Speaking of Christmas, I did post a few months ago about the Snowball Express, an organization giving an all expense paid trip to Disneyland (and other nearby places) for families of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They hope it will be a time of healing as the spouses and children interact with others who have suffered the same losses. It looks like they've received a good response, but they are still looking for volunteers. If you live in the Los Angeles area, I encourage you to help out. They're also looking for frequent flier mile donations as well if you have accumulated a bunch of those and are looking for a worthy cause.
It's the time of the month when it gets really dark after sunset until the moon comes up. I missed this particular phase last month while on R&R. Planning ahead and having a flashlight is a must to avoid tripping over things... which some soldiers have done, much to their embarrassment. I haven't laughed at them yet... I could be next!