Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sailor Deployed During the Holidays: 3 Things You Can do to Make this Christmas Easier

By Nanette
The Sailor's Woman

Parties, pretty lights and presents are the big three of the holiday season, but the main event has got to be family time.  When the weather outside is miserable and the days are their shortest, I just want to gather my family close and hold on.

It's hard to do this when you're missing a key family member because he or she is deployed.  In addition to the extra workload you carry because you're the only parent in the country (this means all shopping and wrapping duties fall on your strong shoulders), you're worried about everyone.

The kids are missing dad and dad is missing them.  You're trying to hold it all together while attempting to create those Martha Stewart level memories we moms all feel obligated to provide.

There's no denying the holidays are tough when you can't all be together, but there are a few things you can do to make the season jollier for everyone.

Embrace technology.  Take pictures of everything festive the kids are up to, including any special Christmas art projects and email them to your loved one overseas.  Video junior's solo in the school concert, dance recital or choir fest and send it off to daddy dearest.  Invite the kids to take part in your Skype sessions and encourage them to email.  If they're too young to type, do it for them.  You know how much you're missing your husband this holiday season.  Imagine how hard it would be if you were away from your kids, too.  Use technology to share as many special moments as you can so you can be together in spirit.

Don't Take On Everything You Usually Do. Remember, you've got more on your plate this year being the only parent. Focus on the holiday traditions that are most meaningful to your family and ditch the rest.  For me, this meant bowing out of the work Christmas cookie exchange.  I enjoy baking, but the thought of making ten dozen cookies and packaging them in pretty boxes for my co-workers filled me with dread.  Even worse was the realization that I'd be bringing home a selection of over a hundred delicious homemade treats.  With my sweet tooth, I'd probably eat most of them washed down with a box of wine in one sitting.

Spoil yourself a little.  I know it's better to give than to receive, but lately all you do is give, give, give.  I have TWO hair appointments over the holidays--one to freshen up my fading highlights mid-December and one on Christmas Eve morning to flat iron my unruly hair so I don't scare Santa if I happen to catch him sneaking down the chimney later that night.  In addition to time sitting in a comfy chair doing nothing but reading old gossip magazines (coloring your hair takes forever!) hair appointments feel luxurious to me.  I'm not suggesting a couple of hair appointments come close to having my sailor around, but they'll be an opportunity for me to step off the hamster wheel that is my life.

Happy holidays and all the best in 2014 to everyone!  Nanette

Comment or discuss on the Facebook Forum: What do you suggest to make holidays without your Sailor easier.

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