that home can hold a different meaning after tragedy strikes.
Pieces of Belmar reminds us that we often forget how lucky we are to have our family, friends, and a place to come home to for the holidays. We take the little things for granted: having a Christmas tree, hanging ornaments every year, and keeping our belongings secured. Sometimes it’s only when you lose these things that you realize how much they are a part of your life.
On the other hand, you also realize how lucky you are when you no longer have the material items. Instead you learn to cherish your loving family; the people who support you when tragedy does strike. Home can be a person instead of a place. Home can be a motel room with a small Christmas tree decorated in tinfoil ornaments and a dinner of takeout pizza if you are with your family.
This year, let’s remember that. Even with the season’s crazy shopping sales and lots of gift giving, it’s important to remember to be thankful for the things we can’t wrap up in a bow: love, family, and a home. It’s important to recognize what we have and give thanks for it.
By Jackie Delaney | Photo: Courtesy of Zach Morrison