We have always enjoyed strolling through the neighborhood in the evenings, walking the dogs and seeing the Christmas lights and decorations on our neighbor’s homes. This year our neighborhood is an RV park and our neighbor’s homes are 5th wheels, travel trailers and motor coaches.
Many of our neighbors are full-time, active duty soldiers stationed at Ft. Bliss. These are the neighbors that decorate the most. Especially those with children.
Others are retired military snow birds that are staying here a few months through the winter. Others we have met are retired military couples that are living full-time in their RV.
Some of our neighbors are only here for a short time. Passing through on the way to visit family or on the way home. They may have a couple decorations, but nothing too elaborate. Nothing that would require a lot of time to set up and tear down.
We have been at Ft. Bliss RV Park for 60 days. Prior to this, the longest we had been in an RV park, or continuously in our RV, was 10 days. We are in the category of retired military couple. We will be here through the holiday, so we put up Christmas lights and a few decorations outside.
Our closest neighbor – we are on the end of the row and only have a neighbor on one side – is a single, military retiree who works full-time as a truck driver. He lives full-time in his RV when he is not on the road. He arrived here a couple days after us, planning to stay only 9 days. An accident on his Harley changed his plans and he will be staying here recuperating until after the 1st of the year. He told us this is the longest amount of time he has lived in his RV. He got into the decorating spirit and put lights on his trailer and around his patio. For an early Christmas gift he got himself a puppy!
One family we often chat with have been living in El Paso for about 3 years. They had been living in rentals when they decided to live full-time in an RV. She said they were tired of having things go wrong with the rental and having to deal with a management company or landlord. They already owned a travel trailer for vacations and decided to trade it in on a 5th wheel that would be better for full-time living with their 2 school age children. This is their first Christmas in the RV. They left it here and traveled by car to stay with family. However, every night, their Christmas lights turn on. The outside of their 5th wheel looks like they are home – chairs and other personal items are setting outside. And their Christmas lights are twinkling. There are a few others that have also traveled away for the holiday and have left their RV behind.
One little girl I chatted with at the dog park told me her family was going to visit relatives over Christmas. They would be taking their RV. Later in the week when I walked by their spot, I saw that the RV was gone, but their grill, bicycles and a few other items were there. A quick stroll through the park shows a handful of other sites that look very similar.
We are deep into the Christmas season. It is different than the other holidays we have spent here because we miss seeing our children and grandchildren even more. We sent their gifts weeks ago and have been told they arrived safely.
We usually get together on Christmas Eve for dinner and gifts at our house. The kids always love opening their presents early and we always enjoy watching. And that is what we will be doing. Watching them open their gifts and visiting using a video chat app.
We hope that you have a safe and wonderful Christmas, surrounded by those you love and cherish.
“Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11 NIV