Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

Holiday Traditions

101836246Perhaps you and your family have been moved around a lot the last couple years. Maybe this year, being no exception, you are spending the holidays in a new house or new location. It can be tough, even for the seasoned military spouse, to carry on with the holiday hustle, bustle, and spirit, without extended family around. It can be even tougher if a spouse is deployed or has been lost in battle. There’s still time, though, to make new holiday traditions. Start a new tradition tonight, or if you are inspired, start making your own list for next year’s holiday fun! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Bring the lights inside. It’s tough to hang lights or put up decorations outside if you live in an apartment or can’t leave your child unattended. Instead, bring a few strings of lights inside and light up a doorway, etc. Kids especially love having Christmas lights as a night-light.
  • Can’t afford the fancy lawn decorations? Decorate your child’s wheelchair or adaptive equipment instead. Grab some garland and tape and you’ve got festivity that goes with you everywhere!
  • Not feeling like decorating? Ask another military spouse to help you trim your tree, or offer to trade houses. Set your box of decorations in the middle of the room, and swap houses. It’ll be a neat surprise to see how your friend has put out your decorations!
  • For Christmas dinner, set a place setting for that missing family member or for a last minute guest.
  • Invite someone new to join you for Christmas dinner.
  • Don’t cook Christmas dinner if you aren’t in the mood. Call ahead and see if any local restaurants are doing dinner and bundle up the kiddos and enjoy eating out!
  • Do an ornament swap with another military family.
  • Open presents on Christmas Eve and go see a movie on Christmas day.
  • Do Santa pictures or put the kids in front of the tree, etc. in “uniforms.”
  • Have a tree trimming party with plastic ornaments. Invite a few other special needs military families over and watch the kids have a blast hanging ornaments.
  • Take a short drive on Christmas Eve with the kids to see if they can spot Santa yet.
  • Mom and Dad get to pick the holiday movie on Christmas Eve- maybe it could be a favorite childhood movie?
  • Prepare a special breakfast on Christmas Eve to have for Christmas morning. Cinnamon rolls, quiche, or crock pot oatmeal are a few ideas.
  • Take a lot of pictures of all holiday happenings- cookie-baking, gift wrapping, driving around to look at lights, etc. and make a photo book of it all for the spouse who is deployed.

Do you have a special holiday tradition you would like to share?


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