Sometimes going home for the holidays feels like more work than would be worth the effort. So it is important to think about the best option for you as a military member when deciding what to do for this holiday season. Especially during a year with COVID where traveling could be restricted by leadership making plans for this Christmas season hard to plan for. Here are some recommendations fo for you to consider this holiday season.
Consider flying Standby
With military life, things are constantly changing, and with a Christmas where airlines are trying to keep everyone safe while trying to appeal to the normally busy travel season. Getting a last-minute ticket or considering the option of flying standby might help you save the headache of making plans and having the military interrupt them as the military often likes to do. As a life-long planner, it is hard to even write these words. But the truth is this Christmas season isn’t like any other and you should try to be flexible because no one knows what is coming.
Invite your family to visit you
The military may prevent you from planning a trip home, but you could invite your family to come to spend time with you. It won’t be the normal Christmas celebration, but maybe what 2020 needs is a new way to celebrate Christmas. Home for the holidays might just mean your current home. Make it a fun celebration by enjoying time with family. If you live in the dorms you can work with your family to rent an Air B&B or a cabin to make new holiday memories. This also gives you the flexibility to prepare for whatever changes the military throws your way.
Friends-thanksgiving is often more popular than Friends-Christmas, but they can be fun either way. My husband and I prefer creating new traditions at home and not traveling home for the holidays now that we have kids. But before kids arrived we would alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas at home. One of my favorite military Christmas was an afternoon celebration with friends. It wasn’t the same as any other year, but it was a fun memory to look back on years later. The truth is this year will likely look different for everyone, especially if the military restricts travel again. The best thing to do is have a plan and at least three other plans if you have to adjust fire.
Use technology to your advantage
Skype, Facetime, or Zoom make it easier to stay connected with family even when you are apart. Although it isn’t the same to be having an ornament exchange when you are not in the same room. Using technology to be able to see the face of someone when they open the gift you have given them or celebrating family traditions together while apart is a special gift. Technology has changed the world we live in and although 2020 has spent a lot of time behind a screen using the good of technology is the best way to move forward.
Home for the Holidays
No matter if you celebrate the holidays with your extended family or your military family take time to remember the blessings from 2020. 2020 was a hard year for so many reasons, but when I reflect back on taking time to slow down and find a new way forward I can see the positives. We can’t change the world we live in, we can only strive to make each day better. So take time to stop and reflect.