Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Christmas Without Love

Christmas 2008
Our First Christmas Together
My first Christmas as a military spouse I was quickly forced to learn how to adapt to the fact that sometimes things just don't go as we plan... and sometimes the alternate plan can turn out to be better than you would ever imagine if you can just look past the fact that your plan has changed.  

We were involved in a car accident just before our first Christmas together. It left our car unreliable for anything other than staying very close to home.  The insurance company promised to cover the damages, however there was no possible way to get it fixed before the holidays.  We couldn't afford a rental car or even plane tickets so our holiday plans were thrown into a tailspin as there was just no way we would be able to travel home to be with family for Christmas.

To be honest, I pouted and moped and generally acted like a 3 yr old little girl in the days leading up to Christmas.  I even waited until the very last moment to get my Christmas shopping done because of my bah-hum-bug attitude.  I just couldn't seem to get over the fact that Christmas would be so different than all my Christmas' before.

Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I woke up to what will go down in history as one of the best gifts my husband could have ever given me. For several days before Christmas, he had secretly been giving my dad lessons on how to work Skype and his webcam. After I went to bed on Christmas Eve he took our big computer downstairs and set it up next to our Christmas tree.  He coordinated with my parents so that they were on the webcam when I came downstairs Christmas morning! My husband's thoughtfulness really made that Christmas special... but I can honestly say that I really treasure that first Christmas together more than I ever realized I would.  Being home allowed us the opportunity to start our own holiday traditions that are so special now I can't imagine having a Christmas without them!

Christmas 2009
Spent in our hotel room in Tennessee

Last year, we once again made plans to go home for Christmas.  These plans were derailed much earlier in the year when my husband received orders for his first deployment.  Thankfully, God works in mysterious ways!  Christmas fell during his pre-deployment training and since I had been fortunate enough to accompany him we were able to spend the holidays together.  As an added blessing his instructors gave everyone several days off to enjoy Christmas!  We traveled a few hours north of the training location and enjoyed a quiet, incredibly special Christmas with just the two of us in our hotel room outside Nashville, TN.  It was a bit non-traditional, being in a hotel room but it is again one of my favorite memories of special moments shared with my husband.

This year, we have again planned to travel home to Arizona to spend Christmas with my family.  It's extra special to get to go this year as we are bringing our newborn daughter home to meet family and friends!  They say the 3rd time is the charm, so I'm praying it all works out as we have planned.  I wouldn't have said this several years ago, but if things don't go as planned (again) I'm not going to let myself get upset and pout about it.  No matter where we are or who we are with, Christmas can still be just as amazing and sometimes even MORE so.

For me, the only thing that could be missing to make me say "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas" is not having LOVE.  Love is what made my husband come up with the idea to webcam my family in on Christmas day.  Love is what my husband and I felt so much that next year as we cuddled together in our cozy hotel room in the middle of Tennessee.  Love is what will make our first Christmas with our daughter special and memorable no matter where we are or who we are with.  Love is what is what the Christmas season is all about.  However you spend your Christmas this year, why not make an effort to show love to those around you.  You never know when you might change one person's whole world just by a simple gesture...

"For God LOVED the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16  NLT

Join in with the Wives of Faith blog carnival and share your thoughts on "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without _____."


Sara said...

This is beautiful, Cat. I hope things work out so you can make it home this year. xo

Pattie said...

What an awesome story! and...you won! :) I'll email you in a minute. ~Pattie

Midlife Army Wife said...

I teared up as I read about each of the 3 Christmases! How beautiful! What a great attitude you have, even if you did pout (who wouldn't?) at first!
I LOVE that you put a tree and stockings in the hotel room!
May you have a very blessed Christmas this year with your new baby!

Jessica Lynn said...

Thank you for this post. My husband recently deployed (without notice) and we aren't sure if he'll be back for christmas. I've been moping around and throwing pity parties for myself, but I should be thankful that I have my husband and I'll be with family no matter what. Maybe we can set up Skype like you did. I hope you make it home with your family this year!

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