For many, the winter holiday season is long-awaited and full of decades worth of family traditions and memories. But for many members of the military and their family, the winter months also bring TDY travel and PCS moves, which can interfere with long-standing traditions and the ideal holiday. Here are some tips to make the most of the holidays away from home.
Find a Home Away from Home
Avoid spending the holidays in a cramped and uncomfortable hotel room or BOQ. Military Crashpad is here to help you find a temporary home away from home that is safe and affordable. Additionally, family crash pads are available in some locations, making it possible to bring your family with you this holiday season. In your military crash pad, you will find a fully equipped kitchen so that you can still cook your favorite biscuits and a full-sized stuffed turkey. You’ll have room to stretch out afterward to nap or watch It’s a Wonderful Life. In a military crash pad, you will have the room and comfort to make the holidays what you and your family expect.
Travel with a Tradition
Nostalgia can sneak up on even the most eager traveler when a beloved holiday rolls around. Spending the holidays away from home can be especially difficult for children who spend months of the year awaiting the magic of twinkling lights, Grandma’s cookies, and gift-giving. To help lessen any ensuing sense of homesickness, find a transportable piece of your traditions to take with you on your adventure. Stockings are much easier to pack than a tree. A magic, sparkling key can help Santa get into any house, even without a chimney. And favorite Christmas tales can bring the magic to life just about anywhere.
Try Something New
While the holidays inspire us to keep some things the same, celebrations away from home should also be an opportunity to search out new memories or traditions. Maybe this will be the year you start a Holiday Lights Driving Tour, also helping you to explore your current location. Or, maybe it’ll be the year remembered for the Christmas Day hike. To this day, my favorite Christmas meal was spent in a Lebanese Restaurant in London years ago, when our family realized we were too late to get a reservation for a more traditional meal. A sense of adventure goes a long way in creating a positive mentality, instead of one of loss.
One of the more challenging aspects of celebrating the holidays away from home is how to give and transport gifts. Instead of gifting large presents like bikes and dollhouses, consider a greater emphasis on gifting experiences. This could be tickets to a live show or an amusement park, or class passes for horseback riding or piano. Splurge on a tour of your new location or an outdoor adventure that everyone has always wanted to try. These gifts might be easy to carry and unwrap, but will open up new windows and create long-lasting memories. Alternatively, families might opt to open presents on a different date, when presents can be unwrapped in their final destination.
Explore Local Holiday Festivities
It can be harder to get in the holiday spirit when you are not surrounded by all of your familiar decorations. Tap into the festive mood of others around you by searching out holiday events in your current area. Families staying in a San Antonio crash pad can participate in Sea World’s Christmas Celebration or take part in traditional tamale making. Or, those in Altus, Okla., can take part in the Home for the Holidays winter celebration. No matter where you find yourself this holiday season, lights and merry-making await.
Kick off this holiday season by making some plans on how you will celebrate the holidays away from home. Let us know what you are planning!
Written by: Jessica Harbin