Thursday, December 22, 2016

Natalie Watlers | Spread the Christmas Joy

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the unboxing of my Christmas ornaments. Over the course of two decades (possibly longer) I’ve been collecting them and each year, as I pull the tissue off one, I take a moment and reflect. These aren’t just decorations to be hung and forgotten. They tell a story—each a remind of reminder of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and things we love throughout the years.
I’ve got homemade ornaments. Some passed down, some from my childhood, and many created with love by my three children. There are ornaments that commemorate our life-traveling; duty stations; events—all of them memories.

A few years back we decided to send ornaments to our ohana (that’s Hawaiian for family). These ornaments are local to wherever we’re currently stationed. A camel for Egypt; filigree sunflowers for Kansas; the annual White House ornament for D.C. A simple gift for Christmas—or so we thought! Turns out our ohana waited in great anticipation for their ornament from us. I thought it was because we sent them really cool ornaments! But the truth, as it was revealed to me, was that when our ornaments were received it became a time for our ohana to remember and pray for us! Isn’t that the greatest gift of all?!

As a military family we can’t always make it home for the holidays but it’s nice to know that no matter how many miles separate us, something as simple as an ornament can remind us we’re never really far away from the ones we love.

I'm a military wife and mother of three teenagers. The Army has told us the southern state of Georgia is our home and so here we are. My passion is writing stories with rich detail immersing readers in an adventure of high stakes, personal struggle, and page-turning suspense. All of my stories share my belief that no one is defined by their past.

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