For the Military Spouse Going Through a Deployment Over Christmas…
Christmas music on the radio, trees going up, presents being bought and travel arrangements being finalized. December is almost here, Christmas is right around the corner. This is a great time of year, right?
For the military spouse going through a deployment over Christmas, this time of year is one to be gotten through. One to be survived. The rest of the world can be excited but for this military spouse, Christmas is not going to be Christmas this year.
Her husband, the father of her children will not be home. He will be in a war zone.
She won’t be wrapping gifts with him and playing Santa together. He won’t be able to sit with her at the Christmas Eve service or watch as their kids open their gifts. He won’t be sitting at the table eating ham and he won’t be able to build snowmen in the backyard on Christmas afternoon.
I have been this spouse and it isn’t fun. Being without your spouse on Christmas can be so very difficult. You are always missing them but there is something about Christmas that brings people together. There are movies made about this. About someone rushing home and making it right before Santa flies by on his sleigh.
For the military spouse going through a deployment, Christmas might just be a regular old day, one in which it feels as if the rest of the world is happy and rejoicing and that they clearly are not.
There are things a military spouse can do to make Christmas a little better during a deployment. They can celebrate early or even late when their spouse will be home. They can videotape the gift opening. They can go home and be with family but that isn’t always an option.
They can plan a meal with a friend which helps them stay busy and allows them to make memories with friends they will always consider family. They can fill their calendars with every holiday activity their community provides. They can remember that next year their spouse will be with them and that someday they will be there for every Christmas.
The military spouse going through a deployment over Christmas can do all of these things to make the season a little better…
But when all the gifts are unwrapped, when the turkey has been eaten and the children are asleep after a fun day, she will shed a tear for the memories her sweet husband didn’t get to share with them that year, for the sadness she knew her kids felt and for the hope that after the holiday season is over, the countdown will speed up and that homecoming will be upon her, the day her husband will be home.
So if you are the military spouse going through a deployment over Christmas, know that you are not alone.
Know that this too will pass. Know that you are stronger than you think. Know that your holiday might look a little different than it did in the past. Know that it is going to be okay. Know that you are being prayed for and that people do think and care about you.
It’s going to be okay military spouse, it really is. You might shed too many tears on Christmas day. You might wonder why your spouse has to be away when other spouses never have to go. You might not want to celebrate the holiday at all.
But whatever you do, however you celebrate, know that it is going to be okay and that although being without your spouse on Christmas is going to be difficult, you will get through this. That as the new year starts you will look ahead and see that homecoming date in your future and know that deployments do end. Your spouse will be back with you and that you will be able to make memories with them again soon.
Missing someone is not about how long it has been since you have seen them or the amount of time since you have talked…it is about that very moment when you are doing something and wishing they were there with you.