A US Air Force wife in Colorado found a creative way to make her family Christmas cards while her husband is deployed.
Feeling distraught after seeing all of her friends’ happy family holiday photos on social media, Ashley Sistrunk took photos of her entire family together- by photoshopping a photo of her Iraq-deployed husband Staff Sergeant Brandon Sistrunk with a photo of herself and their four children.
While the idea seems fairly original, Sistrunk says she got the concept from a quick Pinterest search.
“Of course with my husband gone, that would make me sad and I’d think, ‘I want him in a Christmas card,’” Ashley, 29, told ABC News. “I went on Pinterest and typed in ‘Christmas cards for military’ and I found a couple of different ones and I sent my husband what he had to do. Thankfully he trusts me and it turned out as good as I wanted it to.”
Sistrunk had her husband take 25 photos of him holding a sign that said “MERRY” while making a kissing gesture off camera. She then took photos of her and her children, holding a sign that said “Christmas” and making a kissing gesture towards her husband. The two photos were then merged to make a single Christmas card photo.
“I wanted to put our own twist on it so he hiked his foot in the air so we could make it a little bit silly,” she said.
The photo (along with several variations) have now gone viral.
Sistrunk says her young children -ranging in age from 7 months to nine-years-old- have had a hard time adapting to their dad’s fifth month away and struggle with him being gone for the Holidays.
“I’m trying to keep them distracted but it’s super hard,” she said. “We celebrated Christmas in June because we knew he would miss Christmas. Then when he actually left, ever since then they’ve been praying, saying, ‘We hope he can be home by Christmas.’ My son, the poor guy, he’s the only man in the house now. He says, ‘Can daddy please come home?’”
SSG Sistrunk will be redeploying back to the US in January, something the kids look forward to.
“They understand that and understand what he does not everybody is willing to do,” she added. “They do see it as him being his version of a superhero, but then at the same time, they just miss him so much.”