Wendy Poling
Frequent Contributor

I'm already day dreaming about Christmas vacation. How about you? Have you planned your holiday leave? Will your spouse be deployed? Will they be coming home for two weeks of R & R (Rest and Relaxation) leave or will they get block leave?


Holiday leave time will be here in just about eleven weeks. It is normally one of the few times we can slow down and enjoy precious time with our spouse.


Here are just a few ideas to help plan your holiday leave:


1. Talk to your spouse about how they envision the leave time. Listen to what they say. Be prepared for the response, "whatever you want is fine". When my husband says this to me it means he is more than likely experiencing a lot of stress and not in a place to think of options.


2. This brings me to, make a list of options. For example:

  • Visit family and friends.
  • Have family, including in-laws, visit us.
  • Take a vacation to someplace new away from household chores and to-do lists. This option might also be the best one if you are living overseas and determine the cost of plane tickets back to the States are not in the budget.
  • Take a cruise to someplace warm and go off the grid (confession: this is a dream of mine)
  • Have a stay-cation. There is something to be said for creating family traditions at home when extended family is one and two thousand miles away!
  • If your spouse is deployed and you are not traveling to be with family, circle your military spouse girlfriends together and plan a holiday celebration complete with everyone's favorite family dish. 

3. Create a budget to make sure you don't over spend. As I mentioned, there are eleven weeks approximately till the week before Christmas. Determining how much you are able to save by tightening your budget will go a long way to planning an enjoyable, relaxing holiday leave time.


4. Be flexible when it comes to your plans. If your spouse has to remain close to home because they have duty, make the most of the time you do have. For some reason the past three years (I believe) my husband had duty every Thanksgiving long weekend. This meant we stayed home and did not travel. This year he will be home for Thanksgiving but gone for Christmas and my birthday. I'm still not sure what I'm doing for Christmas leave, but I do know we will be celebrating Christmas in November complete with a birthday cake for dessert!


No matter how you spend your holidays, choose to make it special. I encourage you to have fun creating new traditions, while still enjoying old ones. Cheers to creating wonderful holiday memories, and the journey along the way!


Questions: What are your ideas to planning holiday leave? Have any advice or experiences you'd like to share?


Please leave me a comment on this post.