Years ago, when the Kris and Barb Henning family Christmas was young and taking shape, our three bright-eyed youngsters would ask me what I wanted for Christmas.
Having endured the year of endless questions, loads of laundry, meals that half of the family turned up their noses for when served, colds, flu, missing teeth, sibling standoffs, projectiles flying across the living room to even the score, the occasional sleepover or birthday party, "Peace on Earth" sounded wonderful! Needless to say three children looked very puzzled at that answer to their inquiry."
"We can't buy you that!" the children exclaimed.
"No you can't buy it but you could start it by loving each other and being kinder to each other," I said.
Things were generally more peaceful, at least until Santa arrived.
As our Christmas traditions grow and the children too, the question was continually posed a few months before the holiday, "Mom, what do you want for Christmas this year?"
"Peace on Earth," I replied.
"You're impossible! Peace on Earth, peace on earth. Every year it's the same old thing!" the children said.
As the children grew into gainfully employed adults, every parents wish, they would still ask, "What do you want for Christmas mom?"
And before I could even say it, it was repeated back to me in unison, "Peace on Earth ... we know, we know."
This season will mark the 34th Henning family Christmas, a bit differently this year. As of Monday, December 10th, 2007 our oldest, SFC Christopher L. Henning, left for the Middle East with the 214th Armored Calvary to try, with many others who have gone before him, to bring Peace on Earth.
As a young mom those so many Christmas's ago, I never envisioned my request would come so close to home.
This holiday season may you and your family find your Peace on Earth. It may possibly be right in your own back yard, but stop for a moment to remember all of those individuals trying so valiantly to bring it to the rest of the world.
Christmas blessings to you all!
Christopher Henning is currently serving in Iraq. He would enjoy hearing from hometown friends and persons who perhaps have read this heartwarming Christmas anecdote written by his mom.
If you've a mind to contact Christopher, his address is:
SFC Christopher L. Henning
BTRP 2-14 CAV 6260
APO AE 09378
Please let him know that you read his mom's story here at The WordSmith Web Site, and if you're inclined, please keep Christopher, his wife Stephanie and their families in your prayers.
As a footnote to this story, Stephanie and Christopher's home was burglarized not even a month after his deployment. We are all thankful that Stephanie wasn't hurt in this, but somewhat concerned that this has happened. Our soldiers have quite enough to deal with as it is, without having to worry about the safety and well-being of their loved ones, wouldn't you say? Thank you for your prayers.