Whether you prefer it in the style of Bing Crosby, Michael Bublé, or Whitney Houston, the tune “I’ll be home for Christmas” is one of the most beloved Christmas songs around. Originally released by Bing Crosby in 1943, “I’ll be Home for Christmas” was written from the perspective of a World War II soldier, serving overseas during the holiday season. The carol has the soldier speaking to his family, requesting snow, mistletoe, and presents under the tree, while ending on the line “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
2020 has many of us unable to see our family and friends as much as we’d like, but for our men women serving overseas, time away from their loved ones is nothing new, which is why there are many programs designed not only to thank them for their service but to ensure that every one of our soldiers has a holly jolly Christmas. We’ve compiled a list of several ways to support our military this holiday season. Check it out below:
Soldier’s Angels – Holiday Stockings
Soldier’s Angels’ Holiday stocking program works to brighten the spirit of deployed service members and veterans by providing them with a stuffed holiday stocking. People looking to participate simply send a stocking stuffed with items from a suggested “wish list” to Soldier’s Angles. Many also include a handwritten note or card.
Operation Help a Hero – Operation Christmas Spirit
Operation Christmas Spirit collects donations for nearly 500 military families to make their Christmas wishes a reality. Operation Help a Hero provides those wishing to join in Operation Christmas Spirit with many different ways to get involved. From adopting a military family, to donating money – or even technology, there is an easy way to give back no matter who you are.
Full Circle Home
Full Circle Home connects deployed service members with their loved ones across the country by helping over 21,000 troops send their “heroes at home” holiday gifts and hand-written notes.
Christmas SPIRIT Foundation – Trees for Troops
Trees for Troops is a program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation which provides free, farm-grown Christmas trees to members of all military branches and their family, with the help of donations, sponsorships, grants, and many, many volunteers.
Armed Services YMCA – Operation Holiday Joy
For 16 years, Operation Holiday Joy has collected donations in order to deliver baskets of food to military service members and their families on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition, Operation Holiday Joy has delivered over 320,000 toys to military children.
Wreaths Across America
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor, and teach. And they do so every year, by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at over 2,100 locations across the United States, at sea, and abroad. Those wanting to participate can do so by sponsoring a wreath, volunteering, or donating.
In addition to the programs listed above, many local Veterans’ Service Organizations (American Legions, VFWs, etc.) provide a number of different ways to support service members, veterans, and their families. Checking with these local organizations is a wonderful way to impact those within your own community!
We hope you and your family are lucky enough to be together and home this Christmas, if only in your dreams. Happy holidays, everyone.