Tales From a Holiday Apart

I cannot BELIEVE this. This is NOT how it’s supposed to be on CHRISTMAS!

For the first time ever (and hopefully the last time), our family will be incomplete on the BEST holiday of the year.

We’re adults right? We know what’s coming. So we try to mentally prepare ourselves and our kids for the hole that won’t be filled by our spouses’ presence while we’re opening presents. What I wasn’t prepared for was the FLOOD of Hallmark holiday movies of people falling in love and the dramatic family reunions! Yea… any other time they are super cute, now they are just kinda annoying.

Now I feel JIPPED (that’s slang for shorted), and to be quite honest, it doesn’t feel much like Christmas this time around. It’s much more like… winter. Just some cold days leading to the end of the year, because guess what? This family isn’t counting down to the 25th of December. Our countdown is for when Daddy gets home. That date trumps the rest right now.

Maybe you’re reading this and waiting to get to the part where I offer some advice for how to deal with your incomplete Christmas. Well, it’s our first time doing this. I’ve chosen to fill up the holiday season with keeping myself and the kids busy. I’m allowing Christmas to be the distraction. Trips to see holiday lights, baking cookies, watching holiday specials, and talking about the season. But, at the end of the day, they still ask daddy when is he coming home.

Here are some creative and loving ideas that some military spouses have done to keep the joy in the season.


Some families who don’t see their loved until within the first couple months of the New Year leave up all their holiday decorations. The kids even agreed to leave a couple of their gifts unopened so that their other parent could be there for the moment and share in it.


One family not only took photos, but printed out a Merry Christmas banner. It was split down the middle so they sent one half to their banner to dad. When they both held it up, it looked like everyone was together. Super cute!


Make homemade gifts with the kids. Include cards and some of your spouses’ favorite things.


Pick a weekend BEFORE your spouse leaves and make that your holiday. I thought this was a really cute idea. And why not go all out? Decorate too if that gets you more into the Christmas spirit. One spouse did a holiday smash up where they celebrated ALL the holidays that they would miss while their spouse was gone.

These are just a few ways to try and have a Christmas that keeps the holiday spirit alive.

What are some creative things that you’ve done or would suggest?

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