Feeling the cheer of the Christmas season can be hard when you’re spending it away from the one you love. Deployments over Christmas are always difficult for the soldier and the spouse. Although there isn’t a way to completely alleviate the separation, there some things you can do to feel closer and more connected during the Christmas season.
- Send a care package. With Christmas décor coming out outrageously early (before Halloween!) there is plenty of time to send a box to your soldier filled with Christmas cheer. A great way to feel more connected would be to add a matching pair of Christmas pajamas to be worn on Christmas Eve. It would also be a lot of fun to stage a picture of you in your Christmas pjs and your soldier in theirs and Photoshop it together. It would be a fun, creative way to feel more connected on Christmas.
- Have a long-distance holiday-themed date challenge. Come up with a list of things to buy for each other that would be fun and challenging, and set a budget for spending. An example of some items would be their favorite snack, something that reminds you of them, something they need or their favorite drink. Figure out the timeline for shipping and plan a video call date night where you both open each other’s picks! For an extra Christmas bonus, include each other’s favorite Christmas movies and plan a watch party together (don’t forget to ship the popcorn!)
- Make homemade crafts for your soldier or for your kids. I love the idea of an ornament with a picture in it that you can hang on the tree or send to your spouse for a decoration in their room. Having your kids create a little nativity scene to send to your spouse is a cute way to celebrate the season as well.
- Gather videos from family and friends to send to your soldier on Christmas. It’s a great way to remind them they aren’t forgotten and people feel their absence, especially on Christmas. Conversely, the soldier can do a video reading a Christmas story for their kids or create a Christmas video for their spouse to watch on Christmas for a special present.
Having to spend the “most wonderful time of the year” away from your loved one is nobody’s idea of a good time. Feeling connected is exceptionally important during a holiday that can leave people feeling lonely or isolated. Sometimes looking and planning towards the next year is a reminder of how temporary deployments and separations are. Merry Christmas!