Merry Christmas to the men and women in our Armed Forces, who are standing guard for us tonight and every night.
Merry Christmas to those who will work tonight, and miss seeing their small children's faces filled with awe and delight when they run to the tree in the morning.
Merry Christmas to those who will have to leave in the wee hours to get to work, and miss it.
A very special Merry Christmas to you, the health care workers who staff the hospitals and clinics 24 hours, and to whom the word 'holiday' has a whole 'nother meaning; namely, which ones will I be missing with my family?
Hats off to you; you Emergency Services personnel and the support staff who stand beside them on holidays and weekends all year.
Policemen and women, our Military, firefighters, doctors, nurses, clerical staff, janitorial service workers, security staff, all of you who toil through the holidays and nights and weekends, the 'off' hours, while the rest of the world sleeps.
For I remember it well.
Thank You. Bless you. And Merry Christmas.
It is not without sacrifice that I am able to 'stay home' with my kids.
And tonight, it's worth every hardship, every sideways look I get when I mention 'I live on an island', all the extra work it takes to make a life here.
I know I am blessed beyond words to have the ability to be here when my little Griswolds-in-training hit that tree in the morning.
I wonder who is more excited??
p.s. Every year at Christmas I am reminded of an old friend, Nelson O., for whom I once worked 36 hours straight so he could have the time off with his small children over Christmas. (ouch, though. Never. Again.) I pulled his name out of a hat; there were many on that shift in the same predicament. I was young and single and had a huge family cooking for me; they were parents with little kids who wouldn't be home Christmas morning. He was overjoyed! It remains, to this day, one of the Best Things I have ever done for anybody.
Merry Christmas, Nelson, wherever you are!