There’s no time of year more beloved than the holiday season – but Al Clendennin was going to miss all of them because of his service in the military.
So the Crestview, Florida family brought the festivities to him by celebrating four holidays in one weekend.
The 47-year-old U.S. Air Force dad got a call for his second deployment to Afghanistan on September 21st, so the family knew they had to act fast.
Al’s wife, Cathy, took her husband out for a massage while her kids – 16, 15, and 13-years-old – put on Halloween costumes, hung decorations, and put on a spooky movie with their grandparents – all classically spooky traditions of the family.
Next was Al’s 48th birthday, which would typically fall on December 22nd.
While he was out for coffee, the kids tore down the orange and black tinsel, and instead hung up a giant “Happy Birthday” sign. The overwhelmed father came home to receive a birthday cake and a laptop to stay connected.
“Al was so surprised when he walked into the house,” Cathy told TODAY. “He didn’t catch onto what we were doing until we celebrated his birthday. When the cake was brought out, he started jumping up and down for joy.”
Then came Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Complete with yuletide carols, ugly sweaters, a tiny tree, breakfast waffles, and a new DVD player for dad, the family topped off the night with their classic turkey feast in front of the Detroit Lions football game on TV.
“Christmas is always a big deal in our house so we were most upset about not having Al home for it, but our pretend Christmas honestly felt like it was really that.”
Have A Holly Jolly Christmas: Click To Share This With Your Friends – Photo by Cathy Clendennin