In the Navy, being home for the holidays is really a luxury rather than a regularity. We are lucky that this year we are going to be able to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with our family. In years past, we have often had to choose which holiday or we have not been able to be home at all. In my case, this has been especially tough as I am very close to my family. I look forward to these holidays. Decorating and cooking for the holidays are some of my very favorite things in the world.
Next year, we are starting down my hubs being gone from August or September through April or May. He will literally miss every important event in our family: birthdays, anniversaries, and the traditional holidays. When he has missed before, I have just retreated to time with my family and, while tough, it hasn't seemed that bad. But, now that we have B, it seems like the gap will be much larger. We can't really start any of our own family traditions. Next year's holidays will be merely a place holder until we can get back together.
This knowledge also makes this holiday season feel all the more important. This Christmas and anniversary have to last us two years. So, we are really doing it up this year. Tons of lights and decorations. Great presents and as much time with family as we can.