Merry Christmas from the Pacific Ocean! (Dec 25)

I’m going to keep this one short, I’m cueing up The Polar Express on my laptop to watch since it’s family tradition, but today is Christmas and I wanted to share a brief post with you all. I’ve got to remember to thank my friend Whitney (source of about 3 TB of movies) for having this in her collection.

When I was leaving to get onto my plane to come out here my mom, at the very last moment, handed me a gift bag stuffed with cards and other wrapped items and told me to stash it.
“Put this in your bag and don’t open it until Christmas.”

So today is the day, I finally get to open this thing I’ve been carrying with me for the last month. I’m excited, in fact I made a video for them, because I could. Inside my family had sent heartfelt notes in meaningful cards and then, which I more expected, cards with jokes and comedy on them. That’s the Henderson style. There were two squishy Christmas toys (a Christmas Tree and a Santa) and a thing of Christmas M&M candy (probably the most exciting thing in the world for a guy who has been at sea for almost a month) and a Army Helmet Christmas ornament. Very cool!

Of course now I need to figure out how to get this glass ornament through a year and back to the United States in one piece. I took the toys down to the galley and placed them on the tables (the cook promptly removed them – fine) and I cut out the Christmas tree from the gift bag and taped it to the door of the galley. They’re all distracted with a catch right now, so it’s still there. I’m spreading some Christmas cheer in the South Pacific.

I loved having these cards and gifts out here, being away for the holidays is always tough, especially when you come from a family like mine where we all genuinely love being together, especially around the holidays. We have an amazing family, full of support and laughter and wonderful people. This year we’re scattered around the world. Mom and Dad are in the Philippines and on their way to Hong Kong, my sister Michelle is with her family in Germany, and my little sister is serving her country in Afghanistan. I don’t think there has been a year in the history of our family where we’ve all been so far away from each other at the same time. This is literally the first Christmas my parents have been without one of their kids at home for.

Next year we are already planning to make sure we converge on the same location for the holidays in grand old Henderson style. For now, I’ll sit back and sip on my coffee while the polar express plays and send my GPS holiday messages.

To all of you regular readers I have here, I thank you so very much for being here and following my stories. I’m not the best writer out there and I’m sure the English teacher reading this (I know who you are) cringes from time to time at my technical mistakes, but I try my hardest to keep things entertaining, fun, and somewhat coherent. It is a gift to me that there are actually people reading this blog, and I want to say with my most heartfelt thanks, I appreciate you.

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