J has been out of Iraq since Tuesday. Yay! But we have yet to see him. Boo! He's in a little place I like to call Limbo. It's near Iraq, but not in a war zone. Yet it's still thousands of miles from home. From there, soldiers going on R&R Leave have priority on the flights heading back to The States. What that means for my dear husband is that he could--in theory--be waiting for days for an open seat on one of those flights.
We are trying to take it all in stride. We changed our moving date, which is probably--strike that--definitely a good thing. No more wondering how we are going to get everything done and be out of the house by Christmas Eve. No more worrying about having to endure Merry McNuggets for Christmas dinner. Not having to explain to the kids why Santa didn't visit because we crossed the state line. Nope, we are off the hook and having Christmas all together here at home this year.
We are going to be here for Christmas this year!
I have done zero prep. No tree, no decorations, no presents ~ nothing. What to do? What to do? When I mentioned my dilemma at Isaiah's PT session this afternoon, they immediately told me to told me to go. To leave Isaiah and go hit up the local Target. I could not get out of there fast enough. Along with the loot I bought for the kids, I found this little gem:
Can't you just read his mind?
Yup! It's a tiny, shiny blue tabletop tree! And it lights up. It's perfect. Simple and fun. There was no way I was going to attempt to retrieve the 6.5-foot monster from rafters above the garage.
After centering myself following my mini panic attack, it hit me. Christmas to me is not defined by the gifts, the decorations, or even the mighty (or in my case, not so mighty) tannenbaum. Those things have their place. But at the heart of the matter, it's about Jesus. And Jesus is about love...the kind of love that sustains a soldier until he can finally catch a flight home.