Saturday, December 3, 2011

Reframing the Holidays

Picture the Holidays Day 2 - Reframing the Season

Picture the Holidays - Day 2

Beginning December in a calm state of mind might seem easy (now). But, the frenzy of the holiday season can get the best of us and sometimes can come on with very little warning. There will be good days and bad but the gist is to look at this holiday season a little differently. This season we aren't only going to 'hope' to enjoy it (amidst the chaos) we will enjoy it! It only takes a little reframing.

As a symbol of looking at things a little differently, today you'll be using a literal frame for your image. You get to decide what goes in your frame today and how you choose to capture it!

This year, we will be missing one very important person at our Christmas celebration - my son Adam who is currently serving in Afghanistan. My mom had her table dressed for a holiday dinner, providing the perfect setting for this shot.

When it comes to reframing the holidays, thinking of all the families that are missing their loved ones who are serving or who died (or are missing) in service to their country can certainly put things in perspective.

When I asked my son what he would like me to send him for Christmas, the only thing he asked for was holiday decorations. Decking the halls takes on new meaning when those halls look like this: (grabbed from my son's facebook page)

Amazon ships directly to APO addresses, so I ordered a few items for his place. I know the farting Christmas ornaments are a little crass, but I knew he'd love them. He did, and was especially thrilled to get the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. (disclaimer: these are affiliate links)

My parents and I sent additional items in carepackages. Mom even found a sweet little carousel that looks almost like a tinier version of the one they put on display every year that he loves so much.

Thanks to friends, and groups like Tennessee Marine Family and, he and his brothers will not suffer from lack of Christmas goodies and decor. This is the third Christmas I've spent with one of my children serving in the Middle East. It never gets easier, but I know its much harder on them.

It gets really cold over there, so if you want to go to and adopt a Marine, a great idea would be to send him or her some of these hand, body, or foot warmers. (again, these are affiliate links), Amazon makes it really easy with no customs forms to fill out and no trip to the post office (who wants to stand in line at the post office during the holidays?)

When I posted today's image in the Picture the Holidays facebook group, I was overcome with gratitude for the support and comments thanking my son for his service. There is such an awareness and appreciation for our troops in this generation. It is heartwarming and such a difference from what my uncle and others like him experienced with Vietnam.

Another thing that is very different about this war is the advent of youtube and other media outlets that give us a closer look at what combat and conditions are like for our service men and women. I came across this video this morning and it is actual combat footage with my son in the thick of it.

It was hard to watch and you may or may not want to watch it. It does have some "Marine" language. None of our boys were hurt, but it was serious combat. This footage was shot when they established Patrol Base Watson, which was named in honor of LCpl Franklin N. Watson.

It is hard to believe that same little boy who was exclaiming "it's him!" in yesterday's video could possibly be the same one shouting out commands to his men in combat. But, it is and it all happened in the blink of an eye.

Wishing peace for the boys of Alpha Company, 1/6 and their family and loved ones this holiday season. Semper Fi.


  1. This is truly a beautiful image LeAnne!
    Wishing you a wonderful Saturday.

  2. LeAnne - wow, and to think I was complaining about my bathroom being a mess. Thanks so much for sharing this story about your son and his company of soldiers. Each time I see a man/woman in uniform I shake their hand and thank them for their service - like you said, it's such a different time than the Viet Nam era, which I remember well. Blessings to you and your family. I can't even imagine having one of my sons in combat.

  3. LeAnne,
    Your posts always get me right in the heart. Thank you for sharing that image of your son at the holiday table. It helps remind me of the sacrifice our soldiers make and that of families on the home front. Sending blessings to you and your loved ones...


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