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Col. Jay Silveria, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, helps children turn on the Christmas tree during a lighting ceremony Dec. 5 at RAF Lakenheath.
Col. Jay Silveria, commander of the 48th Fighter Wing, helps children turn on the Christmas tree during a lighting ceremony Dec. 5 at RAF Lakenheath. (Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force)

RAF LAKENHEATH — Coordinating the baking, stockpiling and delivery of 12,000 cookies is no easy task.

Just ask Teri Moseley, chairwoman of Operation Cookie Drive, a project organized by the Lakenheath Officer and Civilian Spouses Club for single and deployed troops.

"Our hearts go out to these young airmen who are separated from their families back home this holiday season," Moseley said. "The closeness of an overseas military community and its ability to come together for a great cause is awe inspiring."

Meanwhile, at nearby RAF Lakenheath, Micah Steinwandt is busy stuffing more than 100 stockings to send to other single and deployed airmen.

Steinwandt, who helped start the organization three years ago, is also planning several outings over the next few weeks, including a trip to Euro Disney in Paris. And on Christmas Day, Steinwandt is hosting a day of Christmas movies, games and holiday goodies for single airmen on base.

"Although the trips are great, it’s more about the holiday itself," Steinwandt said. "For a lot of them, it’s their first time away from home for the holidays. Many of them are homesick although not a lot of them will admit it."

With a headquarters of sorts at the dorms, Steinwandt said the group, while affiliated with the chapel, aims to serve airmen of any or no religious background.

"We just try and be there for them, especially during the holidays," he said.

With the preparations under way and displays of holiday lights and decorations out in force around the bases, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you’ve been in a post-Thanksgiving haze the past two weeks, then wake up. The "holi-daze" is here.

And a flurry of wintery festivals and performances are happening in and around the bases over the next few weeks. So bundle up and enjoy the holiday buzz in the air.

Here are a few examples:

• Christmas Festival — through Dec. 20, 10 a.m. –8 p.m. at Cambridge Town Hall.

• Tea Party with Father Christmas — through Dec. 19, 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. at Ickworth House, Bury St Edmunds

• Rumplestiltskin Panto — through Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. at Kings Theater, Gloucester.

• Winter Wonderland London — through Jan. 4, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. at Hyde Park, London.

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