Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Christmas in IraqDear Terry,
In your last letter you asked why I don't like Christmas. It's okay that you asked, I don't mind. Yes, you're right - it's partly because there's no snow over here. It's tough to get in the holiday spirit when everything is dry and hot and sandy. Christmas ought to be white, and cold enough that there's a bit of fog every time you breathe.
But, the weather isn't the real reason. Christmas is something to celebrate in your heart, and whether there's a blizzard or a monsoon, it doesn't change the things that make Christmas special. You know that.
Yes, it's okay to pray for us to have snow here - the guys here would all love that! But even if we had a four foot blizzard, that still wouldn't make it Christmas. It wouldn't be Christmas unless I could stand at the window with you and your mom and Jennifer and watch the flakes falling to the ground.
They say that Christmas is about peace on earth - that's what the angels said on the first Christmas, right? But I know better than anyone that there isn't peace on earth, as long as there is terror, as long as there is hatred, as long as there is war, and as long as my job is necessary.
When will I start to like Christmas again? I suppose it'll be on the day that I come through the airport security and you're standing there waiting for me to pick you up and give you a squeeze. It'll be the day I get to kiss little Jennifer goodnight for the very first time. It'll be the day I know I don't have to be over here for any more anniversaries, birthdays, soccer games...
Even if it's the middle of July, that'll be Christmas for me.
Thank you for sending me the pictures of Jennifer - I can't believe how much she's grown already. Be sure to tell her all about me, so when I come home she'll know right off that I'm her daddy.
And be sure to help your mom get through the Christmas season, because even though she probably won't tell you, I bet it doesn't feel like Christmas to her either.
I love you bud.
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