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The holidays are always a magical time, but they are also an expensive time.
Whether your military member is home for the holidays or deployed, we know the holiday season can be difficult for military families. Luckily, military members and their families have access to many discounts, which can help reduce the holidays' financial strain and allow you to spend much-needed time with your family.
Read below for military discounts this holiday season to get the best deals on holiday decorations to holiday getaways.
Military Discounts for Holiday Deals
Holiday Decorating Discounts
Michaels: if you like to DIY, do it for 15% less every day when you show your military ID at checkout
Joann Fabrics: when you need to craft a cute tree skirt, get 10% off at checkout when you show your ID
Pier 1: offers active and retired military and their families a 10% discount
Crate and Barrel: offers a 10% military discount good toward purchases of full-price items made in any Crate and Barrel or CB2 store
Home Depot and Lowes: both offer 10% year-round military discounts for holiday essentials like indoor and outdoor decorations and lights
Holiday Food Discounts
Omaha Steaks: use ID.me to save 10% on great steaks, along with other meats and sides
Cracker Barrel: no discounts are advertised, but several sources note that a discount may be offered at the manager's discretion. It never hurts to flash your military ID
Boston Market: if you are enrolled in Veterans Advantage, you are eligible for a 20% military discount. Show your membership card to claim your discount and add a rotisserie chicken to your holiday menu
Local Restaurants: check with local restaurants in your area to see whether they offer any special deals or discounts to active-duty troops, veterans, or their families
Holiday Trip Discounts
Beaches and Sandals: Beaches are perfect for families with children, while Sandals cater to adults-only. Make sure you get your 10% discount by calling an agent to book.
Amtrak: skip the drive and save 10% on train travel. There may be a train station close to your holiday destination with routes all over the United States.
Carnival Cruise: get special rates on select cruises in the Caribbean
Princess Cruise: you'll have a little extra money to spend on board with the Military Cruise Benefit Program
Disney Parks: save on multi-day park passes to Disneyland and Disney World with Disney's Military Salute
Hotel discounts: most major hotel chains offer discounted rates for military troops and veterans based on per diem, but not all hotels will offer discounted rates or the same discount percentage
Military Family Holiday Programs
Adopt-a-Family for the Holidays
Numerous organizations offer adopt-a-family programs. Military families who can show proof of need to submit their wish lists to the organization and donors adopt the families by purchasing items from their wish lists for Christmas.
Decorated Family Program
Christmas Decor is continuing its Decorated Family Program this year to "transform the homes of service men and women into magical winter wonderlands this holiday season." The program is designed as a morale booster for military families across the nation who will spend the holidays separated from their loved ones.
Operation Christmas Spirit
Operation Christmas Spirit supports local military families in the form of holiday gratitude by: "Adopting" over 100 families and fulfilling their Christmas wish lists with gifts for all family members and gift cards to do their shopping; Sponsor gifts and crafts at unit holiday parties; "Adopt" single Marines and Sailors, giving them gifts and gifts cards to celebrate whether near or far from their families.
Operation Holiday Joy
Established to raise awareness and funds for military and their families during the holiday season, providing food and toys to families in need. Donate to the ASYMCA Operation Holiday Joy program, and 100% of your donation goes to food and toys this holiday season, and you can designate your donation to a specific program.
Operation Homefront offers many programs for military families throughout the year, and Christmas is no exception. The organization partners with Dollar Tree to provide toys for military children. To receive a gift, you must register for your local Operation Homefront Toy Distribution. If your family lacks the funds for a holiday meal, you can also attend one of the organization's holiday meal events and receive all of the fixings for the perfect Christmas dinner.
Pay Away the Layaway
Military Benefits has partnered with Pay Away The Layaway to support military families by paying off their layaway balances at the Exchanges and retail stores. Pay Away Layaway is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization all-volunteer organization, which means most of the money goes directly to military families.
Toys for Tots
The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. The program is for all children, including military children.
Trees for Troops
Trees for Troops makes the holidays a little bit better for thousands of military families with free Christmas trees delivered to bases throughout the U.S. and abroad. This organization has provided more than 120,000 trees since 2005, donated from contributing tree farms in North America and from the public.
This list is just a small sampling of possible military deals and discounts available to troops, veterans, and their families. Whether your service member is deployed or lucky enough to be home for the holidays, take advantage of the Christmas programs for military families to help you enjoy your holidays and help make your holiday even more special.