Christmas can be a difficult time. With nosy relatives, a seemingly endless swath of dishes to clean and the inevitable red wine spill, it’s easy to forget the reason for all that hard work: seeing a smile on everyone’s face.
If there’s a military spouse in your life you’d like to spoil (or if you’d like to spoil yourself), here’s a few gift suggestions hand-picked by other military spouses. They’re guaranteed to put a smile on your loved one’s face. For other suggestions, check out our other gift guides.
Uniform Bag or Tote: $30-40
“My absolute favorite thing I have ever bought (yes, I bought it for myself) is an ODU bag…you can get them from a variety of places, as several military spouses make them and you can get them in whichever branch ODU your AD member is in! I use mine as a book bag for my college classes.” – Laura Vanderwerf, Military Spouse Magazine’s 2011 Coast Guard Spouse of the Year
“My favorite military-themed product is called Freedom Feet Foot Kit. It’s an all-natural pedicure set through Lemongrass Spa. They offer it year-round, but it’s wonderful for Christmas time, especially because it is for the female soldiers who are deployed around the world. I love it because: one, It’s all natural, two, it smells amazing, and three, it focuses specifically on our female soldiers.” – Stacy Swearengen, founder of Military Spouse Portable Career Planning.
Necklace with Military Pride: $65-100
“Our favorite gift to give a military spouse is a necklace from Buttons Up Jewelry. These delicate, lovely pieces provide military spouses an opportunity to share the pride we feel for our service member while looking fabulous at the same time.” – Molly Blake, military spouse
Engraved or Personalized Bracelets: $15-135
“These engraved military bracelets can be personalized for as little as $15 to honor the fallen, declare love and support for the deployed, or simply to recognize service. They are great gifts for military parents, especially that mother-in-law who is impossible to shop for. The best part? If you get them from hero bracelets you can designate a military charity and for each purchase a portion of proceeds is put to good use in our own military community.” – Lori Falkner Volkman, author of Witty Little Secret
“I love these camouflage stockings I found on Etsy. They really reflect my husband so I got one for him to hang by the chimney with care. These would be neat to send in a care package to someone who is deployed or even to have at home to recognize someone who is deployed that year. My favorite part is the little pocket (perfect for notes or an extra special surprise).” – Adrienne May, Military Spouse Central
For Your Walls: $10-40
“A great Christmas gift I got a couple years ago was a shadow box. I know this is nothing new to a seasoned military family, but like most guys, my first reaction was, ‘What the heck is this?’ Then my wife demonstrated how cool my American flag and military coins looked neatly positioned inside. I have been a big fan of shadow boxes ever since and currently have one hanging over my bar that proudly displays a flag and letters from my wife’s latest deployment.” – Chris Pape, founder of Macho Spouse
“Don’t forget military kids on your Christmas list. While military kids like regular toys just like everyone else, it is always fun to add in something that honors their military life. I am partial to these military outfits from Build-a-Bear Workshop. You can get a bear there and a military outfit as well as any other outfits or accessories that fit your child.” Caitlin K, Military Family Advocate
Save Money and DIY: $5-20
“These DIY paracord bracelets are very popular recently and they are very easy to make (without spending hours of your time). They make great gifts for military and supporters – you can also customize them with favorite colors.” – Sgt. Jon C., U.S. Army
“Deployment journals are a great way to get all your thoughts and feelings down in one place and they have them for military spouses and for military kids.” Christina D., Military Spouse Community Manager
Trim the Tree: $10
“My favorite military-themed Christmas gift I ever gotten has been military-themed ornaments. Another favorite is this Army boot ornament. Added bonus: each one is less than $10, so it doesn’t have to break the bank.” – Danni G., First-year Army Spouse
Keep the Memories: $25-40
“A good scrapbook is invaluable when you want to save memories for someone who can’t be there, whether that is your spouse or friends and family that are half way across the country. I absolutely love the fun military-themed scrapbooks.” – Cate Necaise, Family Readiness Group (FRG) Leader
Giving Spirit: Varies
Remember that instead of a gift, you can make a donation to your favorite military charity in someone’s name. What better way to carry the Christmas spirit than by giving to those who really need it? Consider donating to a cause like the Wounded Warrior Project, Homes for our Troops, Blue Star Families or any other charity that speaks to you personally.