Monday, August 16, 2010

Planning for the Holidays Military Style

Living so close to family last deployment, it was easy to decide what to do for the holidays.

My mom asked me the other day what I was doing for Thanksgiving.  Ummmm.....not driving to Texas with three kids and a dog by myself when there will probably be snow on the ground.

I told her she was welcome to come here, but that I was not going there.  

The girls only get a couple days off of school, so I'm thinking we will stay here, and at most go somewhere in Colorado for a change of scenery.  There's a big difference in a three hour drive than a 15 hour drive!  The thought of traveling for two days, staying one day and then traveling back two days, makes no sense.

That got me started on thinking about Christmas.  We'll probably do the same thing.  Maybe we will go skiing, or there is plenty to do around our current post, that we haven't done.

So my question to you--how do you handle the holidays while your husband is deployed?  Are you always the one doing the traveling?  Have you ever reached a point where it is just not worth the hassle of leaving your new home? 

I think we will be fine.  Maybe we could start a new tradition?  Let me know how you handle it, or if you have any suggestions on new traditions to start. 

20 comments:

annoyed army wife said...

We've never done holidays while OccDoc was deployed, but we've done plenty of holidays away from home. Since we don't have kids, OccDoc usually voluteers to be on call at work during the holidays so his employees/coworkers can be home with family, so a lot of times we can't leave the area.

This year I was going to host Thanksgiving for our families. OccDoc's sister and my dad have to submit vacation requests in January, which they did, so they can travel out to my house. OccDoc's deployment really threw a wrench in that one! LOL! I'll probably hang out with friends this Thanksgiving around our current house, and maybe I'll head to my parents' house for Christmas.

One thing is for sure - OccDoc and I are ALWAYS the ones traveling and it really gets on my nerves. Why are we the only ones who have to shell out hundreds of dollars because our families want to see us? Planes fly both ways, and cars drive both ways, people. Our friends and family always whine about not seeing us, yet only a handful have ever come out to see us.

USNchic said...

My hubs deployed at the beginning of December last year, so my parents and my Grandma paid to fly myself and the kids to Wisconsin for the holidays. Definitely one of the best Christmas gifts ever!

This Christmas will be our first without visiting either of our families since it's the first time we don't live near either one of them.

lola said...

Hrmm.. I went home for Thanksgiving last year. He came back just in time for Christmas though and we traveled home again as well.

This year [with him home] we've been debating about whether to have everyone here for Thanksgiving because we'll be with his sister around Christmas for the birth of her 2nd little boy!

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

Well we're actually facing our first deployment right now. He'll be missing our anniversary (again), and then Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don't have kids so I'm going back home and I'm doing Turkey Day with his family ( I will have to drive 11 hours to UT) and then Christmas with my family.

Amber*Renee said...

We should be having R and R around Thanksgiving. So we have planned (as much as we can with knowing those dates might change) to go to his cousins 7 hours away for that holiday.

As for Christmas I am so not sure what I want to do. Its even harder for me to leave since I have to board my dogs (or take them with me) and get someone else to watch the other 20 animals we have. I know I am going to make so many people mad if we dont go back to see family but I am tired of the one always having to travel.

I wish it was more of a two way street.

We will be making a trip back once the hubby comes home and has his leave from that.

Jessica @ {Mis}Adventures of an Army Wife said...

C and I usually just travel during the holidays. It probably sounds sacrilegious to spend Christmas in Vegas or Thanksgiving at Whistler (skiing), but it is always a blast!

When he was deployed, I actually spent the holidays at home by myself, and it was glorious! But, I like being by myself, and we don't have children that have to be entertained. =)

We choose not to spent holidays with family because they stress us out. If we're gonna pay money or spend time traveling, we are going to go/do something fun! But that's just us.

Anonymous said...

This Christmas we will be four hours away from both our families so I am hoping to have everyone at our house during the holidays

Anonymous said...

I like Jessica's response!
I hope to work Thanksgiving unless my family can actually get their act together to make plans instead of just saying "You need to come see us sometime".. and by the time they make plans none of us can get that time off of work.
My husband should be able to come home for Christmas- since this is the only time I do not have class...

Does anyone have any horror stories of their husband not being able to take RnR while they were off from school?

Candace @ArmyWivesLives said...

I remember a Thanksgiving in a hotel restaurant when DH was at OCS!

I think that hosting a Thanksgiving for anyone who is around, your military family, is lovely...or just trying something new, as you said.

I don't know how to explain it but somehow a big trip, especially with kids, without DH, during a deployment, for a family holiday...just doesn't sound appealing. I think his absence would take too much out of the holiday. I think I'd prefer to go on a new adventure and tell him all about it.

Amie said...

Regardless if hubby is deployed or not, we never travel on holidays. That's been our rule since we first got married. Especially over Christmas, we feel it's not fair to the kids to have to wake up somewhere and travel and not be home to open presents. Plus as most know, if you go to visit one person then everyone wants you to come visit them.

