Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! I can’t believe I am actually having a moment to sit down and write this thing out! Life the past couple weeks has truly been a whirlwind and there have been times of near-panic where I think, “How the HECK am I gonna get EVERYTHING DONE?!?” But here it is, Christmas Eve, and I have everything done that needs to be. Sure, I could’ve gotten more sleep and completed more envelopes (I have a drop on the 29th of about 300 envelopes), but that can wait and it WILL be okay.
Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about a year ago, and that helped put things in perspective. When things got hairy here, I would just think back to last Christmas and be like, “Hey, The Warrior isn’t deployed right now, he’s not in any danger….it’s not so bad!”
A year ago today, I wrote this:
“This year I hardly cared if we put up our tree or decorations….most of what I’ve been thinking about this Christmas is [The Warrior] in Afghanistan. This is his first Christmas away from his family, and he’s in a war zone to boot….We got to Skype earlier this morning also (around midnight Xmas Day for him) along with his parents and twin brother in Wisconsin, so that was great also. But having [The Warrior] in a war zone has changed my perspective on life….such as yesterday, my sister accidentally broke a light fixture and glass was all over the place. My mom was kinda freaking out (not just from that, but from other holiday stresses) and I was all calm like “stop freaking out, no one got hurt, no one died, it’s just glass–we’ll clean it up and get it replaced.” And there is so much frivolity associated with Christmas….I mean, I LOVE our family’s traditions and I wouldn’t change them: Christmas tree, delicious dinners, beautifully wrapped presents under the tree and the excitement that goes along with all the surprises….but it’s like, there are heroes who are not with their families this Christmas, whose families will have an empty seat because they are fighting for our country and for us. That makes my heart ache. Jesus is the Reason for the Season (and we DO make a big deal about this in my family too…going to Midnight Mass tonight and then before opening presents on Xmas morning we pray and read the Christmas story) so this, along with [The Warrior] and all our deployed soldiers coming home safely, is all that matters.”
While the “I don’t care a whit about decorations, etc.” isn’t as overwhelming this year, I still keep that feeling in my heart and I don’t think it will ever go away. Our tree is pretty, and I am looking forward to discovering the surprises my family members got for me, and I am just praying we actually have a white Christmas (it really is a possibility here in north Texas!!)….but THE BEST gift I have already received this Christmas is that The Warrior is home and safe. That is what I wanted for Christmas last year, and my wish has come true this year….and it is what I will always hope for every Christmas.
This year, we celebrate Christmas Day apart – with our respective families – but one day we will celebrate the blessed day together. Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and I know that He protected you every step of the deployment and heard our every prayer for your safety. Life is very, very good.
God bless you all during this wonderful Christmas season!