Saturday, 7 January 2012

     Merry Christmas 
        From Guam 

Despite the 85 degree weather, Guam certainly does not lack any Christmas spirit. Houses are strung with lights, yards filled with every inflatable character you can imagine, the smell of fresh backed cookies escape through the open windows, carollers fill the mall, gift wrapping tables are set up at every turn, Christmas trees are tied to the top of cars, hands are full of recently purchased gifts, children are lined up to see Santa, Christmas dinner shopping lists are being compiled, and plans are made to meet at your favorite beach.

One of the parks is decorated with everything Christmas. Statues of Santa, Elf's hard at work, a nativity scene, Santa's chair, huge Christmas trees, lights galore, toy soldiers, and even the surfing Santa.

I have to say, we participated in nearly everything mentioned above! Even though we were miles way from home, we joined with your military family to celebrate 'the most wonderful time of the year'. Our Christmas break was full of carrying on traditions and starting new ones. There were several firsts and many 'we gotta do that agains'.

The photo to the left is our Christmas tree. As we were decorating I realised there were several things I had never done before while decorating the tree. I had never decorated a Christmas tree in shorts and a tank top. I had never decorated a Christmas tree with the A/C on. I had never decorated a Christmas tree and broken a sweat. And to celebrate our great accomplishment of getting the tree up before Christmas, we didn't have hot chocolate, we had a sno cone!

Andersen AFB celebrates Christmas with Rota walk. It is a time for Units and base organisations to come together and decorate the houses of the higher ranking officers on base. The entire street is a glow with with lights, wreaths, figures, and anything else that can usher everyone into the Christmas spirit. Nate, Ann Marie, Ryan, and I volunteered to assist the Larcher's in passing out cookies in front of their house during the event. We put on our elf hats and aprons and prepared for the masses. Below are several pictures from the evening:

Ryan with the REDHORSE

Santa is in the Air Force... bet you didn't know that!

Thanks Med group for bringing us just a bit of snow.

coconuts painted to be Christmas lights
On Christmas Eve we went to the candle light service with several friends. I couldn't help but think of past candle light services at Biltmore Baptist Church. The congregation stood to sing Silent Night and as the song progressed the sanctuary was flooded with the lighting of candles. Each person stood proclaiming the truth in that "silent night... Christ the Savior was born". Even being surrounded by 100 or so people, the song, and the candles still had the same power. Christ was born to be the Savior, not just in America, but to all people.

After the service we went to the Wilson's to join friends in the "1st annual Grove Park Inn has nothing on us ginger bread house competition". Some of us took the construction rather seriously, other, well, lets just call it abstract.

My Pless family pool inspired masterpiece.

Ryan's "I put too much icing and it collapsed so let's see what else I can pile on" house. 

the house on the left is complete with a pretzel machine gun and teddy graham gunman.
Christmas day brought a day at the beach and Christmas dinner at our house. It was a new way to spend Christmas, with swimsuits and sunscreen, but was certainly a wonderful day with dear friends. Dinner included grilled chicken, steak pinwheels, spinach salad, mac and cheese, German potato salad, green bean casserole, Mexican pinwheels, and fresh baked rolls. DELICIOUS. Followed by a brownie sundae and apple pie... no one could complain... 

There was no chance of snow, no need for sweaters, but it was a wonderful Christmas. Until next time from our rock in the middle of the pacific.

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