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As a police wife, you get used to doing things on your own.

You go to family parties alone.  You go to church alone.  You parent alone.  It becomes your normal.

But one thing that’s really hard to get used to?  Holidays alone.

I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I love Christmas.  From the moment Black Friday comes around, I’m ready for Christmas everything to come around.  I love everything about it

I want to drink hot chocolate, watch A Christmas Story, snuggle on the couch, drive around looking at Christmas lights, go to Christmas parties, enjoy nearby events like Zoolights, the whole nine yards.

However, none of those things are very fun by yourself.

When Christmas comes around and he’s off with his “other wife”, that’s when his demanding schedule really gets me down.  Those missed events, those changes in plan, they’re all just a little more painful.  The holidays just aren’t meant to be spent alone.

But even if the holidays aren’t exactly what you’d prefer, there are still plenty of ways to truly enjoy the holidays.

3 Ways To Have a Merry Christmas Without Your Husband

Start new traditions.

If your lifestyle right now doesn’t suit the traditions you or your spouse grew up with, why not make some new ones?

For instance, you might consider celebrating Christmas a day or two early or late if your husband has to work on the 25th.  It might be a little out there, and certainly won’t work for everyone, but depending on your situation, it could be a great way to get the full “Christmas day experience” within your abilities.

One hidden benefit of celebrating late is that you can take advantage of post-Christmas sales, which could save you a lot of money on the things you would have bought anyway.

This might be more difficult with kids who are expecting Santa to arrive Christmas morning, but with a little creativity, you could still make this work.  It’s amazing what a nice note from Santa Claus can do: after all, he can explain how the elves have to take a little more time with their gifts to make sure they’re in tip-top shape, and to make up for the delay, he’ll be sure to add more candy to their stocking.

If you can’t be together during the “official” holiday celebration times, that’s no need to give up altogether – with a little flexibility, you can have the quiet family Christmas at home… Even if it’s a few days early/late.

 

Share the day with them as much as possible.

If celebrating Christmas on December 25th is important to you (or important to your extended family, as the case may be), that’s fine, too!  You’ll just have to find ways to share the day with your spouse as much as possible.

Some ideas:

  • Send pictures/videos of the kids throughout the day. (try the Marco Polo app for this – it’s life-changing.)
  • When he goes off to work in the morning, give him one of his gifts to open.  Even if that’s 4 AM.
  • Husband working late?  Let your kids stay up late and do something Christmasy as a family – even if it’s just talking for 10 minutes about the day.
  • Instead of just putting a plate for them in the microwave to eat when they get home, set out a place setting for them so it feels a little more special.
  • Send them off to work in the morning with something holiday-themed, like peppermint hot chocolate in a thermos (or if they’re anything like my husband, a half-gallon of eggnog :))
  • Pack them some cookies/treats to enjoy during their shift – it’ll take the sting out of some of the crappier calls.

And on the days leading up to the big celebration, make sure you have fun together doing things like watching holiday movies, wrapping presents, or going out for a drive to look at Christmas lights.

Even if you only spend 10 minutes doing something special together, it’s still a great way for you to connect.

 

Make the most of the days you have.

Try to accept the situation as it is and choose to love every minute of it – even if it’s not everything you wanted.

There’s nothing worse than ruining a perfectly good day by complaining that it isn’t the “perfect” day.

Instead of pining for the things you can’t have, be grateful for the things you do have.

After all, you have a husband who’s determined, who’s out working to make a difference in the world.  A husband who does what very few can do well, who’s fulfilling his calling.

It can be hard feeling like you’re coming in second place to that world, but think about how proud you are of him for the sacrifices he’s willing to make.

Avoid complaining about the situation as much as possible, including to your spouse!  That will only make you miserable and make them feel guilty.  Neither of those feelings is very “Christmas spirit”-y. 🙂

If you have a roof over your head, food to eat, and friends and family to love, you have so much to be grateful for.

 

Most of all, remember that what’s really important isn’t one day of the year: it’s all the moments that happen on the other days.  If you focus on those, the days that don’t go as planned will be a lot less painful – and even more enjoyable.


Ugh, this will be my first ever christmas without my husband because he just finished the police academy :( I'm so not looking forward to it, but this helps a lot.