Holiday Tips, Traditions, and Support for Military Families
Many families get to open their presents together on Christmas. Fireworks explode over many united families in the winter for New Year’s Eve and in the summer for the Fourth of July. But deployed military families have to spend many holidays apart. If you have a deployed family member, you can find ways to connect this year! Holiday tips and traditions for military families are coming your way!
If you’re looking for support for military families, we’ve got you covered. Our holiday tips will help your family survive the time spent apart and still find ways to enjoy and appreciate each other from afar. From military traditions and customs to creative holiday traditions to support groups for military families, you have plenty of options!
Let’s get started with holiday tips to unite your family this year.
Holiday Traditions for Deployed Military
Military Base Decorations
It’s important to know that military deployment doesn’t completely stink during the holidays. Military bases get in the holly jolly mood, too! Many bases will transform the normal red, white, and blue into the appropriate holiday colors for decoration. During Christmas, military bases get into the spirit of the season by hosting decorating contests and handing out prizes.
Christmas Day Run
On Christmas Day, hundreds of service members join each other in a run for fun! The fitness center may even host a holiday-themed 5K or 10K. Military traditions tend to give everyone involved a good, hard workout.
Holiday traditions must always include a feast! Many soldiers get to partake in a giant holiday feast after burning calories during their Christmas morning run. The cooks will go all out during the holiday season, stuffing service member bellies with turkey, ham, delicious sides, and sweet desserts.
Traditional Holiday Festivities
In addition to the feast, service members get to join in on traditional holiday fun. From Christmas movies to games to Grinch costumes to caroling, service members are not short on holiday spirit.
Holiday Tips for Military Families
Stay Connected Virtually
FaceTime is a lifesaver for military families! Schedule a holiday-themed FaceTime date with your deployed loved one this season to make wholesome memories as a family. Check out our specific tips to stay connected with your deployed family member during the holiday season.
Christmas in a Box
Don’t be afraid to send your loved one sweet holiday gifts in the mail. As long as you send them early enough, your military family member can open gifts on Christmas, too. Stuff a stocking full of festive and useful gifts like holiday socks, nostalgic-smelling soaps, and the best non-perishable Christmas snacks! Bonus: Here are some thoughtful gift ideas for military vets.
Recharge With Your Nearby Support System
Even though you’re missing your deployed family member dearly, you still have a life! Your loved one will be back again one day, and until then you deserve to enjoy the life you have at home. Surround yourself with your nearby support system. Your friends and family members who are still around can lift you up and distract you from the tough emotions. Get out of the house! Get involved with your favorite hobbies or with your community.
Extra Support for Military Families
Support Groups for Military Families
Check out this incredible list of military support groups and organizations that help military families cope with the challenges that come with the military lifestyle. These groups support caregivers, female military members, children, families of the fallen, those with PTSD, and more. Many of these organizations are composed of other military families who understand what your family is going through. Some organizations even provide financial assistance, emergency food and home repairs, household items, community events, and baby support.
How You Can Support Military Families
Whether you’re a part of a military family or you’re just a kind community member with a big heart, there are things you can do to help support military families!
- Donate money or supplies to military and first responder organizations and charities. Here’s a great list of options.
- Bake a meal for military families who have a deployed family member. Or bake a meal for a veteran!
- Visit old or wounded veterans in nursing homes and hospitals. Spending quality time with others is important for everyone!
- Volunteer at your local American Legion or VFW organization.
The holidays are a wonderful time to give back! Helping others makes you feel good and makes a huge difference in peoples’ lives.