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Celebrating the Holidays During a Deployment

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christmas treeIf you are a Military family, most likely you and your spouse have been away from each other during the holiday season. The holidays can be a difficult time when your spouse is deployed. You may even feel like you don’t want to celebrate it or that it is pointless to do so. You may feel lonely and not want to take part.

Here are some ideas to help you have a great holiday even when your loved one is deployed:

* Visit family if you can. This isn’t possible for everyone. I am not sure I will be able to visit family the next time my husband is deployed over the holidays. But if you can go home, do it. It will make it easier on you and your kids. You can also invite your family to come to your house and avoid having to travel by yourself. I know that traveling alone is not ideal and many do not like to even attempt it.

* Create memories with your friends. During my husband’s first deployment we were in Germany. It was Thanksgiving and our husbands were gone and no one was going home for just Thanksgiving. We all got together and had a big feast. The kids got to play, the Moms got to talk. It was great. None of us felt alone that day. We made new memories with our friends. This year my husband is home but we are getting together with a big group of people to celebrate. Some will be without their spouses and I know it will be easier for them to be around other people and make memories instead of being home by themselves.

* Plan to celebrate again later. I don’t like the idea of skipping holidays just because my husband is gone but I love the idea of celebrating then again once they return. Or celebrating early if they are going to be gone. My husband had to leave on Thanksgiving day for his 2nd deployment. We celebrated it a week early so even though it was technically Thanksgiving when I dropped him off, I didn’t feel like we missed the holiday. We have also celebrated birthdays a little early as well so that Daddy can be there for them.

* Try to focus on celebrating the holiday. If they are gone during Christmas, make some special memories with your children on that day. Add some extra fun activities so that you are enjoying yourself throughout the day. If you don’t have anything planned, it will be harder to enjoy the day. Take a lot of photos and have your children make something special for the missing parent. You can work together on a special care package for them themed for the holiday.

I know how hard it can be to be without your special someone for the holidays. I hope that if you are going to be missing someone this year you will be able to find ways to celebrate and have a great holiday season.

How do you celebrate when your spouse is gone?