Even though my husband is military, he works in an ordinary office building in an ordinary, mixed-zoning neighborhood. You might think his office was just any other civilian office building.
Except that the entrance is gated. And the guards are armed. And you have to show - not one, but - two forms of ID to get in, one of which they confiscate until you leave. And they inspect your bags to make sure you don't have bombs hidden between the diapers and the wipes. And the majority of workers bees running around are dressed in camouflage.
Except for those minor details, it's just an ordinary office building.
And like lots of ordinary office buildings, they are decorating for the holidays. There is a decorating contest for the different sections or departments. Last year, my husband's office (the one he is in right now, not the one he was in last year) nearly won. They are determined to take the blue ribbon this time.
The theme is something about supporting the soldier and his/her family no matter where in the world they are (I'm sure someone came up with much nicer phraseology than that, but I don't know what it is). The entrance to my husband's section is pretty big, so they have lots of physical room in which to work. They've decided on one side of their big foyer to have a living room scene with a Christmas tree, cookies for Santa, stockings hung with care. Only it's obvious that Dad is deployed. Maybe the letters to Santa ask him to bring dad home safely. Maybe there is an overseas package with wrapped gifts for the kids and notes from Dad saying he wishes he were there. There's a photo of dad in uniform.
Are you crying yet? No? You've never had your husband deployed, have you?
Well, it gets worse. On the other side of the room, will be a scene depicting the soldier's Christmas away from home. Ruck sack, boots, mini-tree, mini-nativity set, care package from home.
I have to go to his office in a few weeks for the Holiday party. I really don't think I'll look at the decorations.
I offered to have the kids draw pictures for "Daddy" away from home for Christmas. Blogger won't let me upload their drawings right now, but they each took to the task with gusto.
But Billy, my sweet Billy...when given the assignment, he excitedly described his plans for what to draw. "I'm going to show Dad in battle with all the bad guys dead!!!"
"NO! No blood and guts in the Christmas picture! No, no, no!"
He paused while he thought about that.
"But Mom...red is a Christmas color, right?"
He drew a house with Santa landing on the roof. And seven presents under the tree, plus an 8th wrapped dog bone.
Maybe later I'll post the pictures.