Holidays Parenting

What Military Life *Honestly* Looks Like at Christmas Time

cover pc: Julie Pease

Featured on the December cover of Military Spouse Magazine is a beautifully idyllic scene taken by an incredible photographer, Morgan Slade. She captured the quintessential Christmas picture: Lights aglow, children and friends arm-in-arm, sharing the magic of Christmas with each other while deployed dads spent time in Afghanistan.

Take a quick look.


It’s beautiful, right?

This photo says it all– Happiness. Solidarity. Magic.

Ooh, unfortunately, this is where I crush those visions of sugarplums into powdered sugar, my friends…

That’s not exactly how it happened. Trust me. I was there. It’s my house. Half of those kids are mine (ahem, the ones with the unbrushed hair) and are probably unbathed and, as I recall, covered in frosting.

It took us around four thousand bribes of “Don’t move, and I’ll buy you ice cream and a pony and a new bike and a palace in Arendelle” and cries of “Don’t-let-the-baby-go-until-we-get-this-shot-you-hold-onto-her-tight-you-hear-me-this-is-MAGICAL-insert-swear-word-here.” And I’m pretty sure we turned off the lights so our posterity couldn’t see that my floor hadn’t been vacuumed in approximately 6 years.

But, you see, that is Christmas-for-realz in my military world. A whole bunch of love smashed (probably literally) into an equal measurement of chaos and basic survival techniques. Maybe add a smattering of “Silent Night” (probably not literally) and maybe a bit of that baby Jesus if we’re lucky.

But it’s relatable. (Right? Right?) And we all need a little bit more relatable in our lives, you know?

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