MILWAUKEE -- Travel plays a huge role in many of our Christmas traditions, and on Sunday, Dec. 23, General Mitchell International Airport was a busy place -- as some were welcomed home for the holidays, while others departed to visit loved ones.
Sally Harris touched down from North Carolina to be with her family for the holidays.
"I'm just tickled to be here!" said Harris.
But not everyone would be home for Christmas. Gary Ford found it hard to let go of his daughter. Their long goodbye came after her brief visit for a family birthday celebration. It just wasn't in the cards this year to stay a few days longer.
"She's my everything. She's headed back to Albuquerque. It's very hard. It's very hard," said Ford.
The soundtrack to this rollercoaster of joy and sadness at the airport was Scott Schmidt, pianist, who has tickled the ivory every Christmas for the past eight years.
"There are lots of goodbyes and hellos too, though. It's an emotional time at the airport," said Schmidt. "I love Christmas music. I love making music and seeing all the people and little children."
Schmidt's notes helped lessen the sting for people like Ckameka Farsee, who put her daughter on a plane back to California.
"Different. Different not seeing her smiling face. It is really hard, especially around that she's away at college and she's not going to college here. It's a little harder," said Farsee.
With every hug and each tear shed, there was a sense at the airport that family is never far from our hearts at Christmas.
"It's wonderful and sad, all at the same time, but it's mostly wonderful," said Harris.
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