On Christmas Eve, 1944, @ 7:00 p.m. my Grandfather, William Need, came home from World War II.
It was a surprise to my grandmother. Earlier in September, he was told he was being released, but they cancelled that. So when he was told the same thing in December, he didn't want to get her hopes up and didn't tell her.
Imagine her shock when she opens the door to see her husband home from the war. Imagine their elation to be husband and wife, together, on Christmas. I can't imagine what it would be like to be torn apart for so long. It had to be the best Christmas present ever.
So now, when I hear "I'll Be Home for Christmas," I can't help but think of Grandpa and Grandma Need. What an amazing story...especially in light of the fact that so many wives and families around the world celebrated Christmas with tears and heartbreak.
And now it has a different meaning, too. For now they are home with their Maker this Christmas, and we miss them. Cheers to you Grandma and Grandpa! Your dreams came true, and you celebrated your Christmases together...and you still do.