Christmas lists are so hard for me to write. There is truly nothing I need that I don’t already have. And the things I want can’t be bought at a store.
A Christmas List that Only a Military Spouse Would Understand
My most wished for Christmas gifts are things that might make military spouses nod and smile.
It would be nice if houses all came with just a few standard window sizes. You’d think that might be the case, given advances in modern house building and technology generally.
My giant box of curtains knows the truth. Every single house we’ve lived in for the last ten years has had different sized windows. Sometimes the windows in one house are a variety of sizes.
Buying curtains to fit all those windows, plus hopefully work in the next few houses, can be a battle.
I’d love to get a dozen pairs of magic curtains. My magic curtains would resize themselves based on the windows in our current house. Wider, longer, shorter, narrower, whatever.
I’d prefer the upgraded pattern changing curtains, but will totally be happy with basic grey.
The only thing worse than packing up your house is unpacking your entire house. It might just be me, but our HHG seems to triple in size by the time we accept delivery.
Not only does it seem like more, but now I need to make everything fit into a new house. All the rooms are different shapes, the walls are different colors, and suddenly that bookcase doesn’t work in any room!
I’d love to have someone come to my house to run interference on my post-PCS unpacking. My person would help entertain the kids, remember to walk the dog, give advice about organization, and share decorating tips.
I feel like I always need to be in a million places at once. Usually, my crunch time is at the end of the day. I’ve got to hit the commissary, mail things out before the post office closes, go to the bank, and handle school pick up. All between 4 and 5 pm.
I could sure use a few more copies of me to do all the things!
If I had a clone or two, all those errands that I need to fit in between the end of working and the end of school would be a snap! There might even be enough of me to make dinner at a reasonable time, too.
Boots By the Door
I yell every time I trip over those big, clunky, smelly boots. They are always in the way, no matter where they land. But when they are gone, I miss almost breaking my legs falling over them.
I distinctly remember a Christmas not so long ago where I would have given almost anything to find those boots by my door. Muddy, stinking, dusty, and 100% in my way. I would have cried with joy.
This year, those boots will thankfully be by my door and their owner will be at our holiday table. But I know many military families will be missing a pair of boots by their doors.
Neighborhood Full of Friends
Over the last decade or so, we’ve made incredible friends, people we’ve bonded with and created deep, lasting connections. Our kids have been babies and toddlers together. We’ve celebrated weddings and promotions as a chosen family.
Right now, many of my dearest friends are scattered around the world. While we have celebrated holidays together in years past, this time we are apart.
What I want for Christmas is a neighborhood where I can live with all my best friends.
I want a place where I can step out the door and be reunited with my first best military friend from SoCal. Down the street are my favorite running buddy and her boys. Right across from me is the friend who saw me through an OCONUS pregnancy and birth.
I want to be together, with all the friends I hold dear, this Christmas.
A Way to Bottle Places
After we move, my son will likely never come back to the place he was born. He will not remember the beautiful island we currently call home. The Eisa drums won’t call to him in his soul anymore.
I want a way to bottle the places we’ve lived and loved. I want to take them with me when we move. I want to open up a bottle and be back in Okinawa. Or running along the surf in SoCal, or picking apples in the Virginia countryside.
The best thing about military life is that you move to new places often. Each move brings an opportunity for adventure and discovery.
What they don’t tell you is how much your heart breaks every time you have to move from a much-loved duty station. No one tells you that your soul will ache for sunrise over the Washington Monument on a crisp spring day. You don’t understand how much you’ll miss New Orleans jazz until you’re plopped in the middle of Oklahoma. But when you leave there, you’ll even miss the random bison who visit your backyard.
I’d love to revisit, if only for a moment, all the places we’ve lived.