Christmas Traditions & Celebrations in the Armed Forces

Christmas Traditions & Celebrations in the Armed Forces

Throughout the year, America’s brave servicemen and women work around the clock to protect and serve our nation both at home and abroad. With rigorous schedules and obligations to fulfill, there is oftentimes little room for rest and relaxation, let alone the topic of today’s blog, celebrating holidays. The most widely celebrated holiday here in America, Christmas and the holiday season is a time for friends and families to gather with their loved ones and spend quality time together. However, for those who serve in our nation’s armed forces, Christmas tends to look a little bit different, and that is what we’ll be focusing on in today’s blog, as we take a look at Christmas traditions and celebrations in the military.

Decorating Bases

It’s not just homes and businesses that are decorated with festive flair, as many military bases and installations are treated to Christmas decor to help promote the holiday spirit among service members. Military locations are treated to everything from Christmas trees to Christmas lights, providing a pleasant change of scenery for many. Especially on military bases, keeping spirits high is ideal for the goodwill of servicemen and women.

Special Events and Celebrations

Over the years since its formation, the armed forces have seen their fair share of entertainment, even including on-base events such as concerts, comedy shows, wrestling matches, and many more. During the holiday season, servicemen are often treated to festive events for their enjoyment. These events can vary in size, though many military bases will have Christmas parties among their occupants.

Religious Service

As Christmas is the certainly most important Christian holiday here in the United States, the armed forces provide religious services for its service members often including service on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. These services, however, are not mandatory for individuals in the armed forces, adhering to the military’s ongoing commitment to religious freedom for its service members.

Christmas Meals

Similar to the tradition of preparing a special Christmas meal at home, many dining halls will prepare festive offerings for service members to enjoy. Especially for those stationed abroad, such Christmas meals will give members a familiar taste of home while they are away, a warm reminder of friends, family, and their loved ones in America.

Community Programs

The holiday season is one of giving, whether it’s among family, friends, or even our nation’s military. During the holidays, many service members will be involved in charitable or community-related programs. Soldiers give or are given gifts, letters, donations, and more, helping to form deep connections that can be savored for years to come.

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