I’m going to do something a little different for today’s Thankful Thursday.
This Christmas season, I am very thankful to have my husband home–thankful that he is not deployed right now. For many, however, this Christmas involves a separation from their soldier.
Deployment is difficult in general, but most especially during the holidays. I remember desiring to make Christmas special and fun for my kids but, at the same time, dealing with my own loneliness and sadness. It’s not an easy tension to hold.
There were some things I discovered to be helpful for not simply surviving the Christmas season, but actually enjoying it. I’d like to share just two of those here:
- Kids (at least my kids) thrive on the familiar traditions. As difficult as it was to continue certain traditions without my husband around, my children needed those familiar “rituals.” (Homemade pizza for dinner on Christmas Eve, unwrapping one present after that dinner, cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, reading the Christmas story before opening presents Christmas day) No, they didn’t feel quite the same, but they brought their own form of comfort.
- It is beneficial to stay involved with others. I know it is tempting to want to pull away into your own world of being sad. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging how you are feeling, don’t get me wrong! But, there is encouragement and strength to be found in recognizing and responding to the needs of people who may be struggling in different ways.
There are families who have walked through several Christmases without their soldier. They have wonderful insights to offer. If you, or someone you know, is facing the holidays during a deployment, I have a suggestion–a resource that I think you will find encouraging and helpful.
Care.com has a series of interviews with military bloggers dealing with different topics surrounding holidays during deployment. It is a very practical and engaging series of articles that I highly recommend.
Care.com is an online community that helps families connect with caregivers. They have recently become committed to reaching out and serving military families. To learn more about this community, please visit HERE.