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The Deployment Christmas Gift Conundrum

Sending Christmas gifts downrange is a bit of a Catch-22. On the one hand, you want your spouse to know that you are thinking of him lotsandlotsandlots, so you want to buy and mail him a Christmas gift so awesome that he cannot help be wowed! and amazed! and giddy-5-year-old-on-Christmas excited over the awesomeness of that perfect gift.

But then on the other hand, the man (or lady) is in far, far away in Afghanistan, presumably very busy doing something super important that warrants him being gone over the holidays. He doesn’t have time there to appreciate the Perfect Gift. Plus sending him the Perfect Gift over there may not be a good idea anyway. In my personal experience Afghanistan is the perfect place to ship something you would like lost, stolen, broken or returned very, very dirty and full of computer viruses. (Which explains the evil eye my husband received when he said “maybe I should take our family Xbox downrange with me.” Mmmhmm. No.)

And then there is the shipping problem. That flat rate box is not so big. And the stuff he really wants can’t be sent down range anyway. That new grill. Or a slice of his mom’s Huckleberry Pie. Or you in nothing but a strategically placed Christmas bow.

So instead of going big and impressive, you decide to send him something that he actually needs. But then you remember that all the things he actually needs aren’t fun at all. And you really do want “fun.” Plus he likely already has everything he needs either provided by the service or purchased on an as-wanted basis while he is gone.

Conclusion: Unless you have a servicemember who wants something very specific  and very easy, an actual Christmas present may not be in the cards this year – at least while he is still downrange.

Feeling frustrated yet? Me too. So here’s what I’m planning to send this holiday season. Have a better idea? Please, for the love of Moses, share it in the comment section:

Cutsie won’t kill him. I’m going to take Raleigh’s suggestion in this post and attack him with Christmas spirit. He won’t be able to escape the adorable decorations and merry making that is in this box. Plus he’ll also get to candy canes. And I ask you – what can be wrong with that?

Attack of his offspring. I’m going to enlist my 3-year-old in slave labor disguised as “Dave and Mommy Craft Time.” That child is going to decorate ornaments and Christmas spirit fun until the markers run dry. We’ll stuff the box with homemade crafts. He can enjoy them while eating the candy canes.

Something naughty. I’m going to fish something from the long neglected recesses of my lingerie drawer, soak it in my perfume and seal it in a ziplock bag. I’m on the “wife porn might end up in the wrong hands” side of this debate, so this is as close as I can get him to me for now.

Sugar plums literally dancing in front of him. Since temperatures in the ‘Stan aren’t quite what they are other times of the year, it’s safe to send some carefully sealed perishables. While his mom’s pie may not be possible, I’m going to try vacuum sealing a selection of his favorite Christmas cookies. He’ll enjoy eating them in between the candy canes.

 

What are you going to send? Give a girl a hand – this household is taking suggestions.

About Amy Bushatz

Amy is the managing editor of Military.com’s spouse and family blog SpouseBuzz.com. A journalist by trade, Amy also covers spouse and family news for Military.com where she is an Associate Editor. An Army wife and mother of two, Amy has been featured as a subject matter expert on NPR and in the New York Times. Follow her on twitter @amybushatz.