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Where Are You This Christmas? A Gift Idea

Updated on December 2, 2012
Boy decorating Christmas tree, Santa hat
Boy decorating Christmas tree, Santa hat | Source

Christmas Memories -The Best Christmas Gift

This is an unsent letter to my big brother who is in the Navy. I have not seen him in 10 years and I miss him like mad. The holidays are always incredibly difficult without him and there is so much I want to say about it. But I'm afraid to burden him with my feelings because situations have to stay the way they are for now. I've always adored my brother. I thought of him as my protector, my playmate and my best friend. I'm not so sure he felt the same way about me. I was the pesky little sister who followed him everywhere and made fun of his friends. I stole his bike and crashed it trying to jump a curb. And I wore his clothes because I wanted to be just like him and look like him. No wonder the neighborhood boys made fun of him!

Where have you been and where are you now? I miss you so much. Will you be home for Christmas? It hurts my heart to think you may not see your sons for the holidays. And I hate to think about you all alone, floating around aimlessly, waiting to hit port. The holidays are so close and they are always so bitter sweet. I love seeing my kids happy, walking on clouds from sheer excitement. I eagerly anticipate the visits with family and watching all my nieces and nephews play together. I relish in the winter break from school and getting to sleep in. And I close my eyes and smile blissfully at the smell of Christmas cookies baking. But I miss you so much that I feel like a part of me has been missing for several years.

I still remember all the Christmases we had together - oh such fun! You showed me where mom hid the best gifts and you taught me how to unwrap and rewrap a present just enough to see what was inside without being noticed. These are the best memories I have. I remember one year Mom made us pillows shaped like our favorite cartoon characters. She was so proud of those pillows. Mine was little orphan Annie. When we opened the pillows we were both thrilled that we hadn’t found these treasures hidden in Mom's closet under the shoe boxes. The element of surprise made the pillows all that much better.

Once we were older Mom started a little tradition that meant the world to me. On Christmas Eve she would send us to get the mail a few blocks away. By time we'd come back from the mail trip, always empty-handed, presents would be stacked and piled under the Christmas tree and Christmas Eve dinner would be on the table, ready to eat. You and I would come in and shake off our coats, hats, and gloves and start digging through the presents until Mom called us to set the table. We would eat dinner together and talk about the plans with family for the following days. After Christmas Eve dinner Mom would let us each open one present (of course it was the one she picked). We would play with our new toys while Mom cleaned the kitchen. Then we would all spend time together in the family room until bed.

I can't wait until our children can spend the holidays together and we can see each other again. I hope you are staying safe and I know I will see you soon. I love you. Have a Merry Christmas.

Update: It has now been 11 years + since I've seen my brother. He is overseas right now on some huge ship...again. I hope he gets home in time to see his sons for Christmas. Since I wrote the above letter I've learned how to use Skype and I cant wait to talk to my brother on web cam once he gets home. I will get to "see" my nephew for the first time and my brother will get to "see" my youngest two daughters for the first time. This Christmas I am excited!!!


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    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Thank you SO much - I do too :D My kids hear me tell crazy stories and want to meet him.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yea! I hope he IS coming home and you have a wonderful reunion!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Victoria Lynn, yes 10 :( I hear he is on his way home now though. All those stories about a US Navy ship rescuing Iranians is him!! Thanks for the votes.

      Hi RHW, Thank you so much. I feel better now that the holidays have gone but I still miss him. mmm cookies

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Ardie - I could feel the love in this letter to your brother. I could almost smell the cookies and imagine you in your brother's clothes:) I hope for you!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      7 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ten years, Ardie? I can't imagine. I hope you see him soon. Your details of past Christmases were captured wonderfully. Well written hub. A great tribute to your brother. Voted up among other things!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Hello there Winterfate! Cousins can be just as close as brothers and sisters. Heck, maybe even closer if you get alone with them better :) Thanks for stopping in and reading.

    • Winterfate profile image

      Darrin Perez 

      7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Such a beautiful letter! :)

      I'm an only child myself, so I never really got to experience the sibling part of family, but I have a very large extended family (lots of cousins), so I can understand the bond you share with your brother. :)

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Thanks Rosemay - I was thrilled to see the email!! I just kept asking myself "coincidental or caused by something greater?" It was too much.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Ardie that is wonderful news. He must have know/ sensed you needed cheering when he sent the email. I hope it's very soon.

      Have a Happy Christmas now.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Christinekv!! Its so great to see you again. You have always had the kindest things to say. I will tell my brother for sure. When he comes home maybe I will send him the link to this...if I'm not too bashful hahah. Please have the most wonderful Christmas :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Ardie! Loved the heartfelt letter and I too hope he see's/receives it! I do hope you get to connect w/ your brother in person one day soon! Please do let him know I appreciate his service also! You are so precious, I know you are a very relational person who genuinely and selflessly invests her heart into others. May you be extra blessed this Christmas!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Hello Rosemary! I wish I could see my brother but I know it wont happen this year. However, I was sitting at work today when a sad Christmas song came on and I got all teary-eyed and down. Right at that moment my work email pinged. When I opened the email it was from my brother! He is well and ready to be home. He says soon. Thanks for reading.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Oh Ardie my dear friend. You know what my wish would be for you this Christmas. His return would be the most precious gift.

