Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas without your Sailor - guest post by Amy Bird

So, just over a week to go until the big day.... Hopefully all your presents are wrapped and you are looking forward to Christmas. If your Sailor is going to be away, you can still be in the festive mood. I know it sucks; it happened to me a few years ago. Shed a few tears and feel a bit sorry for yourself while the knowledge that he will be away for Christmas finds its place in your psyche. But then follow these tips on how to have a happy time:

1. Decorate your home - even if your Sailor won't be there, you still deserve a jolly Christmassy looking abode! Put up the tinsel, assemble the tree, and get out those childhood decorations you made at pre-school. All sound like too much work? Invite your friends/ family round and have a decoration party - bribe them with mulled wine and minced pies if you need to!

2. Decide what you are going to do on Christmas day itself. The obvious option is to go and spend it with friends/ family so you are joining in their Christmas. But you might equally well want to invite them round to yours - being at home can make you feel less bereft as you are around pictures of your Sailor and their belongings even though they themselves are not there.

3. Plan for a special Christmas Day with your Sailor either before or after the day itself. Apart from the religious observance angle, who says you can't celebrate Christmas in January - or even June if need be! Set aside a day to snuggle inside with a big roast dinner and presents. A good tip though: you may not be able to buy a Christmas cake or pudding at a non-seasonal time so stockpile them now!

4. If you still have time, think how you can best be together in spirit on Christmas Day. Will you exchange a token present, with the rest to be given separately? Exchange cards? Emails? A phone call if your Sailor is in signal range? Having some kind of vague plan will give you something to look forward to rather than just a shared disappointment. But of course, as with all these plans, they will be subject to military requirements, so manage your own expectations...

5. If you have kids, focus on lavishing them with a super Christmas. You can all have fun even though your Sailor is away. Whether it's Christmas stockings, making Christmas lunch as a team effort, or settling down together with a movie, you can all still have a fun Christmas.

And as some extra fun, why not check out the Royal Navy on-line advent calendar here: http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/advent-calendar

Wishing you all a happy and restful Christmas and start to 2015 - whether your Sailor is at home or away!

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