The holiday season is a beloved time of year mainly focused on spending time with your family and loved ones. For those who are deployed in the military, though, the holidays can be a time of yearning to be with their families, as they are missing out on the memories going on back home.
Al Clendennin is a Crestview, Florida man who knew he would be deployed with the Air Force and stationed away from his family for the holidays.
Instead of simply missing out, his family decided to celebrate four holidays all in one weekend to ensure that he would be there to experience them with his family.
His wife, Cathy, took him out for a massage before his deployment, while their kids– who are 16, 15, and 13-years-old – put on Halloween costumes, hung decorations, and put on a spooky movie with their grandparents, which is a Halloween tradition for the family.
Then, the family celebrated Al’s 48th birthday, which would fall on December 22nd. The overwhelmed father came home to receive a birthday cake and a laptop present to help stay connected.
They then decided to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with every last detail — traditional food, ugly sweaters, caroling, a tree, and presents included.
“Christmas is always a big deal in our house so we were most upset about not having Al home for it, but our pretend Christmas honestly felt like it was really that,” his wife said.
How would you feel celebrating the holiday season in September?