PCSing During The Holidays
CONTRIBUTED BY KANDY
When I was about ten years old, I remember a marathon road trip from Idaho to Georgia. Four days of funky gas station potty breaks, napping at truck stops and playing games with my sister in the car. Having stayed too long visiting relatives on leave en route to our new station, this trip was not a sightseeing tour.
We arrived in Georgia on Christmas day. My parents took us to the Army’s dining facility for a traditional turkey dinner. My pen pal friends who weren’t in a military family couldn’t understand how someone could do that to us. But my parents still found ways of making it feel like the holidays. We were still able to open our presents out of sight from the back seat tucked away in the trunk of the car when we arrived at billeting. There wasn’t a tree but my mother made sure we had stockings, candy canes and Christmas cookies.
But the most important thing to me was when she handed me some stationary and told me to write. (I’m sure it’s not much different from when I hand my oldest a pen and notepad from my purse when he starts asking “Are we there yet?” on our way to the aquarium.) I detailed the trip, from how much I missed the smell of my grandma’s ever flowing coffee, fireplace and hand cream down to the billboards I saw on the trip. Most of all I recall still feeling connected, loved and secure, despite not having a house, all of my things and extended family down the street.
Today I am the military wife. I don’t know if I would hold it together as well as my mother did during the trying times. But using those memories as a guideline, I never feel terribly lost.
Have any of you had to PCS during the holidays, and what did you do to make things special for your family? Please share your tips, tricks and love!