5 Benefits of Not Going Home For Christmas
I live precisely 1,996.1 miles from my family in California. Going home for Christmas doesn’t happen very often, in fact, the last time it did was 2007, ten years ago. Since then, we have spent every Christmas in our own home. My boys are so used to being in our own home for Christmas that I think it would be weird for them to be somewhere else on Christmas day.
I do hope that sometime in the future, going home for Christmas is something we can do. With my husband’s work schedule, the cost of plane tickets and all of that, traveling over the holidays just doesn’t work out.
A lot of military families are in the same boat. Being stationed on the other side of the country or even across the ocean from your family makes it hard to go home for Christmas. When you are on a budget, you look for other times of year to go home when the tickets are not quite as expensive.
Every year I am happy we have our own little Christmas, but at the same time, I get sad about not spending the day with our families. I get homesick on Christmas Day and wish we could do things differently.
However, I don’t want to spend the whole season being upset about it. I look at the benefits of not going home for the holidays, and I embrace them.
If you are sad about not going home for Christmas this year, here are five benefits of not going home for Christmas:
1. Make your traditions
When you don’t go home for Christmas, you can create your traditions and basically do what you want. You are in a lot more control about what happens over the holidays. You can open gifts on Christmas Eve, cook what you want, and celebrate the day or days, however is best for your own family.
2. You can invite people to your home
By staying home, you can invite family to your own home for Christmas. If you like hosting, this could be ideal. You can be the home where everyone goes on Christmas day.
3. Your kids wake up Christmas day in their own house
I love that my kids get to wake up in their own home on Christmas day. They will always remember that. I will too. They can get up as they want, wake us up a little too early, and we can open presents as a family in our pj’s.
4. Spend time with friends
If you have friends that didn’t go home for Christmas too, you can make plans to see them too. You can plan a dessert or even part of Christmas dinner together. If your spouse is deployed, you can get together with other spouses who also have a deployed spouse this holiday season. These other spouses will understand what you are going through this year.
5. Explore the traditions of your duty station
Whether you are stationed in Kentucky, New York, or Germany, explore what is going on in your local community. They could have traditions you don’t have at home. While a warm break from colder weather would be nice, I love that it could snow on Christmas here, even if it rarely does. That wasn’t something that could ever happen growing up, and my inner child gets excited about the possibility of a white Christmas.
If you are stationed overseas during the holidays, you could be in for a big treat. Learn about the different traditions from your host country and take some back with you when you move back to the US. Visit the Christmas markets, go to a Christmas Luau, and enjoy what your current country does for the holidays.
Christmas is a magical time, and just because you can’t go home for Christmas, that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own memories where you are now.
Do you typically go home for the holidays or do you like celebrating right where you are?