5 Ways To Help A Military Spouse Through The Holiday Season

Keating Bartlett

The holiday season is a wonderful time of year.  But for a military spouse, it can be incredibly challenging as it almost always means they’re spending the holidays away from someone they love.  Sometimes it’s friends or family members and often, it’s their spouse.  Regardless of who it may be, the holidays can be a rough few months. Here are five ways you can help a military spouse during the holiday season.
 
Extend the invite.  I think the most amazing thing I’ve had friends do for me was to extend the invite.  Whether it was inviting me into their home for the holidays or inviting me out for a Girls’ Night or a coffee date.  Whatever it may be, it’s always so appreciated.  I don’t always know when it’s time to get myself out of the house and I admit that I’m horrible at keeping my friendships thriving at all times.  Sometimes I need that extra push.  Inviting me out makes me feel like I have friends and family who truly care. 
 
Check in with them.  Take a moment to reach out and see how they’re feeling or how they’re doing that day.  Ask them if there’s anything you can do.  This can be a phone call, an in-person visit, a text message, or an email.  Whatever is easiest!  Regardless of how you reach out, I promise this will not only brighten their day, it will also make them feel more comfortable coming to you when they have a problem or need someone to talk to.  It’s important to make them feel loved and cared about when they’re going through a tough situation.
 
Help them with something.  Skip the offer and go straight to helping them.  It’s sometimes hard for a military spouse to ask for help and most times, they’ll tell you they don’t need it.  It’s like all military spouses think they’re Superwoman or something.  Take the kids for the night so that they can have some alone time or get some work done without the interruptions.  Help them get the house cleaned up or cook them dinner one night so they don’t have to.  It’s much easier for a military spouse to say “thank you” than it is for them to say “I need help with ____.”
 
Offer a listening ear.  Sometimes all a military spouse needs is someone who is willing to listen.  They aren’t necessarily asking for advice, but in some cases all they need is someone who will listen to their problems, feelings or concerns.  Bring over a bottle of wine and some ice cream and just let her vent.  A little goes a long way.
 
Send them a care package.  Sending and receiving mail can be so much fun.  Send them their favorite chocolates and treats.  Add in some bubble bath or their favorite scents.  The contents of the package will really vary depending on who you’re sending it to, but it’s a great way to show them you care and that you’re thinking of them during this difficult time.  Receiving a thoughtful package can really brighten their day and make them feel loved.
 
There are always ways to help make the holiday season a bit easier for a military spouse whether it’s listening to their problems, sending them a thoughtful gift, or even inviting them into your home to celebrate with your family.  Little things like these can really brighten their day and make it a bit easier for them to get through the season.

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