Skip to main content

A Military Christmas


A Military Christmas Story
By CH (CPT) John L. Craven
“Nighthawk Shepherd”

The typical family is pulling out Christmas decorations just as soon as the turkey leftovers are being put up from Thanksgiving. The calendar is filled with rituals and routines that could be decades old. The route from Grandma’s house to the downtown lighting of the town Christmas Tree is streamlined to the minute, in hopes to optimize Daddy’s time to watch every Bowl game in High Definition.
Please note: That is typical. BUT….for everyone who wears the uniform or has a family member who does…the TYPICALLY ain’t TOO TYPICAL. This year my wife and I took the Christmas tree box out November 12th. We made the ever evolving schedule to visit our families 1700 miles away. We filled out two sets of LEAVE FORMS as we tried to buy the cheapest tickets home. We have reserved the Kennel for our dog, …which makes us all sad to leave behind. Not to mention, the opening of presents??? Do you open them before the trip or after??
The military family has challenges that most families will never see. These sacrifices are rarely mentioned at Veteran’s Day events or other honoring events. Yet,…How does your family make these otherwise CRAZY events enjoyable for your family? How do you turn these chaotic travels into a good memory? The key is CREATIVITY and RELATIONSHIP.
Some Ideas:
1.       On your Christmas Tree Box, sign and date the location of this Christmas. (i.e. Baumholder Germany 2010, …etc.) This looks pretty cool when your kids write it too!!
2.       Pick a day during the Holidays and make it a family-centric event. Go see the lights at BLORA. Bring some Hot Chocolate or Coffee.
3.       Buy Ornaments from that DUTY STATION or LOCATION, don’t forget to date them.
4.       Take Holiday pictures, take tons of them. Make a digital book online for that year.
5.       Have a Holiday Party at your house. Be a host, and invite your closer friends over for a grill out and maybe present exchange. Some of your work buddies might really like to see you with the ACU’s.
6.       Adopted a single soldier and make sure they have a ‘family’ here. Buy them a Itunes card. (Never a bad deal)
When it all is said and done, we must make these years enjoyable. Don’t wait till 10-15 years down the road to start making memories …START NOW.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Saying, "I am Sorry." Is Not Enough.

The blood pressure is finally normalizing. Your hands regain heat and your nose is no longer cold. The rush of adenaline has now causing you think a little more rational and you are gaining composure. Words have been said. Doors possibly have been slammed shut. Long rides to the gas station have ended with garage door being shut and both parties are finally breathing normally. THE FIGHT IS OVER.
No matter which side of the argument you are on. This is not the best moment for any marriage or friendship. But what is vital ....what is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL...is not to respond in a minimizing of the situation. What does that look like you might ask?
Resist Statements like: 1. "Sweetheart, I am sorry. But..." 2. "Sweetheart, I am sorry."
3. "It has been a rough week, and I am sorry."
4. "You just made me angry,...I am sorry."
5. "Its ok baby. Let's just don't worry about it."

These statements sound very good on the surface, but can gloss o…

Your Sermon Tanked. Now what?

You finished, and you know it. Your sermon sucked. Whether you bored them to tears, talked way too long about a point that was not important, or you failed to prepare. Whatever the reason, what do you do now?
Repent. I am serious. Recognize you were called to lead sheep, not confuse them. If you made a couple of poor decisions that ended with this result, then take the time first to ask God to forgive you. Then resolve in your heart to address issue and safeguard from it happening again.
Resist self-deprecating. “So, I know that wasn’t my best,…but what did you think?”; “Had a rough time preparing this one.” This a polite way of keeping people from truthfully critiquing your sermon. You will get a pat on the back, but keep using these excuses and your sheep will lose trust in you. However, you can find a reliable straight-shooting friend, who can give you honest feedback. They can also keep you accountable against ‘dud’ Sundays.
Revisit your call. Be encouraged, if you have preached an…

Monday Musings: Being Affectionate During Church

Monday Musings are a simple break from the norms of this blog to address or arm-chair quarterback an issue.


Being Affectionate During Church


As a child I remember my dad sitting pretty close to my mom throughout the service. She would even lean in on him periodically during the sermon and share a Bible. They would even hold hands walking into the sanctuary. This wasn't every Sunday, but I do many remember many young couples would comment that they wanted to be like my parents when they got older as a couple.


So, I have found myself doing the 'yawning-technique' many times to draw Jessica a touch closer during the exposition of God's Word. I often get her hair caught in my arm, and I have to do delicate dance to make sure I don't turn a move of affection into a move torture. However, I grab her hand at times and she rubs my back when I lean forward in the pew to listen. I do not think I am being distracting or feel that I am over doing it either. I love my wife. I l…