      Thank you for sharing this heartfelt letter with us. It is evident just how much you love and miss him. Sending you loving hugs

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Jackie {{hug}} Im sorry for the loss of your brother. He is in your heart - I can tell from your words. I cherish the fact that my brother is out there somewhere, even if its not close. Please have a wonderful holiday.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      7 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I have an older brother I loved and it reminds me much of you and your brother. My brother passed away though so at least you do have hope. Great hub.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Hi Martie! Thank you for felt good to get the feelings out and into words and to know so many understand :) Hubs is the best support system around!

      Hi Lord, so you do understand too. Im sure your son is thinking about you and wishing he could be home. I hope you get to Skype or telephone on Christmas Day.

      Hello Tammy :)I would love to know this touched one family and made them appreciate each other more! Im so glad the troops are being sent home - this is where they need to be.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Moonlake, thank you for reading - I hope my wish coming true is the miracle this year!

      Vinaya, thank you! I'd love a reunion soon - maybe this summer.

      Miss Olive, you are lucky to have so many brothers and they are just as lucky to have you :) I can picture happy siblings and cousins spending the holidays together making traditions and memories - thanks!

      Thank you so much Shalini, I hope and wait every year - let's see if this is the one.

    • tammyswallow profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Ten years.. my goodness Ardie. I hope he will get to come home now that the troops are being sent home.. HOORAY! I hope this will serve as a great inspiring message to all. Some families choose to fight and have petty squabbles..especially over the holidays. Some people take for granted that other families can't be together for the holidays and would give anything to wrap their arms around a loved one. Very touching.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      7 years ago from New York

      Awww! Ardie,

      Don't you want to go back to those tender years? Nice hub! Gosh..the spirit is here now...Son is in Germany, he is in the Airforce and we know what you go through. Thanks for sharing!


    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Ardie, you have all my empathy. Christmas is the time for relatives to be together; we miss those who cannot attend the re-union terribly. This is a beautiful, tear-pulling letter.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      7 years ago from India

      Oh Ardie - I do hope you and all who love him so much can see him soon!

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      7 years ago from Texas

      A beautiful Christmas wish Ardie.

      Brothers sure are special - I have four of them. Christmas memories always warm my heart and building new ones with our growing families are always a blessing. May the two of you be blessed with a Christmas miracle on any day of the year!

      Thank you for sharing this heartfelt Christmas wish

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      7 years ago from Nepal

      I can feel your love for your brother in this letter. I wish a nice reunion.

    • moonlake profile image


      7 years ago from America

      Christmas miracles do happen maybe you will get one and see your brother. Your letter was so nice to him.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      JA Susan, thanks. I really hope so too. I need to send him a real letter.

      Steph, hi and thanks for reading :) You may be on to something there. I should write unsent letters to each family member and record my favorite memories of them. It can be my own special collection to read through on those lonely days.

      Hi Miss Sunshine and thank you! That means a lot to me coming from you :D

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      7 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Simply beautiful Ardie. You are an awesome person:)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      A beautiful, heart-felt hub! I think everyone should write letters to their family members at Christmas time. Even if not sent, it brings back lovely memories which are some of the best presents to be enjoyed this season. Hope you get to see your brother again soon! Best, Steph

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ardie, This is so nice and I hope that you get to see him soon.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Mentalist Acer, its so great to see you here! Your brother is great to let you tag along without minding :) You're a lucky man. I bet mine wouldn't mind it now - but when he was younger the last thing he wanted was some dopey little girl getting in his way. Thanks so much for reading.

      Eiddwen, thank you so much. I dont know if I want my brother to see this hahah I wouldnt want to make him feel guilty! But then again - he should see it because Im not sure I tell him real often how much I love him.

      Hi jen! I love how you read that in my writing because my mom has always said I have a bad case of hero worship for my brother. Its amazing how the last time he was here we DID bicker :) Some things will never change.

      weestro, great to see you! Thank you for taking the time to read :D

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      RTalloni, thank you for much for reading. I will be sure to tell him :) He is a gift! I am so proud of him and I love him so much.

      cclitgirl, I wish it would be my gift but I know it is impossible for this year. However, I would accept an email or phone call and be just as happy to know he is ok.

      Thanks Sunnie Day :) Im hoping to visit him this spring if he is home. I havent met his youngest son yet and he hasnt met my yougest two daughters. I NEED to meet my nephew!!

    • weestro profile image

      Pete Fanning 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Hope you see him soon. I enjoyed your letter, thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This was a heart felt image of a sister missing not only her brother but her hero, as serving in the military he is a hero to us all.

      Enjoy your holiday season, may he see and hear you this year and you two can rekindle some of that sibling rivalry most take for granted.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      7 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub Ardie ,such a wonderful tribute to your brother.

      I really do hope that you get to see him very soon.

      Take care and enjoy your day.


    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!


      I also have a mysterious older brother,though,who had no qualms over letting me trail him step for step throughout my childhood.He's present in my life and deals with his,lets say, in a quiet and mental way.

      Therefor I can feel personal value at your longing to see your brother...I hope you see him again soon.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      Dear Ardie,

      I pray your brother see's this and he makes it home for Christmas. I know you miss him, I can feel it in your writing which was so precious. Have a Merry Christmas and one that will have your brother home soon.



    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 

      7 years ago from Western NC

      Awww. So sweet. I hope that your Christmas present this year might include your brother.

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      It's a precious gift to have a wonderful brother! Please tell him 'thank you' for the sacrifices he makes on behalf of our country. I hope you get to see him again soon.


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