December 09, 2008


Writing prompt: Your most vivid memory from last year's holiday season.

Last year I was sitting in Taji, Iraq. I was extremely lucky in that one of my best friends who was also in Iraq was able to fly to Taji on Christmas Eve and visit with me. I remember finding out that she was going to be able to come visit and set about trying to make a stocking from Santa for her. Finding a stocking was easy, as quite a few had been donated to us and there were quite a few empty ones sitting in a box...but what do you put in a stocking for someone who is deployed when you are deployed yourself?

I found the "goody box" that everyone put all the candy and like that had been sent to them. I found all the chocolate that I could and put that in there. I found some small hand sanitizer containers that fit in your pocket like a pen...and put those in there. There were a few little bags of nuts, some toothpaste and a new toothbrush as well. I filled the stocking to the brim and hid it in my wall locker until that night.

Since we didn't have any extra rooms in our building, she spent the night on a mattress on the floor of my room. I woke up very early so that I could go down to my office and call John and WildChild on what would be Christmas Eve for them. I pulled the stocking out of the locker and propped it up at the foot of the mattress and made my way downstairs to use the phone and open my presents.

Now, I had been a VERY good girl, and when John and WildChild requested that I not open the large box of presents that they had mailed, I asked my boss to put it in his office and I would retrieve it when I was on the phone with them. That way it was sitting there in my office, staring me down willing it to come open the presents!

I got John and WildChild on the phone on what had to be one of the worst connections we would have the entire time I was there. I opened my presents one by one while they were on the phone, and they opened theirs as well. We won't talk about the tears or anything, OK?

I made my way upstairs and was going to go back to sleep. I opened the door and there sat my friend on the mattress, going through her stocking like a gleeful child. Her smile was the best part of the day!

I'm sure that the dining hall had a fine meal...but we didn't feel like standing in line for an hour to we went to Pizza Hut and I ordered a pepperoni pizza with green peppers...ya know, Christmas colors! My Christmas pizza was a delight..and I got a wonderful nap in that afternoon.

Posted by rowEn at 05:15 PM