As a military spouse, I have spent many holidays without my husband and celebrated without family nearby so it’s no surprise I often struggle to muster up holiday cheer. Spending any significant day without your significant other is tough, you have no partner to help wrap gifts, no late-night Santa drops or a shared nightcap in the glow of Christmas lights. Add children to the mix and missing mom or dad intensifies these feelings of sadness. What do you say to a child whose only Christmas wish is to have their parent home? Several years ago, my husband was due to deploy the week before Christmas, so we celebrated early complete with Christmas dinner and a visit from Santa. The holidays aren’t about a specific date, after all, some scholars believe Jesus was born in March, so don't get caught up in the actual date, celebrate whenever you can.
This is a great idea for those with little ones who are celebrating on a day other than December 25th https://www.wearethemighty.com/military-culture/letter-santa-military-first-responder?rebelltitem=2#rebelltitem2
“Family is a blessing. – Just keep saying that when you are irritated by something a family member says.” Marcelina Hardy
Holiday fatigue is real! The holidays begin earlier and earlier every year (holiday wears lined the shelves in August this year) by the time the actual holiday gets here we are all exhausted. I found myself panicking the day after Thanksgiving, the gifts, the wrapping, the tree trimming must be done now! I felt like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, “I’m late! I’m late!” It wasn’t until the following Monday I realized December hadn’t arrived yet. Holidays should be fun and relaxing, a time to reflect on the past year, and to enjoy time with family and friends, it shouldn’t be emotionally draining.
Financial stress is the leading cause of the blues. The pressure of purchasing the perfect gift, having the best-decorated home or fanciest holiday dinner wreaks havoc on a budget which is quickly compounded if you find yourself unemployed during the holidays. The day to day struggle to stay afloat mixed with job searching equals burnout and frustration. Most businesses are closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which gives you a great excuse to take a break from your search, use this time to reset and refresh. After the holidays restart your job search with CASY and MSCCN we can help fight job search fatigue.
Going into debt to prove your love is crazy! Love is not bought or sold but is one of the few things in life that is free!
- Get out of the house! Go see a Christmas light display, visit a local attraction or museum, get outdoors. This will reduce the stir-crazy feeling which often leads to an awkward conversation with family members.
- Don’t believe the hype! The picture-perfect moments on social media are staged! Don’t compare your unfiltered holidays to those you see online. No holiday is perfect, it’s the imperfection that makes holidays magical.
- Make memories not debt! Memories and debt can last a lifetime, one is cherished the other is dreaded, know the difference.
- Take a break! Relax, refresh and recharge, this will allow you to take on the New Year with a renewed spirit.
If you feel like you are experiencing a bit more than the “Holiday Blues” talk to someone about it. These resources can help:
National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255
Mental Health-VA https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/
Military OneSource https://www.militaryonesource.mil/web/mos/confidential-help
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from CASY & MSCCN!
Written by: Amanda Marksmeier