Being apart from your spouse during deployment is one of the difficult realities of military life. The holidays can be unfortunate reminders of their absence.
But there are ways to keep your deployed spouse involved in your holiday traditions and make the season family-oriented. Here’s a look at five options:
Sometimes the best way to keep your deployed spouse involved in your holiday tradition is to send the season’s cheer in a care package. Whether you’re sending decorations, a favorite holiday film, music or some cookies, care packages are a great holiday tradition for military families. Not only will they enjoy it overseas, but you and your family can have a lot of fun getting into the spirit putting the package together.
Although your family may be thousands of miles apart during deployment, technology can help bridge the gap. Skyping while you are putting up the Christmas tree can make it seem like everyone is involved.
Unfortunately, Internet access may be limited to only certain parts of the day, but don’t let that stop you from recording a video of your family sending off the care package or even opening presents. The priceless look on your children’s faces on Christmas morning is the best gift you can give a deployed spouse.
Not only can you send pictures and videos of yourself decorating the tree, but you can also include your spouse in the decorating process with your family.
Decorate a picture frame or make an ornament as a holiday craft and include pictures of the entire family. Many children love to make holiday-related art. You can have them draw a picture of the family around the tree and send it in a care package or even scan it into an email for fast delivery.
One of the best ways to keep your spouse involved is to have them write letters from Santa to your children asking what they would like, responding to their Christmas list or even as a check-up to see if they’ve been naughty or nice.
This is a great way to hear about the children from their perspective as well as be involved in some holiday fun even though they can’t be there to pick out gifts.
Another great way for deployed service members to enjoy the holiday season with their family is to celebrate when they return. You can still decorate the house and everything in December, but also do something small once they have returned.
You can set up the tree together, make hot chocolate and exchange a few gifts so everyone can enjoy their favorite traditions as a family.
These are just a few ways to make sure everyone enjoys the holiday season even during a deployment, so don’t let the business of the military lifestyle detract from this special season.
Photo thanks to jarek69 & evelyn via Flickr Creative Commons