By elaine | December 13, 2013
December is a month when I tend to reflect on things. I look at all I have in my life and wonder if that’s the true definition of Success. I’m pretty lucky, so most of the time it is. In church last week, the minister talked about how we define success for our own lives, and then he took it a step further. He asked if, along with living a successful life, we were also living a significant life! That was something I hadn’t thought of before – the need to have both success and significance in our lives. If your family is together this Holiday season, then December will be a wonderful time of the year! We also know that it can be a challenging time for families who are separated by deployment. This season of celebration is also about connecting with those around you. Whether your family is together or not this Christmas, try doing something significant this season for others – something that helps someone from whom you expect nothing in return. If you do this with your kids, you help teach them what a difference they can make in another’s life.
- Help organize a local toy drive for less fortunate families in your community.
- Volunteer as a family to serve supper at a homeless shelter.
- Throw a party through your FRG for community families needing a bit of cheer.
Connect with other military families who are apart this Christmas and would love assistance as the days get more hectic. The following ideas were inspired by or taken from the book “I’m Already Home…Again”. Military wives offered these suggestions:
Christmas Shopping with young children – “When both parents are around, it’s easy to slip away to shop for the kids. When it’s suddenly a single parent home, it’s hard. I’d like a friend to offer to watch my kids for an afternoon so I can go buy their toys. Here’s the catch – take them to YOUR house. Why? Because then I can sneak the gifts into the house and even wrap them without being bothered.”
Shopping with older kids – Joyce has 2 children, eight and 10 years old. “Traditionally, I would take the kids shopping so they could buy their own gifts with their own money, for my husband. Then he would take them out to shop for me. Now he’s not home. I’d love someone to offer to take the kids to the mall so they can secretly buy their special gifts for me.”
Don’t forget me – The Holidays can get lonely. Others assume that you want to be left alone so you may get fewer social invitations. Actually, people probably don’t know what to say to make it better so they feel awkward. Include the spouse in appropriate events and let each decide how and when they want to be involved.
How about some nice gifts for a family that will be spending the Holidays apart:
Do you have pictures of their family that they might not have?
- Make copies and put them together in a collage, photo album or even a monthly calendar. The funnier the better for this time of year.
- Make pictures into refrigerator magnets.
- Glue photos onto an 11X17 piece of paper in a fun way and decorate it. Then laminate your work of art and give to kids as placemats.
Rubber stamps – Go to a craft shop and make a fun, personalized rubber stamp that has a child’s name on it. He/she can use it to “stamp” every letter written to a deployed parent.
See how easy? Use some of these fun suggestions to get started, and then YOU think of some other creative ways to make the Holidays warmer for someone close to you. By doing this you’ll see that SUCCESS + SIGNIFICANCE = LIFE! Happy Holidays.