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How our RAF family will be celebrating Christmas

At Christmas there are many RAF personnel who are away from their families. Sisters Alice, Megan and Charlotte Cunningham know what that's like as their dad is currently serving in Afghanistan. In this guest blog, the sisters tell us how their family celebrate Christmas when their dad is away.

We are Alice (16), Megan (14) and Charlotte (9) and we all attend Airplay at RAF Lossiemouth. We live with our mum and dad, two dogs and one cat in Elgin in the north of Scotland. 

Cunningham sisters

At the moment Dad is in Afghanistan with 51Sqn RAF Regt. He works on the Engineering flight, fixing vehicles.

We have two different ways of celebrating Christmas, one as a family and one when Dad is away.

When Dad is home, we have a traditional Christmas – we go to church in the morning and we have turkey for tea. 

This year with Dad away, we'll be having a pyjama day. We'll try not to get up too early but we'll open our presents while we listen to music chosen by Charlotte.

It will probably be chaotic as our youngest dog Bailey will be sniffing all the presents and playing with the paper. We'll spend the rest of the day playing games and watching TV.

Christmas presents

Opening presents is the best thing about Christmas! Mum has a day off from cooking and we have party food throughout the day. One year, when Charlotte was three, we ate birthday cake on Christmas Day to help us understand why we celebrate Christmas. 

This is the fourth Christmas that Dad has been away in nine years. We posted Dad's Christmas present in November so we know that he has got it. 

Mum also sent Dad a Christmas cake to share with the others on his flight. Dad is due to come home on R'n'R at the beginning of January, so we have kept his proper presents at home for him to open. 

Dad also has a birthday the week before Christmas so he has another cake to eat and a box with pressies in it. It's a good job he has friends to share all that cake with!

We hope to speak to Dad on Christmas Day, but knowing Dad he'll probably forget to phone as it's a normal working day for him. The only thing that will remind him what day it is will be the food he'll get at lunch. 

Christmas parties

We've been to quite a few things in the run up to Christmas. The Elgin Christmas lights were turned on in mid-November and we have already been to watch the Elgin pantomime. 

We've all been to our school Christmas parties and Charlotte had her school concert. 

On Christmas Eve we'll be going to a Christingle service with Mum. We can't go to the midnight service though as Charlotte wants to be in bed and asleep ready for Santa to arrive. 

We hope you all have a very safe and happy Christmas.

By Alice, Megan and Charlotte Cunningham

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