By Rob McDaniel
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This is my favorite time of year, hands down. Every year as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays’ approach, I can’t help but get excited; it’s something I look forward to all year. It’s not the presents or delicious home cooked meals that Mom works so hard on that I look forward to, it’s that this is the only time of year my family is together.
Since 2003, when I joined the Marine Corps and moved away, seeing my family as often as I would like has been a challenge. My brothers and I all have our own things going on. I have work, Jake has college and work, and Steven – he just spent a year in Afghanistan.
I guess not seeing each other as often is a part of growing up. It’s kind of rough though, because I miss them.
We all have such busy lives. We have work schedules, college schedules and even deployment schedules to compete with. All that combined makes it very rare for all three of us boys to make it home at the same time.
But during the holidays we always manage to get home, even if it’s just for a day or two, and that’s why I love this time of year so much. Of course, individually we go home and see them as we have the time, but it’s rare that even two of us are there on the same day.
I guess that makes my mom’s demand for a family portrait this Christmas a little more understandable. When she announced it during our Thanksgiving get-together, we all groaned. We hate having our pictures taken; but hey, it’s for Mom and if that’s all she wants for Christmas this year, then that’s what she’ll get.
This time of year is always about family to me. Family, along with a few other things, was what I said I was thankful for last week when we celebrated Thanksgiving and I truly meant it.
I don’t know if other families are like this, but my brothers, and even my parents, are my best friends and I’m thankful I have them in my life.
I really hope as time goes by and we start to build our own families that we don’t let the little things in life keep us too busy to see each other.