Heart of Texas Magazine

Giving Holiday Cheer & Thanks to our Troops This Christmas

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As the leaves begin to change, many of us are savoring this most wonderful time of the year and all the little perks that come with it. Curling up in a blanket with a good book, a hot beverage, an array of changing colors in the great outdoors, and pumpkin-flavored everything! Perhaps most exciting for many of us are the holidays. Twinkling lights, parades, holiday parties, and family make this season extra special for many. It is also a season when many of us remember to count our blessings and give back to others. This season, we hope our readers will remember our troops, our deployed military stationed all over the world as well as our veterans. To our readers that have served, we thank you and hope you feel appreciated this season!

Working in a variety of settings in multiple places all over the globe, our military women and men do not always get to enjoy the small luxuries of the season we often take for granted, much less the bounties of being home for a warm and safe holiday. Our deployed troops cannot always make it home to be with family and friends, see the lights and decorations, and enjoy the feasts many of us savor each year. The experience of being deployed can be stressful at best, but being away from family during key times of the year can be especially hard psychologically. This is also true for the families and children of the deployed who are often missing a critical person in their family.

Giving Holiday Cheer & Thanks to our Troops This Christmas

Photo: Instagram/@vontaedavis

While many people feel grateful for the sacrifices of our troops, some may not know how to demonstrate gratitude or how to say thank you. Luckily, there are many groups that work to brighten the season for our troops and veterans and military families, and these groups are always in need of contributions. Below are some ideas of places to donate a little holiday cheer.

Email Our Troops

This group was founded by the spouse and daughter of a deployed soldier. Knowing the challenges of watching a loved one deploy, this group was set up to boost morale and provide messages of love and support. This group picked up the slack of other longtime programs that were canceled, making sure that our military continued to receive notes of gratitude. The program works by pairing volunteers with deployed service men and women to send emails and messages throughout the year. A note of encouragement can go a very long way during the sometimes long and lonely days and nights of deployment. Since then, Email our Troops has established a number of other programs including Holiday Love, whereby cards and gifts are sent to participating troop members during the holidays. Check them out here: www.emailourmilitary.com/projects.html

Soldier’s Angels

Soldier’s Angels accepts donated stockings filled with goodies for deployed military. Snacks, holiday candy and cards, some travel games like a deck of cards, and knit caps go a long way to lift of the spirits of our service men and women. Receiving these small gifts in a festive stocking can make a person far from home feel a little closer to the holiday spirit. A hand-written card is a personal, welcome addition as well. Visit their website to pledge a stocking—or several—and check out the recommended list of items to add to your donated stocking. soldiersangels.org/Holiday-Community-Partners.html

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