As Valentine’s Day approaches and spouses scramble for those perfect gifts, I thought I would offer a few ideas about what military spouses often desire in terms of gifts.

1-A Planned Vacation. This may seem silly to our civilian counterparts because it’s a normalcy in pre-military life. However, military families aren’t always able to plan trips in advance. More times than not, we are forced to take a spur of the moment trip on a 4-day weekend, which is usually high priced. Oh, to be able to plan for a vacation! I guess we’ll hold on to that dream until our spouse’s retirement.

2-Real Flowers that Never Die. While this may seem an impossible ask, there is something that comes close; flower bulbs. Flowers that bloom each year will not only remind us of new beginnings, but it will also be a visual reminder of how we need to bloom in each season and duty station with our family. You can always dig them up and take with you to your next duty station or leave that blooming surprise for another family.

3-Our 1st Choice Duty Station. While policies are changing in the military to allow families a little more choice and options for sustainment in one place longer, the mission still comes first.

4-A Clean House. No matter how hard we try to keep a spotless home, when you add in pets, kids, and a multitude of military uniforms and equipment, it’s a never ending battle.

5-Sleep. This one goes out to all new mothers like myself and moms with multiple kids. Sleep is definitely a thing of the past during motherhood, but something so abundantly desired.

6-A Meal that We Didn’t Have to Cook, Plan, or Shop For. Sometimes the cook just needs a day off. A great gift is the surprise of a meal! Whether it’s prepared, picked up, or ordered through a meal kit delivery such as; Home Chef, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or Sun Basket.

7-The Safe Return of Our Service Member. With so much unrest in the world and overseas, troops are still deploying. The greatest gift of all is the presence of our spouse! So while it may seem that a monetary gift is all military spouses want for Valentine’s Day, the ultimate gift cannot be bought but rather prayed and hoped for every day that you are gone; your safe return.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and remember that the greatest gift you can ever give someone is your time.

© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2020.

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