MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Christmas Eve morning at the DeGiers starts like many others — controlling some chaos, embracing the rest.

Jeremy DeGiers had to do the Christmas shopping for his five children this year, because their mother was thousands of miles away, serving in the Minnesota National Guard.

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For the last three months, Major Brandi DeGier has been in Kuwait. Still, she finds time every day to talk with her family.

Her return is set for next summer.

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However, then it will be Jeremy’s time to depart. Next Christmas, he’ll be gone.

The family has served five deployments.

“It’s proving to be more difficult the older [the kids] get,” Jeremy said.

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For now, the family will spend Christmas connected via a computer screen, saying what needs to be said and sharing other things beyond words.