This is crazy. Absolutely crazy—but it was the only way that I was going to be sure. A whole year has passed since my dream with Eric. For the first three months I waited patiently, knowing and believing that my dear husband would come home to me again. But he didn't.

I never gave up hope and for the next three months I badgered the military for any iota of information that I could gleam from them. My job suffered, my relationship with my family suffered but I didn't care. Eric was out there somewhere and I had to find him.

Finally I had no choice. I had to go and find him myself, which explains why I'm dressed in the local garb wandering around some mountain village in the Middle East. This was the last place that my dear Eric had been seen and even though it has been a year everywhere I look there's evidence of destruction. But he has to be here. He just has to be.

But so far I have not found him and my faith in that dream has been dwindling for the last couple months. "This is ridiculous," I muttered to myself as I walked through the village's marketplace. "I'm a grown woman, I can't be chasing dreams any more….what am I doing here? I have to get home. I can't be chasing him anymore…ugh! How could I be so stupid…?"

"I never thought you were stupid."

That voice. I know that voice.

With my heart beating a mile a minute I turn and gaze upon the worn face of the man that had captured my heart. "Eric," I breathed, hardly believing what I was seeing. "Is it you?"

Eric nodded wearily. "It is. I have a promise to keep after all, don't I?" He did. He had a promise to keep. He promised me that he would come home. But he hadn't, so I had come looking for my husband, and I found him.

Tears filled my eyes as I ran to my husband's open arms. And when he held me, I knew that everything would be alright. In his arms it was as if the last year and a bit didn't happen. We were together once again, and nothing was going to tear us apart ever again.

I, Clara Daniels, wife to Retired Sergeant Eric Mathew Daniels have told you my story. You may not believe it, but it's true. Every word of it; It's the story of my Nutcracker and it is the story of the love of my life. And even though much of it was painful, I would not give up my story for anything. It is a part of who I am, and it has brought new meaning to my favourite holiday.

For at Christmas, miracles really can happen.

—The End—

Author's Note: This story is now over. It was written way back at the beginning of December and now, on Christmas Day it is finished. I hope that you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you did, please leave one last review. And with that thought I'll leave you with this...Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!