Friday, December 2, 2016

Snow in the Desert

Tonight was the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony here at Edwards and so the kids and I bundled up and headed out for a bit of frosty fun.   We've been here for 6 Christmas's now and have yet to attend one, since my husband always works when they happen, but this year I took him to work and kept the car so we could attend.

In conjunction with the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the base also hosts the Reindeer Run, an annual 5K relay as well as Winterfest where people can browse and shop for Christmas gifts, enjoy baked goods and hot cocoa.    As part of her community service for JROTC, Alyssa worked with the Reindeer Run to help guide runners along the correct path for the course.  While she did that, the kids and I did a bit of browsing at Winterfest as well as checking out the giant "Christmas Cards" some of the base units and organizations made.. This year's theme was A Nightmare Before Christmas.

For the lighting ceremony, the base decorates a large tree located in front of the base BX (Base Exchange for those unfamiliar with military lingo).  For years past, the tree was honestly pretty sad looking - with one string of colored lights and a few balls strung on it's branches.  Thing somewhat a reverse Charlie Brown tree where the tree is too little for the decorations.. In this case, the decorations were way too scant for the tree..
Tree in Previous Years

However, this year, I guess the Air Force found some extra money in the budget (or maybe the company who took over the privatization of our housing) found the funds to actually decorate the tree.  The result was very nice.

And, to make it even magical for the kids, yes, that is real snow on the ground..  It had to be made using a snow machine, but every year they cover the ground around the tree with about 2 inches of snow for the kids to play in for the night.   So after a word from the base commander and a countdown, the tree was lit and the kids were allowed to play.  For Garrett and Ashleigh, this was the first time that they can actually remember playing in the snow so it was a great experience for them.

And Alyssa even got a medal from the Reindeer Run for her time and effort, which she was really proud of.

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