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More Tips for Military Families – #167

Family Holidays – Tip #167

Part of a holiday or vacation is when my husband is with us to buy a bunch of groceries we didn’t need but will enjoy, play games with us, inspire us to get on our bikes and all go out for a ride together or just get out of the house and do something that we wouldn’t have done if he wasn’t there.  It is difficult to feel like celebrating or honouring family traditions when we are not all together as a family.  I find it really tough when my husband is on exercises or deployed thorugh long weekends or special holidays.  Even though it is tough, I think it is important that we don’t forget to celebrate and acknowledge special days.  Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all (I did that and it wasn’t fun),  just bring out some of the decorations or try baking one of your family’s favourites.  It will help your family to find some enjoyment in a holiday even when not everyone is there to celebrate.  Your family needs to know that life doesn’t stop happening during an absence or stressful time – as we all know life is full of stress and frustrations and through honouring special occasions or celebrating holidays, even in the absence of others, we are teaching our children, family and/or friends how to be resilient.


* Create a new tradition if the old ones seem like too much or overwhelms you

* Invite friends and family together so that there is a sense of togetherness

* Make a video when everyone is together talking about what they miss about your loved one

* Don’t try doing all of the decorating, baking, cooking, and activities – choose a few things to do that are manageable

* Have everyone complete the sentence, “I wish you were here because…” and then write all of the responses down on a card and send it

* Ask others to bring things so that you are not left with all of the work

* Celebrate at someone else’s house and offer to take turns from year to year

For more information about our tips, resources or books go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org


2 Responses

  1. Good tips! We tend to want to do everything ourselves so it is “perfect” do we not?…I like your last tip…hadn’t thought of that one!

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