It’s the holiday season, and I’m often asked this question, “Are you going home for the holidays?” Once I answer with a no, I receive a follow-up question….”What Can I Do For Your Family During This Holiday Season?”
I won’t lie, during my earlier years, I used to give a blank stare and wonder why someone felt the need to do anything for my family. Did we look needy or something? Then it dawned on me. These co-workers, neighbors, and friends knew we were away from family and at times I was alone (hubby deployed). It wasn’t that they needed to give me anything, but they wanted to show love. So, what can YOU do for a military family or a single active duty member? Adopt A Military Family For Christmas!
That’s right. You see, many times people invite military families to dinner for other holidays, but they forget about Christmas. Yeah, yeah, I get it. I don’t want you at my house at 6:00 a.m. to open gifts either. BUT you DON’T have to host for the morning festivities. And if you’re a family that opens gifts after dinner, just toss a small gift card under the tree for them. Honestly, most won’t expect a THANG. Just the joy of not being alone is enough.
You know I’m full of stories, so let me tell you about the year my family participated in Adopt A Military Family For Christmas. Hmmmm….I don’t have one. You see, I’ve failed at this myself. My family has been adopted for Thanksgiving, and we’ve even adopted single, geo bachelors and families for Thanksgiving, but never for Christmas. So, this post is just as much for myself as it is for anyone else wondering what they can do for a military family this holiday season.
Let’s dive in. Let me tell you how to get that new military family that just moved into your neighborhood, the spouse who is alone because their active duty spouse just deployed, maybe that single military member you chat with at church or just ACTIVE DUTY in general to your home for Christmas.
- Tell them you want to ADOPT A MILITARY FAMILY FOR CHRISTMAS – simple, right. Just open your mouth.
- Give them a written invitation.
- Invite them to come empty-handed. Yeah, you read that right. If you are inviting a single military member or it’s a new family in the area stress to them to just show up.
Think about having a child thousands of miles away from home. You want them to have a home-cooked meal and be surrounded by joy on Christmas Day, right? Keep that in mind as you chat with your new found military friend.
If you are an active duty family yourself, you understand the struggles of being away from home. Maybe there’s a new family on your street or perhaps a new friend you’ve met. Offer to share the cooking duties and gather at home to celebrate this day with established friends. If they are new to your community, insist they show up empty-handed. You already know how it is unpacking household goods.
Of course, when you bring other people into your home for special holidays you may feel your traditions will not happen. BUT hey, it’s your house. You still practice your traditions.
You are now opening your home, your heart and giving the best gift ever on Christ’s birthday. That is sharing kindness, joy, and love.
Are you wondering if I need adopting this Christmas? The answer is no. DadJonz will be home this Christmas. He did miss our eldest child’s first Christmas, and I was so worried about it. I didn’t want him to miss out on all of the baby’s 1st Christmas…hmmmm….she was five months and had no clue what was going on. Lol But, I also didn’t want him to be alone or worried about us.
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I ended up flying to California to spend time with family. I packed him a small box of Christmas goodies for underway. He’s a simple guy and didn’t and still doesn’t require much. Don’t laugh, but I packed him a few Slim Jims, tennis balls (from the dogs. at that time Buster and Pierre), a book to remember his beautiful wife and other random gifts. A few things to keep him smiling and laughing was the goal.
We’ve been blessed to have DadJonz home with us for Christmas. We’ve cut it close for sure, but other than that one Christmas mentioned above, we’ve been together.
We love turning the music up to decorate, laugh, and talk. Christmas Eve is spent reading The Christmas Story about the birth of Baby Jesus (we read directly from the Bible now, but the link is excellent for young kids), staying up arguing about the instructions of putting toys together and wondering why we have so many screws left once the toys are put together. According to DadJonz, the company included extras. Hmmmmmm….. that’s been his story for years now. hahaha
And of course, Christmas morning is spent unwrapping gifts, cooking, eating, talking to parents, family, and friends. Once lights are out for the night, we talk about the joy on everyone’s face.
In closing, I encourage you to Adopt A Military Family to put a smile on your face and warm a heart. Open your home and heart to that new family, to that spouse that will be alone because they don’t have a choice. They need it. I promise!