Is your loved one deployed during the holidays? Military spouses share their holiday survival tips with those who care about them. Here are a few things that most military families do to prepare before, during and after the holidays.

Do not let your loved one to worry about where they will live, eat or go for Christmas. They have probably been told everything by their recruiter about being a good citizen and a hard worker. Just because someone is deployed does not mean they are off limits. If you have a phone number and a physical address, include them on the phone and in the Christmas card for a quick way to contact them.

A great way for a deployed serviceman to connect with family is through phone or e-mail. Have a list of relatives ready to receive messages or phone calls at home. The cost of long distance may be prohibitive, so have a list ready so all can stay in touch. Include an emergency contact as well as a family member’s name and address.

Another thing to prepare is a plan for sending cards. Most families send cards during the Christmas season, but if there is a time other than Christmas, consider sending cards instead. Send cards with pictures. This helps the servicemen know what awaits them home. Holiday cards tend to get passed rather quickly. Spend some time thinking about messages and the best time of day to send them.

If a friend or a relative have a family member deployed and they are out of town, send a gift to their home. Some people do not know where the items are being sent to so this can be a great option to use. Make sure that the items are sent before the holiday.

In the case that the person has a temporary holiday home, consider booking it for the entire year. This will allow them to avoid having to come back to the Holiday address on New Year’s Eve or Christmas Day. Many hotels offer special rates if someone is going away for the holidays.

A lot of people like to send cards but many will find that they get a lot of funny mail as well. This can be a good way for them to know how much their friends are really enjoying their life. A few nice personal cards can let them know that they are not forgotten.

Is your loved one deployed and you do not know where they are? Try sending them a surprise card. It can be very fun to do this. If you cannot find your loved one just send them a card with their picture on it and let them know that you are thinking of them.

Do you have a neighbor or business associate that is also overseas? There is no need to break the news to them that their friend is deployed or on vacation. All they need to know is that they will see them again on New Year’s Eve or Christmas Day. The two of them can share a meal together. This will help to keep them emotionally stable while at the same time allowing them some time away from each other.

Do you have a close friend that is currently overseas? Have them send you a short note letting you know that they are thinking of you and wish you a Merry Christmas. There is no need to stress over whether or not they can make it home. They will be safely home by the time the New Year arrives. Just remember to send this kind gesture when they do make it home.

Is your family a unit that is usually on deployment a lot? If so, ask their boss for permission to send your family a holiday message instead of a holiday card. The boss may be able to use this note as a written note that can be read at the workplace. It is always nice to have some family left over during the holidays. Your family will enjoy spending some time together in this time of year.

Are you worried that your loved one will face a lot of stress from not seeing their family for some time? During the holidays is a good time to reconnect. DND (deployed military} members are not asked to return to school or to their families until a month or so after they have returned from deployment. Make sure your family knows this so that they will not be left out of your holiday festivities.

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