Handling the Holidays with an Active-duty Spouse
The holidays are time for family and when someone cannot be home with you, it can make things seem pretty dismal. When you have a spouse that is on active-duty in the military, even if they are home, they may not be able to spend the day with you. If they are not at home, it will take some extra planning to make things bright for everyone.
Have your Celebrations on a Different Day
If you are in the same city but your spouse has to work for the holiday, make arrangements to celebrate on a day everyone can be home together. While the day may have special meaning and there may be some events that can only be done on it, the being together part can be done any time. If possible, just plan to do it later or earlier in the day.
Arrange a Phone Call or Video Call
It wasn’t too long ago that trying to get a phone call from overseas was a big deal. Now, you cannot only talk to your loved ones, but actually see them too. A good way to enjoy the holidays together is with a laptop set up in a corner so it can take in the whole room and all the festivities. Though the time zones may have the service member waking up very early to watch children open Santa Claus presents, it will be well worth it when everyone can share the time.
A Special, Late-night Phone Call
Once all the kids are tuckered out and tucked away, have a special phone call for just the two of you. Relax with a glass of wine, put on a movie and just spend some time together. The Internet gives you the ability to share that movie with someone on the other side of the world; take advantage of it.
It is hard, and sad, to spend the holidays without your spouse. You may feel overwhelmed at times and not know what to do next. Remember, you can always pick up the phone and call them to get advice and calm down. As much as you hate them not being there with you and helping, think about how lonely they are feeling. You have family around and the children if you have any, they are somewhere far away and even with their friends, they are feeling lonely. It doesn’t have to be that way if you both make an effort to talk about how you are feeling and let the other know you care.