He may be missing out on being at home, but when Lance Corporal Matt Allen comes back to Birmingham from Afghanistan on leave in January, he can look forward to a belated festive season - with a Christmas curry if he wants one.
His wife Lindsey and the couple's 21-month-old daughter Grace will celebrate a belated Christmas with L/Cpl Allen when the family is reunited next month.
"We'll have a late Christmas," said Mrs Allen, from Sheldon. "If he wants a turkey dinner I will cook him one, but knowing Matt he will want a curry.
"Some people have said they will put the tree back up for their partners, but I don't think I will go that far."
L/Cpl Allen, from the Queen's Royal Hussars, is based at Lashkar Gah and is working as part of Combined Force Lashkar Gah's commanding officer's tactical group, which goes with him whenever he leaves the base.
It is not the first time he has been away at Christmas - he spent the season in 2008 in Iraq.
But the 27-year-old, whose daughter Grace will turn two in February, said he was looking forward to celebrating during his leave in January.
"Lindsey will take care of all the presents etc," he said. "I've just got to sort myself out and get her something.
"We make the best of what we've got, usually there's good morale out here, no one is feeling down, everyone just tries to make the best of a bad situation."
L/Cpl Allen, who joined the Army in 2005, said his family were not particularly happy about him being away for Christmas but accepted it was part of the job.
"I told them it would probably happen and I would probably be away but they're not particularly happy about it.
"It will be nice for Grace to go around the family."
For wife of three years Lindsey, 37, who works as an administrator in a doctor's surgery, she and Grace will spend Christmas with her family.
"It's a shame, but we'll have next year and then she will be able to tell me exactly what she wants for Christmas, and ask her dad too," she said.
"I've told him what things people have bought her and little things that I have got her so he knows what I have got her. As for our presents, he will have what I bought him when he gets home."
The couple met four years ago at L/Cpl Allen's mother's wedding, and married three years ago.
For Mrs Allen, it is not the fact her husband is away but where he is that she finds most difficult.
"It's weird because I'm actually used to being on my own anyway because he is based in Germany.
"At first when he went (to Afghanistan) I was fine, but when you hear the news the reality hits about where he is, and you do have a bit of a wobble.
"I do miss him, but I'm used to him being away. It's just horrible to think of where he is.
"You hear the bad stuff. It's nice when I speak to him and he sounds quite upbeat - I wouldn't say cheerful because I don't think you can be.
"But I suppose they are making the best of the situation. I just want him to be as happy as he can be."