The deployment when my husband was deployed over the holidays was the hardest deployment for him. In fact, Christmas was not the same even after he returned for several years after spending the holidays in Afghanistan.
But you can do a few things to make Christmas during a deployment a little more like home.
1. Send a Christmas Tree
Depending on how much room he has, you may have to send a small tabletop tree. If he’s in a larger area, you may be able to send a fairly decent size tree. Just make sure you consider shipping costs and the fact that in all likelihood, he won’t be bringing it home with him.
2. He Needs Decorations Too
With a smaller tree, it means fewer decorations and lights to send over to him. The dollar stores can have some cute ornaments that won’t break the bank because as I mentioned above, it will probably be trashed after Christmas.
3. Send Stockings for His Buddies
Not everyone has a family making sure they are taken care of during the holidays. I know this was the case for quite a few single soldiers that served with my husband. So when I sent him a stocking, I also sent one for each of the guys he was staying with. They weren’t filled with expensive gifts but it was enough to let them know someone cared.
4. Send a Christmas Candle
I know, I know…a candle for a guy? Um, have you smelled their clothes and bags after they return from deployment? Trust me, a scented candle is welcomed overseas. Send the scents of Christmas with a candle that smells just like a live tree or like cinnamon.
5. They Need Something To Watch
Send his favorite Christmas movie over (A Christmas Story for us) or if he really just wants to have something different to watch, try Bad Santa.
6. Add Some Snacks
What’s Christmas without some homemade treats? Try a cake in the jar recipe or vacuum seal your cookies. Packaging them with a piece of bread seems to work well too. Be sure to send enough to share.
7. An Unexpected Surprise
If you can get through doing this without your eyes being swollen shut from crying, you’re better than me. Have your kids record one of the Hallmark recordable storybooks for Christmas. Guaranteed to tug at his heart strings, no matter how much of a big, bad soldier he is.
What am I leaving out? What would you add to his Christmas package?