When your service member is returning home, you want to do everything you can to make this event extra special. You have both been waiting for this moment to arrive, so naturally, you are brainstorming thoughtful ways to make them feel especially welcome. At Sapphire, we have many customers who are military service members, as our wireless internet hotspot is essential for keeping in touch with loved ones while deployed. Therefore, we have heard many clever and loving ideas over the years for making the transition home as joyous as possible. In this blog, we will go over some ideas for how you can welcome your beloved service member home in an extra special way.
Stock the Fridge
There’s a reason why celebrations always seem to center around food. Food is not only delicious, it brings people together, and when you make someone a meal, they can feel the love you put into it. That is why making sure there is plenty of their favorite foods in the fridge when they come home is a wonderful way to communicate how much you care about your service member. Make sure to stock up on all of their go-to grub, and you might even ask them if there is something they have been craving recently.
Let Them Off the Hook
You have been running the household by yourself for a while, and especially if you have kids, you might be eager to throw your spouse into the fire and get a break for yourself. While you will need to come up with a fair division of labor going forward, your partner will likely need some time to decompress once they are home. Resist the urge to pile on the list of chores and child care and let them take some time before taking on too much responsibility.
Talk to Them About Their Wishes
This is bound to be an emotional time for your service member, and it is important to keep their desires in mind when planning their homecoming. While you may want to throw a giant party with all their friends and family, they may prefer a quiet reunion with you and their immediate family only. Talk to them about what they would like before you start hanging the streamers.
Think About Welcome Banners
Military families often love using homecoming as an opportunity to get creative. You can do this several different ways. Some like to bring a banner or sign to the airport to welcome them home, while others focus their decorating skills to the home (and some do both!). One cute idea is to have your children write a welcome home message in chalk on your driveway or sidewalk. Alternatively, you could all decorate a banner to hang over the front steps. Whatever you do, make sure that it is special to them.
Make a Bucket List
When your service member gets home, take some time to sit down together and write out a bucket list of everything they would like to do now that they are home. You can check them off the list as you complete them in the weeks following the homecoming.
Prioritize a Clean Home
There is something so nice about coming home to a well-organized, clean house. There is a tranquility to feeling like your space is in order that simply can’t be beat. Even if your troop’s laundry has been sitting in the drawers for months, go ahead and launder them so they feel fresh and clean. Same goes for the sheets — who doesn’t love crawling into a warm, freshly made bed? Even if you have let your housekeeping slide in the recent months (no judgment), make an effort to tidy up before your service member comes home.
Make Time for Just You Two
If you have kids, make sure to hire a babysitter and get some time alone in the first few days after they come home. Deployment is not easy on relationships, and regardless of how closely you communicated with your loved one while they were serving overseas, there are bound to be difficulties in the transition back home. Make sure to prioritize reconnecting with each other. Try rekindling the flame by going on a date that lets you reminisce about the past, such as going to the restaurant where you first met.
Depending on how long your service member has been deployed, they may have been gone for quite a long period of time, missing many major holidays. Just because they missed out on the date, doesn’t mean they have to miss out of the event! You can have a “holiday” day, where you celebrate the occasions they missed all in one fell swoop. Dress in Halloween costumes, exchange Christmas gifts, eat a Thanksgiving dinner, and finish the day by counting down the New Year! This is a special memory that will make your service member feel more included in the major events of the family.
Deployment is tough on families, but they do mean that you can have especially joyous moments when they come home. Try out these homecoming ideas for creative ways to welcome back your beloved service member!