Now I know I am one of the lucky ones this holiday season. For Thanksgiving we will get to be with my husband’s family, all of them; and then for Christmas this year we get to head and see my family. But I know for a lot of people in the military community separated far from home and for everyone else far from home getting back to family becomes difficult, tricky, and expensive. But I have had to weather holidays alone without my family as well. In fact, this is the first Christmas in two years that I will get to spend it with my parents, and I couldn’t be more excited. I know the longing of wanting to be home and yet for whatever reason being so far away. So what do you do with those feelings of loneliness, sadness, disappointment, and maybe even anger that results from missing your traditional time?
I know it is hard, but I would say first embrace the different opportunities to experience the holidays. Of course, we are always going to think our own traditional ways is the best possible way to celebrate. But if we just take a chance on something new we might discover something really wonderful. For me, my parents have lived in Hawaii ever since I was in high school, going to visit them at Christmas was such a wonderful break from the cold weather and two extra weeks at the beach I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Christmas day often meant another day at the beach, and a glorious tan! This will be my husband’s first trip there for Christmas, he can no more imagine a Christmas on the beach than I can a snowy white Christmas. Accepting that neither of these are wrong viewpoints helps decrease the frustration for the person missing their normal.
One thing we are doing this thanksgiving is co-hosting a Friendsgiving celebration right where we are as a way to celebrate! And for the first time ever I am responsible for making the turkey, that’s a first for me! And I have to say I think I was pretty successful! (Just take a look at my pretty turkey in the picture above!) Spending the time you would normally spend with your family with friends is a great way to get out of that lonely holiday funk! It provides distraction from your situation and provides a place for you get out and make new experience instead of sitting at home dwelling on all the things you are missing! Who knows you might come away with some amazing recipes! I know I sure did this year!