Last January, as Jon and I sat on the couch in the sunroom, one phrase stuck out at me:
"I'll be home for Christmas..."
And he is. When he first told me he was deploying this year, neither of us really knew the details, how long he would be there. What we were fairly certain of was that he would be home for Christmas.
That means so much to me... we all know another deployment is down the pike, and with all these calls for surges in Afghanistan (wait... not a surge, right? Just quickly sending more troops...), who knows if he'll be here next year...
You know those messages that are on radio and tv this time of year, from the war? "Hello, this is Sergeant X stationed in Baghdad, wishing a Merry Christmas to my wife and kids back at Fort Stewart." They make me cry every time. Jon will come home from work to find me in tears, listening to Christmas music.
Especially if "I'll be Home for Christmas" happens to come on. It's over then.
I have found another song this year that makes me emotional. I remember it well from my childhood; it was always one of my favorite Christmas songs. Remember it?
Yep, The Return of the Red Baron. Growing up I just thought it was a fun song - it is actually quite significant. Though the events specifically aren't from the famous Christmas Eve Truce of 1914, similar events were told of all over the war zone.
Don't know what I'm talking about? In 1914, when WWI started, no one thought it would last more than a couple months. On Christmas Eve, stories are told of both sides agreeing to not fight on Christmas. They really are touching stories - I think what's most amazing is to hear Soldiers talk about how that made the war more human to them. They realized that the enemy Soldiers were men just like them, with families and lives back home.
If you've never seen it, I'd encourage you to watch Joyeux Noel. I wrote about it two years ago in this post. (Though, I feel the need to caveat that there is one scene you may need to skip through...)
Christmas is happy for me this year. I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful husband at home. Yet, I can't help but think about all the people it isn't happy for. Whether those around me whose Soldiers are still deployed, or others who are hurting in many different ways, this is certainly not "the most wonderful time of the year" for everyone...
Remember these people in your prayers this season. Be grateful for what you have. Help others when you can.