'Tis the season...but I'm not quite in it

When you're alone during the holiday season, especially when your spouse is across the world in war, it's hard to muster up some holiday spirit. I'm trying. But it's just not coming.

Ben will get home just 8 days before Christmas day. We won’t have time to decorate our house together or shop for presents together. We won’t be planning our Christmas meal or cuddling by the fire. Okay, we don’t have a fireplace, but there’s still that fireplace channel on the T.V., right? We won’t get to share any of those things and our holiday season is rapidly rising to manic proportions.

It’s also a very exciting time because after 21 months, we will finally be together. So I’m trying very hard to get into the spirit of Christmas. This weekend, I’ll be setting up my Christmas tree and shopping for presents. Last weekend, I busted out my crafty side and made my own wreath. I should point out that I completely and totally lack a crafty side but it didn’t turn out half bad! As we speak, I’m downloading some Christmas music. Yes, I’m making the effort.

But without both Ben and Duncan, it’s not been easy. And this is something that military people are often faced with. We are often posted far away from our families and so without your spouse, it’s hard to feel anything but alone. I’m so lucky to have my family only 3 hours away.

But it’s time like this that I crave my family routines back home. There was something wonderful about the smell of our familiar artificial tree as it came out of it’s box and my Dad would meticulously organize the lights and tree set up (much like a military operation, but that’s the way Dad works). My sister Meghan and I would lay out all our similar decorations then place them on the tree at the same time. Mom and Dad would make dinner and I would be the gravy tester. And the turkey stuffing. Glorious, glorious stuffing. Without these traditions, I feel sort of empty. At least last year, I was making traditions of my own with Ben.

But then I look on the bright side. This time last year, Ben and I had already been apart for nine months and we were facing another year of separation, since I was about to leave for the Olympics for work. Now, we’re facing at least 6 months together. And that’s all I could ever really want for Christmas.

Yes, this year, finding my Christmas spirit is a bit tougher. But then I cheer up when I realize it’s my job to make this house and happy as possible when Ben gets home.

Maybe I need to make another wreath…


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