tips for a special BLUE christmas + a peek inside holidays with a hero

The holidays are right around the corner! As blue families our holiday season often looks a lot different than others-and that’s okay. It just requires a lot of flexibility and grace!

Rebecca over at Proud Police Wife just launched a “Holidays with a Hero” pack that has 16 printable pages to help your first responder or military family make the most of your holiday season! How awesome is that?! Our family received one-and it’s thoughtful and intuitive, containing things like a budget tracker, letters to Santa explaining that your hero is gone on Christmas Day and asking to celebrate another day, menu planners, and a “while you were away” journal to keep track of the little moments your officer might miss.

You can find it here-it’s on sale for only $15 this week!

Yesterday I shared my “non gift guide” that contains experience gifts for your family. There will be more gift guides coming, but let me preface this by saying: you don’t HAVE to buy everything-or anything! Don’t let the holidays cause unnecessary strain to your budget. We set aside money for Christmas gifts all year long so that the fall/winter seasons aren’t as financially devastating (okay I’m being a little dramatic, but really) and start purchasing gifts in October (or before!). To help keep track of everything I use the app Santa’s Bag. It’s a free app that lets you set a budget for each person (and an overall gift budget) and list what gifts you got them! There’s a place for ideas and links, and then checkmarks for when they’re purchased, delivered (if buying online), and wrapped! I used Santa’s Bag for the first time last year and LOVED how it kept me organized and on track with our budget!

Another thing we like to do in our home around the holidays is focus on what we’re grateful for. I shared these printables last year that we keep on our fridge-they’re super simple, but help us stay focused on the *important* things of the holiday season.

In Rebecca’s HWAH packet there is a “Holiday Bucket List” with a bunch of fun Christmas-y ideas. I love thinking of fun ways to celebrate the holidays-like going to the city to see all of the lights, bundling up in fun PJs and going on a hot cocoa run, taking our annual Christmas photos, and decorating our tree with all of our sentimental ornaments. The first year my officer was an officer (and had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) we decided to make our own silly holiday meal tradition so not to stress over turkeys and sides and sitting down while everything is fresh out of the oven. Enter: chili dogs! That’s right-our traditional family holiday meal is something you’d probably eat at a sports game or tailgate! I can have the chili simmering in the crockpot all day long and it allows us to eat whenever my officer has the chance (before or after work, depending on what shift he’s on, or even in the middle if he can sneak away for a lunch). Don’t be afraid to step outside the traditional holiday expectations to make fun new traditions for your family that work with our officer’s crazy schedules.

The holidays should be merry but can also be extra stressful-especially for first responder families! Don’t forget to breathe, pray, extend grace, and ENJOY your family and the reason behind the season 💙🎄

**this is not a sponsored post-I love all of these items and ideas! the a+g blog may contain affiliate links**

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