It's a sight you'd usually see on Christmas: presents under a decorated tree, and stockings over a roaring fire.
For Christine Bushby, however, having her husband home for the holidays is something very rare.
"It's sort of an unusual dynamic, but absence makes the heart grow fonder," said Bushby, a Prattville resident.
Distance is no stranger between Christine and her husband, Fred. She works at Maxwell Air Force Base, he's stationed in Baghdad, half a world away.
When the air force handed him a chance for early leave, he took it.
"It's good that we got Christmas together..weren't allowed to take Christmas," said Fred Bushby, a Staff Sergeant with the 732nd ESFS out of Minot, North Dakota.
Now, he's back--for a little more than two weeks, spending quality time with sons Jacob and Andrew, and taking a nice holiday break with the family.
"It's kind of hard to be away from [my wife] for that period of time," he admitted.
Though the living room is filled with Christmas presents and decorations, this time of year also brings another special day.
"It's our 4th anniversary," Christine Bushby exclaimed.
With the first Christmas together in a long time, every moment holds a special meaning.
"If I could have anything for Christmas, this is it," she said.