This time of year is typically filled with several family gatherings, lavish holiday decorations, and fun Christmas parties. However, the holiday season can be particularly difficult for some families.
Several military families are unable to spend Christmas with their loved ones this year. The sacrifice that military men and women make throughout the year is already hard to measure, but this time of year it seems to be even more heightened.
This year, one military family’s Christmas card is going viral, and for good reason. Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith, a deployed Marine, is unable to spend the holidays with his family.
Last year, Smith was able to surprise his wife and daughter and made it home for Christmas.
Andrea told TODAY, “Charlotte kept saying, ‘Santa brought you home.’ So when we knew he was going to be gone again this year and there was no chance he’d be back in time, my daughter told my husband, ‘All I really want you to be is safe.’”
Because they cannot be together this year, Smith’s wife, Andrea, came up with a clever way to incorporate her deployed husband into a Christmas card with their 3-year-old daughter, Charlotte.
Andrea said, “I would love to have him home for the holidays, and I know it’s not possible this year. But this card gives him a chance to be a part of our Christmas.”
Andrea asked her friend, Leslie Owen, to take photos for their family's Christmas card this year. Andrea and Charlotte incorporated their favorite store, Target, into the shoot.
Meanwhile, Smith had his fellow Marines take a photo of him in exactly the right position, to appear as though he was catching his daughter. They wanted it to appear as though Charlotte's dad was only "an inch away."
The final image was a composite of three different photos (the one pictured above, one of Sgt. Smith, and one of Andrea sitting on the floor). Below is the final photo used for the Christmas card:
Upon seeing the final photo, Charlotte said, “Mommy, that’s all of us, even Daddy is in our card! I love it!”
After Smith shared the adorable photo on social media, it quickly went viral.
Smith said, “I honestly don’t know why so many people were touched by the holiday card. It’s just unbelievable that I could move so many people with a simple card. I guess the message brings awareness to something that so many people in military families are going through but has gotten forgotten. It’s not in our daily news feed anymore that people are still being deployed. I was just trying to bring the holiday cheer.”
Please be praying for military families who are separated from their loved ones this holiday season. If you love this photo, share it on Facebook! In other recent news, the Internet is melting over this adorable new photo of President Trump's grandson in the Oval.