Keeping the Holidays Magical from Half a World Away

Service members all over the world received holiday care packages the past two weeks, many of which were as carefully packed as Amber's!

Service members all over the world received holiday care packages the past two weeks, many of which were as carefully packed as Amber’s!

Amber Scism, our VP of Sales and Marketing, wrote this piece for our SargesList readers to share how she is keeping Christmas special for her deployed husband. Thanks so much for sharing, Amber!

Christmas time can be hard for military families, especially those with loved ones deployed. Bryan has been deployed during two holiday seasons of our four year marriage. This one, however, is the first one involving our 9 month old son.
This new member of our family has made this deployment the most difficult for him as he is missing the first crawl, tooth, words, steps, and now first Christmas.
I have sent Bryan care packages each month, with a theme. They include silly things, such as a mummy beanie baby for Halloween, Chapstick from the baby so he can have soft lips for kisses, and a small nerf gun from our dog to keep him safe. Small things I find at the checkout counter with a note explaining each items importance and a picture of our baby boy. Always fitting in a large flat rate box.
Christmas is different though. The small box of sweet nothings just didn’t seem to cut it this year! So I got creative! I wanted to get him a real Christmas gift. Something that would bring a smile to his face! Wondering around Costco, I stumbled upon a remote control car that can go off roading, do flips, and was all around everything a boy could want. Obviously the perfect gift for a man deployed in the military right? This was my inspiration. I built his Christmas package around this fun time.
I also included items that would remind him of his fond memories of Christmas at home, pumpkin brittle, gooey chocolate chip cookies, a stuffed husky (we have two), a picture of our son with Santa, and socks (his stocking stuffer). This box was a bit larger than the flat rate!
He received this package today and despite the many do not open to Christmas labels on it, he opened it. We were able to Skype this evening and he was like a kid on Christmas morning. It was exactly what I was hoping for. A genuine smile, laugh, and twinkle in his eye.
We are lucky in that we will be able to Skype on Christmas Day. So while he is not here in person, he will be able to see our sons first Christmas. I know not all of us have that opportunity, but keep in mind that this time of year is harder on them than us. We have our children, our families, while they have a photo or video. No matter how big or small, do something for your deployed service member that will make them feel included and special this holiday season. Sometimes something as small as a card from a neighbor, a batch of their favorite fudge from their mom, or even their favorite coffee beans (a request I receive often) can make a huge impact.
To our readers who are also coping with a deployed loved one this holiday season, SargesList wishes you our best and you’ll be in our hearts! Woof!
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