So our families know that we don't and won't travel over the holidays.

Just Another MilSpouse said...

We always made the trip back for holidays. Even years that we said "no, we can't do that again with three kids" we would wind up packing up at the last minute and heading up there. Even during deployments.

It's just too sad to not be around family at Christmas. Thanksgiving is another story. If DH isn't home than we really don't do much.

Now that we moved back home the question is always who's house to celebrate in. Last year I insisted on hosting. It was just easier. I am the only one with kids. Plus I've never been able to host because I was always the one that lived out of state.

This year will be different with DH gone. I honestly don't know what we will end up doing. I don't know if I want to put all the effort into hosting a holiday if DH isn't here to enjoy it.

We'll see, I have time.

Smiles said...

Traditionally my family would spend Thanksgiving with the in-laws and Christmas with the out-laws and then switch the next year to Thanksgiving with the out-laws and Christmas with the in-laws. Everyone met at Grandma's house when it was the in-laws turn and it worked well that we'd all be together at least once a year. Since marrying into the military, it doesn't work as well. We managed to spend one holiday with my relatives and one with his but the next year he'd deploy and miss both while I'd spend both with my family. He'll be home this year so our plan is to swap the order from 2 years ago but it is hard. I feel bad taking him away from his family but my relatives want a chance to get to know him better too. Feels like his family gets short changed in all this only seeing him every third Thanksgiving or Christmas but such is life in the military. Everyone else lives in the same vicinity so Grandma's is a central location. I'm the only one that lives out of town so it is always my responsibility to travel to them. As a kid, after my Dad's relatives died and we no longer had out-laws to visit, we'd plan a trip instead, spending Thanksgiving in Hawaii or Christmas at DisneyWorld.

Amber said...

We've only had one major holiday while he was away, last Christmas and I was 35ish weeks pregnant so my sister and her husband won plane tickets to come see me but if they didn't win I was going to stay home and watch Sex and the City all day :)

Mallory said...

I drove home while Mac was gone. I did the 19 hour drive straight through with 2 dogs. We don't have kids so everyone expects me/us to come to them because "it's just easier." I am really to the point that it pisses me off every time I go home because no one comes to see us. Mac's Dad was in TX last year for a hunting trip. He was less than 2 hours from us and it was the week of Thanksgiving and he didn't come to our house. It really rubbed me the wrong way.

This past Christmas was the first time I wasn't at home. We decided to have our own Christmas and then drove home over the 4 day weekend for New Year's Day. It is easier to say we can't come home when he is here because we can say he has to work, which he sort of does. Mac was acting commander for the week of Christmas last year since everyone else wanted to take leave. We were perfectly content having christmas with just the 2 of us in our own home. We will probably do that again this year. But next, when he is gone again, I will be forced to drive home because I won't have a good enough excuse not to.

McMGrad89 said...

I stopped traveling to my husband's family because, in the 12 years we have lived here, only his aunt and grandmother have visited us once (7 hours away) and his dad visited NEVER (2 hours away.) My mom and aunt live here so we just do everything at my aunt' house because she likes to cook and I have a messy house.

Courtney said...

This will be our first Christmas away from any family, and with out the hubby. So my inlaws are coming in early december for a visit. But for Christmas I booked a room at Great Wolf Lodge. THe kids have never been (only 30 min's away). I figured doing something really different and off the wall would help take our minds off the fact that Dad was gone and we were alone. We'll see how that goes!

The Mrs. said...

I've done holidays alone, with family but solo, together but without other family, and traveling together to family. The later had to be the most stressful. By far. When we spend holidays at home together {and even apart} we have the tradition of staying in jammies and eating little pigs in a blanket for lunch and the big holiday dinner later. in jammies. a big hit with all the boys, big and little.

Your always welcome in my neck of the woods : )

The Mrs. said...

I've done holidays alone, with family but solo, together but without other family, and traveling together to family. The later had to be the most stressful. By far. When we spend holidays at home together {and even apart} we have the tradition of staying in jammies and eating little pigs in a blanket for lunch and the big holiday dinner later. in jammies. a big hit with all the boys, big and little.

Your always welcome in my neck of the woods : )

The Mrs. said...

I've done holidays alone, with family but solo, together but without other family, and traveling together to family. The later had to be the most stressful. By far. When we spend holidays at home together {and even apart} we have the tradition of staying in jammies and eating little pigs in a blanket for lunch and the big holiday dinner later. in jammies. a big hit with all the boys, big and little.

Your always welcome in my neck of the woods : )

TheStrengthBehindtheStrong.com said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile, but it's my first time commenting. Traveling during the holidays was easier logistically for me during my husband's two deployments because I didn't have kids traveling with me. Still, I found that while sometimes it's great to be with family, sometimes I just didn't want to have to go through big family celebrations, which just reminded me even more that my husband was gone.

I remember one Thanksgiving I decided at the last minute to stay up at Fort Drum by myself -- and honestly, sitting on the couch all day watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and movies was the best therapy!