Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from The Military Spouse Coach & FamilyI am not great at mailing out cards to my clients and colleagues every year so I included a family photo and some well wishes right here in my blog. I really do love every one of my clients and even told one recently that while she is paying me to coach her, the love comes for free and I mean that. Nothing makes me happier than when a client comes to me lost in their career and then starts working in a field she loves by the end of our time together.

I also love helping military spouses stay balances during all the chaos that comes along with being a military wife. I like creating a community where we can lean on each other which is why I started a podcast in 2016 and I would love love love some reviews and shares if you find the show helpful to military spouse life. You can now find the show on itunes The Miltiary Spouse Show. If you hate it, send me an email and tell me how to make it better; it’s a work in progress and I am definitely walking the talk regarding just take action and forget perfection, but each show I am learning a little more about the podcasting world and will be slowly investing in some higher tech audio equipment and hiring an external editor so we can get shows out to you more quickly. If you know of any companies that want to sponsor a project aimed at coaching the broader audience of military spouses I have a media kit ready to go as well and appreciate introductions to companies that may want to sponsor a giveaway or create a cool partnership. This year I said no to several advertisers that I didn’t think were a good fit for military spouses and believe in waiting for the right partnerships. But check out the podcast and let me know what you want more or less of in 2017, we just taped a show on distressing for the holidays and our mission for that show was to give spouses permission to do the holidays however they want. Being separated from your spouse during a deployment is tough, family can pull you in different directions, reintegration can be daunting, so we just want to send you all some holiday cheer and encourage you to be gentle on yourself. Find time for some self care and seek balance. I get a little nutty myself, and then I stop and do my little positive affirmation that my coach Amy taught me, “The world is working with me, not against me” and I instantly feel calmer.

When my kids were little, they were much more interested in unwrapping gifts than actually playing with them. So, I decided to wrap up some old Christmas books that we had around the house and have the kids open one up each night of Advent. It didn’t cost much and they had a really good time. I also buy them little treats from dollar stores to open here and there.

Now that my kids are getting older, I’m trying to teach them that the holidays are less about wish lists and more about spending time with family. I tell them that instead of buying gifts for the in-laws, we can dress nice, do an iPhone photo shoot, and make a calendar or other photo craft. One year my eldest daughter made soaps for everyone in the family and my younger daughter designed the tags. Another year, my sister apologetically sent my kids belated gifts in March without realizing that it would be their best Christmas gift ever because it was such a surprise that it felt extra special. It wasn’t about how much she spent, it was about knowing that my sister took the time to sit down and wrap a gift for each of them. They talked about their “spring Christmas” for years afterward!

I think that with all of the consumerism bombarding us, we often forget that it’s really the thought that counts—most people don’t want you to spend money you don’t have or waste precious time shopping at the mall when instead you could be catching up over hot cocoa and Christmas cookies. Let go of the “rules” and do what’s in your heart. Family and friends are often most fulfilled by photos and phone calls versus packages that you stressed over and waited hours in line to ship to them in time.

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