This year, I’m having a very difficult time putting together my Christmas wish list and the same goes with my husband. We had the “what do you want for Christmas?” conversation as we were putting together our tree over the Thanksgiving weekend and couldn’t pinpoint anything specific to get one another.
In reality, we both already have what we truly want, especially for this holiday season. I get to see my family and spend it with my husband. I’m the happiest of campers!
That brought me to think about what us, military spouses, actually want for Christmas.
Sometimes, it’s not something that our families can buy for us. Instead, it’s a feeling, desire or something we can’t really grasp with our hands that we want for the holidays. It’s those certain things that military spouses value more than a new gift wrapped under the tree.
Military life presents circumstances that other families don’t get to endure. Despite some of the things that we may not actually get this holiday season, there is always a silver lining to our wishes that we have to remember.
Here is a short list of true desires that I feel like are on military spouses’ minds during the holiday season.
Dear Santa, this Christmas I really want…
…to locate that significant item lost from your last PCS.
We had a winter PCS to northern Virginia that took place in January 2014. My husband was coming back from an overseas assignment and spent some time in Texas before he had to report in early February 2014. When we were settling into our new home, I realized that the very first Christmas present my husband gave me when we were dating was missing. It’s a silver tennis bracelet that I adored.
I pretty much turned our new home inside out without avail. Ironically enough, my mom wrapped up a special present for me for Christmas 2014. She found that bracelet in my old bedroom as she was preparing for my holiday arrival.
Military spouses may not always find that trinket lost, so those memories become what we treasure. I was so happy it was found, but the moment that my husband gave me that gift is what I take with me.
…to spend the holidays with family from far away.
The holiday season brings joy to us and also inflated airline prices for travel! Military families have to pick and chose their battles as far as spending a great deal of time and possible money to see their extended family. Thank you supply and demand.
Despite the monetary challenge that military spouses face for travel, we have wonderful tools that help keep us connected for virtually no money. The Internet is amazing and we can practically see each other no matter where we are located. I was able to “be in the room” when my dad blew out his candles in September for his birthday.
…to have my service member home for the holidays.
Deployment rears its ugly head more times than we’d like, which can take away our loved one from us for Christmas. It stinks when it does. I don’t think I’ve ever met a military spouse that thought otherwise.
My husband was overseas for the 2014 holiday season and I’ll admit I might have complained about it more than once. But, military spouses really do have it nice with technology. When duty calls for our service member, there are ways military spouses can connect with them, similarly to our separated family members.
My father would tell me stories of him having to wait in the USO to use the phones there to call my mom when he was away. Also, he would have to wait for snail mail of Polaroids to keep track of my growth as a child.
Military spouses can use smartphones to email photos to their service member and vise versa. I was lucky to get to see my spouse on Christmas and New Year’s Day, while he was away.