When you are a military family there are often times when you don’t get to celebrate the holiday, anniversary, or life occasion on the day it should actually take place. Deployments, shift work and other military responsibilities sometimes leave life in flux.
One thing I have learned from being in the military is that often times the military member has little or no say on where they go or where they will be and what event they will miss. It doesn’t take being in the military very long before you realize life could change quickly. And planning for travel during the holidays is no exception. And sometimes you make the choice to have yourself or your family come to visit a week late or off-peak season. Life just sometimes gets in the way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate.
So you have two options:
Be Bitter or Celebrate
You can be mad about the fact that you miss out on a holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, and sulk or you can celebrate a day, week, or month late. If you are celebrating with the people you love, does anything else really matter?
While we were living in Ohio we made the choice to fly home for Thanksgiving a few years, instead of for Christmas. It was fun to be with family during Thanksgiving and many of the holiday season events started to take place. But a few weeks later on Christmas Day, I often wished we were back in California to celebrate. One way my family celebrated together was through the use of Skype. We would wait to open gifts until they were ready to open gifts. Then we would watch each other open the gifts we bought.
Is it as good as being there for the real thing?
No, but it was a good alternative.
Make the most of the time together
We learned to make the most of the time we were able to spend together as a family. We also try to find the best work-around when traveling became too expensive. Personally, I love being at my own home for Christmas. It is really fun to be with family, but it so relaxing to spend the weeks around Christmas at home. We are making an effort to spend time with family for the time we have left in California because when we move away we know that it won’t be as easy to come home.
What tips or tricks do you have for celebrating either on different days or being together when apart?