Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Your probably thinking to yourself - wow, Christmas in Iraq must suck. But actually . .. . yea it does, your right, its terrible. It's really just another day for most of us, albeit there isn't much work going on and with the Iraqi's away finishing their own celebration, we have no one to train, either. So we'll spend the day just kind of messing around, and maybe later we'll smoke a nice cigar and talk about what we'd being doing if we were home. Then tomorrow we'll wake up and it will be business as usual. So ya see, its not really too hard for us. I think it must be much harder on our families, though. They are still doing everything like normal, except without us.

Christmas Eve is easily my favorite day of the year, as I think it is for most of my family. Christmas is a close runner up, but Christmas Eve has always been special. It's three events that really set it apart. The day is usually spent doing last minute shopping or helping to get ready for that night. The 1st thing is going to Church as a family. It's a tradition that we used to do with alot more regularity (like, every Sunday), but with all of us growing up, Christmas is our family mass now.

After mass, I am usually scrambling to get back home so I can be my usual 10 minutes late for Rachael's families annual Christmas Eve dinner. We have been going to the same restaurant now every year for the last 10 years and its always great - Filet Mignon, Sam Adams, and garlic mashed potatoes. Not that I'm predictable. After dinner we return the Becker's and exchange gifts, although since Rache and I are married now, we wait for the morning.

After the Becker's dinner is the Worley family Christmas party. This tradition is older than I am, and was started by my late grandfather, Richard. If there was ever a person who loved Christmas more than him, I'd like to meet them. Now, both my parents come from huge families, so there is typically around 30 or more people there every year. All my aunts and uncles, cousins, and close family friends (must be over 18 - family rule!). There is always shrimp, good beer, Christmas music, and happy faces all night. The best part is just hanging out with everyone and the overall festive atmosphere. Gifts are exchanged toward the end of the night and everyone trickles out after helping to clean up; on their way home to set up the presents for the next morning.

So, its not quite the same here in Iraq, but thats ok. I got to talk to my family on the phone at the party (even though I'm pretty sure I was still asleep and don't remember much of it) and I'll be home in no time. Just like everything else, my appreciation for this night, and for my family, is made stronger by missing them.

If you are at home, enjoy the company of your family and friends today, and Merry Christmas to everyone!!


david santos said...

Thanks for posting,

I wish you a good end of 2007 and a good year of 2008.

Iraqi Drama Queen said...

Merry Christmas Jason : )

Jo Castillo said...

Merry Christmas, Jason! Thanks for the good wishes.

rozee02886 said...

Jason, I hope you had as merry a Christmas you can have without yur loved ones with you. My son in law is also in Bagdad. It is hardest on you all. Know that we are all proud of you and the sacrifice that you are making for us. We are praying for all of our troops to come home to us safely and in victory.

God Bless You all for your sacrifice for your country.

Merry Christmas and God Bless you all.

unhappycamper said...

Merry Christmas Jason.

Keep your head down and come home safe.


Anonymous said...

I found the best remedy for missing my family at Xmas and New Years while serving in Iraq was to volunteer for the night shift in the guard towers, where if the opportunity came about I could personally deliver my season appreciation on some unlucky would-be- martyr jihadist. Sadly, I only observed wild dogs, but the experience made for a very memorable holiday and provided some down time for another soldier. Good hunting!

Jason said...

Anon - I like your thinking. I actually went on a trip to Baghdad and back, so that took up 3 of my days and, like you said, kept my mind from wandering home too much!

Thank you all for your comments and I hope you had a Merry Christmas as well!