Christmas, Not Always According to Plan

As we prepare for a Christmas not quite as we had planned (no one imagine there not being a new baby here by now), I am reminded of previous holidays that were not as we imagined.  Perhaps the one that fits this description the most is our first married Christmas.  We were married in June 2007 and A left almost immediately for pre-deployment training.  His training came to an end in December and he deployed to Afghanistan Christmas Eve.  Even though we celebrated “our” Christmas early, it was still incredibly hard to say good bye and know A was flying to the other side of the world (practically) on Christmas Eve.

One great comfort that year was receiving an unanticipated phone call late in the evening of Christmas Eve.  Families had been discouraged from coming to the hangar to see the unit off, so I had said good bye to A before he headed out and then went to Connecticut to spend Christmas with my family.  A had called earlier in the day to say they were boarding the planes and he would call from Germany. So when my phone rang at about 9pm that evening, I was not expecting to hear A’s voice on the end of the line.

He was calling from Bangor, Maine, a common “last stop” for troops headed overseas.  He told me of the amazing people who greeted them as they got the plane and how much that meant to him.  The greeters at the Bangor Airport have been greeting troops who travel through their airport since May 2003.  Their simple act of kindness can provide comfort and a just a small bit of home for those about to travel so far (or who may finally be returning home).

As we prepare for this unexpected Christmas this year, I am reminded of how far we have come since Christmas 2007 and how lucky we are to all be together (in one way or another).  I’m thankful for people like the Bangor greeters who make small sacrifices to thank those making larger ones.  I’m thankful for those who will not be home with their families this holiday as they answer whatever call to service they may have heard.  And I am thankful that even if she screwed up our “First Christmas” plans for her, BE2 is healthy and happy where she is and she will join our family soon.




  1. Grandma Dede says:

    Dad and I were just talking about the Christmas you got home only for 24 hours because of the big snow storm in Denver. I still have a feeling that this is going to be one of those Christmases that will always be remembered. However you celebrate I know it will be a Merry Christmas. Love and Merry Christmas to you all
    Love Mom

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