Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Me: Too bad it's not colder. This could be snow.

Suppressing a yawn, Nathalie nodded in agreement. The temperature gauge on the dashboard read 43 degrees. Nathalie turned on the radio and Bing's crooning voice filled the car.

As we drove to work early this Christmas morning, peering through the rainy darkness, we saw that a few of the houses had their lights on. No doubt those homes housed little children that woke up early to see what Santa had brought them.

The streets were empty. The only other vehicle on the road was a police cruiser slowly making its rounds.

Up until I saw that police cruiser, I had been in a mildly crummy mood. Who wants to be awake at 5AM and going to work on Christmas morning? Isn't this the day you're supposed to be in the living room with your loved ones opening gifts by the tree and having a Hallmark moment?


But for some reason, seeing the taillights of that police cruiser brought me to my senses. I realized how lucky I was not to be deployed to a foreign country thousands of miles way where my wife has to worry about getting a visit from a military representative. I realized how lucky I was to be healthy. I realized how lucky I am to have someone to share Christmas with, and how lucky that there are people in my life that love me. And I realized how lucky I am that my family and loved ones are healthy, and have shelter and food.

Thousands of families will get up this morning to come to the hospital to spend Christmas morning with an ill family member. Many more families will wake up this morning and hope that their loved ones abroad are safe and away from harm. Some will spend this holiday alone. Some won't even be in their own homes.

As I watched the wiper blades dance across the windshield, waiting for the stoplight to turn green, I realized I didn't really have a reason to be in a crummy mood.

I looked over to the passenger side at my beautiful wife, quietly nodding along to Bing's Christmas music. I reached over and held her hand.

Me: Merry Christmas, Natbug.

She smiled back.

Nathalie: Merry Christmas, baby.