There are a few Christmases that stand out in my life. I remember our first Christmas in Iceland after being separated from my dad for six months while we waited for a house to open up at Keflavik NAS. He had to report without his family but just before the holidays new friends opened up their home to us so that we could be together as a family. Our house would be ready when they returned from a vacation back to the states. That was the Christmas of Homecoming. (Although a new home, but home none the less).
Another very memorable Christmas for me was the year my husband was in Iraq. I remember the laptop sitting on the coffee table with the webcam all setup. We opened up gifts at my mom and dad’s. It was the middle of the night for hubs and we would look over to see him dosing in and out of sleep. Yet, I could just feel his presence. He sent me a gift to open under the tree and a little something for each of the boys. He worked so hard at being there even though he was so far away. That was the Christmas we were apart.
If you are looking at a Christmas apart empower yourself! You can start now to put together Christmas themed care packages. Get the kids involved. Find ways to put Joy in the Season, even if you have to work a little bit at it.
Away for the Holidays – Find ideas for your Holiday Care Package Ideas and More
Here are some fun care package ideas if you need a little something to get the mind rolling:
Fun Ideas for your Hubby’s Stocking – some of these are perfect care package size!
Christmas Packages – Fun Red and Green Theme Care Package
DIY Hand Warmers – Fun idea to make, a little something from the heart
Cool neck wraps – Operation Gratitude makes and sends these to deployed troops in the spring and summer months. Your soldier, sailor, coastie, marine or airman may appreciate one handmade by you.
Christmas in a Care Package – Some great ideas from Veterans United like homemade decorations from the kids, a small tree, just a taste of home
Making Spirits Bright is a great list of ideas from Tara Crooks over at Army Wife Network. Decorations, music, food and more. It’s all the making of a Merry Christmas and all made and put together with love, the most important part.
Last but very importantly, if your hubs (or wife or child or brother or sister or friend … you get the idea) is deployed send them a personal message via Stars and Stripes!
Send a touch of home to our heroes deployed or stationed abroad in the pages of Stars and Stripes. Messages submitted by November 26, 2012 will print in the December 15 newspaper edition you choose (Pacific, Europe or Middle East). It is easy to do, FREE and only takes a moment! You can even include a photo with your holiday message, at no additional charge.
All messages will be available online: easy to browse, search and share. Help us spread the joy by posting this link to your social media accounts. The more, the merrier!
Submit your message today! http://holidaymessages.stripes.osd.mil/
I remember both Christmas so very well, both the ‘Homecoming Christmas’ and the ‘Christmas we were apart’. One leaves me with warm memories of joy and laughter and wholeness. The other leaves me with memories of love. I missed him terribly and that was a good thing, a very good thing. Make the most of your upcoming Holiday Season with memories you will not want to forget.
– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com