I kept glancing at the clock wondering when our flight would land. Our flight got delayed due to the craziness of the holidays. Time was something that was so precious during this time of year, and I didn’t want to waste it sitting on the plane. However, I accepted that it was our reality, so while I sat on the plane I quickly put together another holiday game plan, to ensure we would get to spend time with our families.
If you are a military family you know that holiday visits home can be hectic and rushed. I remember dreading the holiday season because I knew that it meant that we had limited time to visit both sides of the family. Throughout the years, I’ve developed a few tricks to help us get the most of our visits back home.
How Military Families Can Make The Most of Their Time With Family Visits
Have Everyone Meet a Central Location
If possible have your family and friends meet at once place. By doing this it will take the stress off of you. You won’t spend of most your visit in the car driving from house-to-house. Choose a location that it easy for everyone to get to. You can do it at someone’s home or you can rent out location.
Start Planning In Advance
It’s best to start planning months in advance, that way all scheduling conflicts can be worked out. It also allows time for plan changes. We’ve made the mistake of planning get-togethers late, and it took the enjoyment out of the special occasion. If you are too busy to plan, hand the task off to a family member that is closely connected to everyone.
Do Secret Santa
Secret Santa gift exchanges are perfect for military families. It cuts down on the amount of stuff you have to carry during your travels, you don’t have to buy a lot of gifts, and it saves money! There are plenty of websites where you can enter everyone’s name and it sends their match through email.
Plan One Special Activity
I’m guilty of over planning activities during our visits home. Now, we just plan one fun activity that the whole family can enjoy together.
Some ideas include:
- Baking Cookies
- Going Christmas Caroling
- Watching Your Favorite Holiday Movie Together
- Ice Skating
- Volunteering at a homeless shelter
Take Plenty Of Pictures
I didn’t get to capture our visits back home because we were so busying rushing from place-to-place. By the time we got to our destination I was tired and irritated. I really regret I let that prevent me from taking pictures. It is so fun to look back each year and compare past holiday gatherings.
Keep Your Phone Charged and By Your Side
I know this seems like a no-brainer, but there were plenty of times that my phone died during our holiday visit because I was constantly using it. One time I forgot my charger at the hotel and I had to rush a buy a new one.