Where Are You This Christmas? A Gift Idea
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!!!