A few weeks ago Rob Pearson had no idea he would be celebrating Christmas with his wife Becky and their two little ones, Emily and Christopher.
"When we mobilized in August of last year, we were supposed to be mobilized and in country through the 5th of January," said Sergeant Rob Pearson, United States Army.
Rob, a sergeant in the United States Army, is home from Iraq after spending more than a year on the battlefield.
"It's just really a strange feeling driving around in your home town after being where I was," said Sergeant Pearson.
When he got the news that he would be home in time for Christmas the first thing he did was make an emotional phone call to his wife.
"I just cried, I'm an emotional person. I just, I cried. I wanted to believe it, but at the same time it is the military," said Becky Pearson.
But everything went as planned and this Christmas Rob woke up to what he describes as their first true family Christmas.
"This will be the first Christmas that my family and I, my little family, spend in our own house," said Sergeant Pearson.
But even with the smile on his wife's face and the laughter in his children's voice Rob says, not a day goes by without him thinking about his military family that's still in Iraq.
"I want to wish them a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season and a safe return and I miss them," said Sergeant Pearson.
The presence of Christmas is all over the Pearson house and as the family opens gifts, this year there's one gift greater than anything under the tree.