To All NavyDads members, I wrote this several years ago and I have read it each year since. I wanted to share it with you this year. I am amazed at how much I have received each Christmas, I have pictures of my sister and her doll and me with my cast iron race car under a Christmas Tree not more than 3 foot tall, sitting on a coffee table, which was a great Christmas concering it was taken in the mid-50’s. The story below happened not to long ago and it was a Great Christmas, I can not imagine it every getting better each year. Hope you enjoy this.
Well it is the day after Christmas, the house is quit, family has returned to their homes and it is time to reflect on how the day went and what lead up to this years Christmas.
Feb. 2008 GS joined the Navy. I was happy and concerned but it is what he wanted. He made it through BC and was off to Coronado. I joined NSC, N4M, and Navy Dads and met so many people and got questions answered about what was going to happen and why. I read Blogs from frogman80, I wrote Question on the Forums, I received answers and help on what I did not understand. Watched others take interest in what GS was doing and got explanations of why he was doing things. I guess that is the reason I began getting interested in others with Loved Ones in the Military.
I watched my daughter help round up someone to help out a Sailor who was stuck in a strange town and need help. I meet 2 Sailors at DFW airport as they had a lay-over enroute to their next school. My daughter adopted a Sailor in school in Ft. Worth and would not get to go home to the Northeast for Thanksgiving, the first one he would not have with his family. Christmas Holiday came and he was not going to get to go home for Christmas so he went back to my daughter’s home to stay and got off base. Christmas Eve Day her adopted Son got a call from his Mom who told him she had just received confirmation that his package had just been delivered to my daughters house and he should go get it now so she could be on the phone with him as he received it. He went to the front door and nothing was there, he looked around and then he saw him Mom standing in the driveway, a surprise. Christmas Eve night Jan had me cleaning and helping turn 15 pounds of ground beef in to Spaghetti sauce for lunch the next day.
Christmas has arrived; we were ready for what ever was to come. Jan's family drove down from Oklahoma (last time she saw her brother was last Christmas), our daughter and her crew arrived including Mom and Son. Mom and Son sat in the den and visited, they really did not know anyone. Then second daughter and crew came in followed by Grandkids and Great Grandkids. The party had started. Mom and Son met each one there and shook hand with everyone and returned to visiting each other. Next thing I know Son hijacked by Grandkids playing games, on the computer and in the yard with the dog he was having a good time. I looked for Mom. She was hijacked to the kitchen exchanging stories of their Christmas Traditions. Everyone including Mom had suggestion on how Jan should fix this, where to put that, this would be nice and of course Jan was not listening. Then everyone starting doing things getting salad ready, Jan making salad dressing, cooking the Spaghetti and setting the table. Everyone had something to do. The men will we were solving all the world problems, discussing the books we read, talked sports and talked about BUDs. Now Lunch is served and it got quite. That didn't last long, the kids wanted to open presents.
Santa had come and the little ones started opening presents, moms and dads made sure they opened the right ones, got the cards to know who got what from whom and kept the kids as calm as possible. Time for the adults. We drew names and had a small limit on the amount we would spend. Gifts were handed out and each person had to unwrap their gift and show it to everyone (model it, explain it and comment on it). Santa knew Mom and Son were there and not at home and they were included. I explained to Mom that I had hoped she didn't expect a nice, quite Christmas afternoon; I did this while everyone was quit and checking out their gifts.
Now it is time to say Goodbye. The first 7 left to get back to Oklahoma then one by one the Grand and Great Grand Kids left. Some adult visiting and everyone else was ready to leave. I remembered the hand shakes when Mom and Son arrived and noticed it had change to Hugs on the way out. I was ready to shake Moms hand but instead got a Big Hug, a small tear and a Thank You from her, she was now apart of our Family.
This was my 64th Christmas. I have seen pictures of the early ones and each seemed better than the one before. I remember most of the rest and each year was the best ever. After 64 of these events could they ever be better than the one before. The last Hug I got made me think next year cannot be any better that this, I guess we will have to wait and see.
I want to Thank all of the Great People I have meet this year for opening up a new world to me. I thought sending a card to a Sailor, supporting the Military and just being there for someone was enough, I was wrong. I have learned that I have a Family much larger than I ever knew out there and it is very easy for you to get really close to that family.
Hope your family has a Great Christmas and the Memories will last Forever. Now I can't wait for the next one.