U.S. Army MWR

How to Have a Great Holiday While Stationed Overseas

Holiday Tree
Photo Courtesy of Fort Buchanan, The Sentinel

The country where you are stationed may not celebrate the holiday season in the same way you do; however, this does not mean that your holiday season has to be boring, dull and lacking in enjoyment, fun and friendship. Following are some great ways to celebrate Christmas in any country, even those that do not officially commemorate this festive season.

Find out what is happening in your area.

Almost all countries in the world have an expat community and this community usually either organizes or at least knows about fun holiday activities that you are sure to enjoy. You can also ask the American embassy or consulate in your city if they are organizing holiday activities that you can take part in. 

Your local Army MWR staff is also sure to provide a few great events to help you celebrate the holidays.  Visit their website
or follow their social media feeds for the latest MWR events in your area.

Get involved in a charitable project.

Taking time to serve food to homeless people, volunteering at a local orphanage and other activities will bring the holiday spirit into your life faster than almost anything else. If you have children, you can even get them involved in such activities. If you work with an established charity, you do not even need to be able to speak the local language in order to do something to help others less fortunate than yourself.

Also, many Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers (BOSS) programs organize charitable projects on Army installations.  Learn more about the BOSS Program and locate one
near you.

SFC Russ Littel skypes with daughter Bethany and wife Kate
Photo courtesy of Eduardo Alejandro

Schedule a Skype video call with loved ones back home.

If there is a large time difference, you may need to be prepared to either wake up early in the morning or stay up late at night. However, talking to your family and close friends face to face is more than worth it.

The holiday season is meant to be special, fun and meaningful, no matter where you live. While it may take some time to create a festive spirit in another country, it can be done. Consider the above mentioned ideas and feel free to visit the

Army MWR website for more country-specific tips and information.
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