It’s always great to be home for Christmas, but if you’re a military student it’s not always possible. While you’ll surely miss your loved ones back home, you can make your Christmas away from home memorable, and maybe even share it with some new friends. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
- Find a Place to Worship Where You Feel at Home. If you have the time, check out some local churches in advance. The best way to do this is to attend a service or two, meet the clergy and some of the members, and see if you feel comfortable. If you do, great, but if you don’t, try another church in the area to see if it’s a better fit for you.
- Decorate Your Room. If your living situation allows it, put up some decorations. Make it bright and festive by hanging lights, garland and anything else you can think of around the door, the windows and along the edges of the room. Add a small tree to make it seem more like home – don’t be afraid to bring in an artificial tree if you can’t have a real one.
- Stay in Touch With Friends and Family. You probably have lots of friends at school, but it’s unlikely that everyone you care about will be close by at Christmas time. Send cards to all of your friends and your family to let them know you’re thinking about them even though you aren’t there. Make a holiday letter to bring everyone up to date on what you’re doing; mention both your education and the military side of things and put in lots of love.
- Give of Yourself. Share some of your time and energy with others who may also be missing friends and family at Christmas. Adopt a family in need and send cards and a gift box, or work locally by visiting the sick or the elderly and doing what you can to brighten their day.
- Organize an Event. Inspire those around you to do something that helps all of you to remember the meaning of Christmas. Caroling is a fun, easy way to spread the spirit of the season, or organize a living nativity, or decorate a senior center and take some time to visit the residents.
It may be hard to spend Christmas away from home, but with a bit of thought you can make the time special not only for yourself, but for others as well.