Maximizing holiday joy as a military family

Family taking selfie next to Christmas tree
Family taking selfie next to Christmas tree

Maximizing holiday joy as a military family

by Kelly Bojan
Stripes Japan

When the holiday season comes along, do you feel excited, overwhelmed, happy or already tired from thinking of all the things that need to be done? Sometimes the holidays just “happen,” so to speak. We are on autopilot without really thinking about what we’re doing.

How could your holiday experience change if you entered it with more mindfulness? What do you really want from the holidays this year? Maybe it’s creating new traditions or just enjoying time with family and friends instead of feeling frenzied. It is possible to create a magical holiday season that you and your family can enjoy. With a little bit of planning and creativity, the holidays can be more special this year than ever before.

  • Set your intentions. 
    This year, I want to slow down. My intention is to accept things that aren’t perfect, let it go and just enjoy the people surrounding me. Another example could be to make an effort to be truly present – to stop and notice what’s happening around you, pay attention to the small moments and interactions. Look for the things that say “holidays” to you and revel in those feelings.
  • Start a holiday journal. 
    I love to write about what I’m feeling thankful for and reflect on experiences that I’ve had throughout the season. As military families, we sometimes have the unique experience of being stationed in a new place during the holidays, meeting new people and having new experiences. Writing about these moments and how they make you feel (good or bad) is a way to put things in perspective and capture a snapshot of this season of life.
  • Make new traditions. 
    The holidays are all about traditions, whether they’re handed down or you started your own. Making crafts with the kids, baking, big family breakfasts, decorating, sending gifts to deployed soldiers, attending holiday functions on base – there are so many traditions to enjoy! Don’t be afraid to break away from traditions that aren’t working for you and focus on what brings you joy.
  • Be selective. 
    Decide what you want to commit your time to and stick with it. With all the parties, activities and competing priorities, the holidays can be stressful if you try to do it all. Think about what you want, set clear goals and be flexible. Remember to make time to relax along the way!

What are your go-to tips for making your holiday season magical? 

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web