Why It's Hard Being Military During the Holidays

Christmas gifts

With Thanksgiving behind us and all the relatives back home in MN, it seems almost dreary and lifeless around the house. I'm not sure whether to look forward to a relative-less Christmas or, as usual pack up the kids and go visit family!

After all, isn't that what we military families do....we visit family!


I thought of this blog back when we first started SpouseBUZZ. It's a major beef of mine - the fact that we are always visiting family - as if the road is somehow longer for the civilian members of the clan or it's cheaper to travel for military people. Perhaps it's that extraordinary paycheck (ha) we receive each month that makes the relatives think we can afford to travel for every holiday. Who knows?

But I was raised military and it seems I remember the same phenomenon - we traveled to family or we didn't see them. I saw very little of my cousins and grandparents growing up. Mostly it was en route to the next place we were being stationed. Sad really, because I love the cousins I've managed to keep in touch with as adults. I wish I'd had more memories of them during my childhood.


But Thanksgiving robbed me of my ability to complain! Out of the blue, Papa Bear's brother and his family decided to join us for the holidays (Well, not really out of the blue. We'd invited them - but who thought they'd accept?)! Then my in-laws decided to come as well! We were joyfully stuffed to the rafters. It was a great holiday and the kids all got along and had a ball. They made some great memories and bonded.


Now I have to face Christmas with no extended family. You see, we went on strike for this holiday season and decided not to travel to either family for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years. I'm looking forward to having a quiet holiday and focusing in on my troops. But, after having such a great Thanksgiving, it's tough not to want to have an equally uplifting Christmas and New Years. 


Truth is - I miss my family (both mine and Papa Bear's). I love them dearly and I know how blessed and fortunate I am to have a close relationship with all of them. I hate missing out on all the big and little celebrations in their lives. My goddaughter will turn 18 after Christmas and I'll miss it. They are such terrific people. I also appreciate that my family live in Texas where it's WARM. It's one of the hardest part of being a military spouse for me - the separation from my 'home of origin'.


I guess it's not about who visits who and how often. I just miss them and I know that we are missing out on so many precious memories and shared moments. So, where ever you are traveling this holiday season - and let's face it, traveling to family is part of military life - enjoy the time with the family and make some warm memories that will tide you over until the next visit!

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