Building Holiday Family Traditions

   The holiday season is a time for joy, togetherness, and cherished family traditions. For military families, these traditions hold particular significance, often celebrated while separated from loved ones serving their country or when living far from extended family. Military families encounter unique challenges but have the opportunity to forge heartwarming holiday traditions that strengthen bonds and create a sense of home and belonging wherever duty calls.

Embrace Flexibility

   One of the first lessons in building holiday traditions for military families is to embrace flexibility. Military life is inherently unpredictable, and duty may call at any time. While it can be challenging to adapt, it’s also an opportunity to make each moment together count. Be open to adjusting your plans.

Care Packages from the Heart

   Sending care packages is a fantastic way to connect with your deployed loved ones during the holiday season. Gather your family to create personalized care packages filled with holiday-themed treats, heartfelt letters, and small gifts. Encourage your children to contribute their creativity – let them draw pictures, write letters, or record videos to include in the package. These packages not only strengthen your connection but also help your loved ones feel closer to home.

Adopt a Service Member

   Many military families know what it’s like to spend the holidays away from loved ones. Consider adopting a fellow service member who may not have family nearby. Invite them to join your holiday celebrations, share a meal, or participate in your family traditions. This act of kindness can create a new sense of family and camaraderie for everyone involved.

Virtual Celebrations

   Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever to connect with loved ones, even when they’re far away. Set up a virtual holiday gathering, allowing your deployed loved one to join in on the festivities via video call. You can share a meal, exchange gifts, and even play virtual games together, all while creating lasting memories.

Consider Local Traditions

   Each new duty station brings an opportunity to embrace local traditions and incorporate them into your family’s holiday celebrations. Whether it’s participating in a local parade, trying regional dishes, or engaging in unique customs, embracing local traditions can add a touch of excitement and adventure to your holiday season.

Navigating Shared Traditions

   Creating family traditions when you’re far from home and loved ones can be a delicate yet rewarding process. It’s about merging unique customs and ideas, adapting, and letting go of certain traditions that no longer align with your circumstances. Through these conversations, you create a new, unified set of traditions that symbolize your family’s resilience and strengthen your bond, even when far from home.

   Building meaningful holiday traditions for military families involves creativity, adaptability, and a deep appreciation for the time spent together, even during deployments. Whether you’re creating care packages, adopting a fellow service member, decorating your home, or embracing local traditions, the key is to focus on love, togetherness, and the resilience that defines military families. This holiday season, celebrate your unique family traditions with pride and gratitude for the sacrifices and love that bind you together.



MilHousing Network

Making PCSing better through support and guidance. Providing military-focused real estate agents to support military families around the nation. Our agents put your needs and success first. We’re here to help you find the best home for your family at your next duty station.


About the Author:

Brandy Hall, Nurse Writer, turned a passion for patient teaching into content writing. She teams up with health and wellness providers to improve patient health and relationships. By creating easy-to-understand patient education content, she helps patients understand their health without complex terms and jargon. Now, she explores the world through creativity and adventure as a mom and military spouse.