“There’s no place like home for the holidays,” or at least that’s what the song says. But for military families, this isn’t always an option. Yes, there are those surprise reunions that make us feel all warm and teary-eyed, but for most of our deployed troops and their families, there will be no reunion on Christmas day. In 2015, there were over 220,000 American service members serving overseas during the holiday season. These brave men and women dedicated their lives to protecting U.S. interests abroad, and that protection doesn’t stop simply because Santa’s in town.
For a family who misses their loved one, the idea of separation can be daunting, sad, and can take away from the joy of the season. But, just because a loved one is deployed doesn’t mean Christmas needs to be put on hold. Here are a few ideas on how to celebrate Christmas with a loved one who is deployed.
Email – One of the fastest and easiest ways to reach a deployed loved one this Christmas is via email. Email Our Military makes it easy to send season’s greetings not only to those you love, but also to service members who may not receive care packages or letters from home.
Skype – If you’re looking for a more face-to-face interaction, Skype is the best tool for reaching your loved one abroad. Because of time zone differences, and scheduling conflicts, it is best to set up a Skype session ahead of time so that you and your service member have a better chance of connecting. While it isn’t the same as being in the same room, there’s nothing quite like being able to say “I love you” in person to your deployed loved one.
Plan Ahead – Sending care packages, treats and Christmas cards are all wonderful, but make sure to plan ahead! It can take weeks and sometimes longer for parcels to reach our deployed service members, so the Military Postal Service Agency suggests mailing no later than November 12 for a Christmas delivery. If it is too late to reach your loved one this year, remember that “better late than never” is a good rule of thumb. Sure, you want him or her to be surrounded by gifts and cards for Christmas, but receiving a care package late is still better than not receiving one at all – send anyway and Skype or email to let your loved one know something is on the way.
Remember this: even though distance separates you, Christmas is a time of joy when shared with those you love. While everyone prefers to be under the same roof on Christmas Day, including your loved one in as many of the festivities as possible is the best way to celebrate Christmas together, even when you’re apart.
Remember to check back with Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund often for more ideas on how to support your service members both at home and abroad. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page and comment with any other ideas you have for celebrating Christmas with a loved one who is deployed. Lastly, if you found this or any of our other posts helpful, we welcome donations to IFHF here. Thank you for your support!
Posted on December 18 2017 in Blog