Christmas season is here

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 19:00
Winter Wonderland great way to start off holidays

Thanksgiving has past, and we are officially in the Christmas season.

I love Christmas — the lights, the carols, the decorations, the snow and Santa Claus. It’s my favorite time of year.

However, with weddings and vacations to visit the sun, I have not yet been able to fully get into the spirit of the season here in Eagle River. We have decorated and done all our usual family traditions, but have missed out on all the local holiday activities.

One of the many things I love about living in Eagle River is that it feels more like a small town instead of just a suburb of Anchorage. We have our own local events and our own “downtown.” We even have our own Christmas tree lighting in that downtown.

I have had Friday, Dec. 6, marked on my calendar for more than a month now. Winter Wonderland at Town Square Park is an event I do not want to miss three years in a row. I will be there with winter coat on at 5:30 p.m. ready to see what is in store. I cannot wait.

All three kids will be with me, ready to see the lights, Santa and his reindeer, and our friends and neighbors are also coming out for some holiday fun.

Unfortunately, my husband will be missing the festivities. While this event has taken top billing on our family calendar, the work calendar must come first. Training exercises have been planned for the weekend, including Friday night.

My fingers are yet crossed that maybe, just maybe, the work calendar will change again and my husband will have the evening off. The calendar tends to be fluid, changing on almost a daily basis. Most of the changes happen to add to the hours work, only rarely are those hours lessened.

I had been looking forward to this year. There was this rumor out there that soldiers tend to get a break after deployment.

They work hard the year before preparing, then they work hard while gone, but when they come home, they get to take it easy for a while to make up for the past two years of grinding. We had big plans to enjoy all Alaska had to offer as a family this year.

This year has seen more 5 o’clock meetings than I can recall in any other year. Most of these meetings have been held in the evening, but the occasional morning meeting has been thrown in.

Weeks with training and holidays still seem to include 40 hours of work squished into the shortened week. I’m tired just living with the man doing all this. I cannot even imagine the exhaustion of the men and women working these hours.

So, Winter Wonderland as a whole family is only one of many activities that has to wait for another year to be crossed off our family’s Alaska bucket list. Fortunately, the Army has seen fit to let us stay for a few more years, so we have time.

I’m just hoping that next year won’t be quite so hectic.


Eagle River’s Lori Spears is the wife of a captain in the U.S. Army.

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