How Do You Manage Spending Important Days Away From Family?

How does your family do holidays?

Do you travel to family during the holidays?

My first holiday “away” as a milspo was a Thanksgiving. My husband worked in training, so it wasn’t a day off, in fact, it was a day of regular scheduled work. Like it wasn’t a holiday at all. For him, it was no big deal. He’d spent holidays deployed, years away from family; he was used to the setup.

But I was heartbroken. Missing out on family traditions was one thing, but we had just PCSd and didn’t know a soul in the town. I sat, at home with the pets, cooking myself Mexican food while watching the Macy’s Parade.

Now, years later, I’m used to the lifestyle. Sometimes we don’t spend holidays with family, and that’s ok. Sure it can be sad, or even lonely at times, but we make up for it by traveling other times throughout the year. Sometimes I even prefer it that way, as we get more time to visit vs. dropping in on everyone when they have plans.

We’ve also created our own traditions. Family fun that might not be ordinary, but they’re fun and memorable to us! Cooking Mexican on Thanksgiving, snacks for dinner on Christmas, plus plenty of outdoor time (impossible in my hometown!)

I think back on the years of family holidays I had and how they were taken for granted. Now, whether we’re “home” or traveling, I’m so much more aware of interacting with others, having real conversations, and making serious efforts to enjoy everyone’s time (and for them to enjoy mine.) Bethaney-MilSpouse

How does your family do holidays?

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