As military families know, holidays are never 'normal'. As much as we think we are used to being alone or without our service-member when these celebration come back around, there is a part of us missing. There are things you can do to help make the holiday special for yourself and those you love, whether your service-member is stationed far from home or even deployed overseas.
Being able to share old traditions and creating new ones can keep the holidays fun and meaningful, and help you stay connected as much as possible. Perhaps part of navigating through this time, is knowing we all must choose to embrace difficulty with creativity. In whatever way your family will be celebrating the holidays this year, Deployed Loves hopes this time of year brings you joy and happiness!
Creating new virtual traditions With video get-togethers more common since the pandemic started, your service member and other loved ones are probably comfortable with online visits. Think about scheduling one or more virtual get-togethers this season. Add in some holiday fun to make them even more memorable.
Hold a virtual “potluck.” No need to bring food to this get-together, just something else to share – a toast, joke, poem or favorite holiday memory.
Create a slideshow of holidays past. Collect photos and short videos from family and friends in plenty of time to create a slideshow or video presentation of seasons past. Use screen-sharing during an online gathering to show the presentation. Half the fun will be seeing each other’s reactions and sharing memories.
Schedule a holiday game night. Create and email bingo cards for guests to print out for a holiday bingo night. Or hold a trivia night of random facts, family history or a combination of both. Look into multiplayer online games that everyone will enjoy and that will create the feeling of being there with each other.
Open presents together. Get together virtually to share the experience of opening presents. If your service member has children, read a holiday story.
Watch your favorite holiday movie at the same time. If possible, watch while using video chat or social media to comment on the best parts in real time. If holiday movies are not your thing, you could choose a television series to stream and talk about.