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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving When A Family Member Is Deployed
Celebrating any holiday alone or with a family member missing can be hard. Thanksgiving is
especially tough because of how family-oriented it is. It may be a time to count our blessings,
but it is hard to be thankful when someone is not able to be there with the rest of the family.
Even though you may not feel like celebrating Thanksgiving this year, it is still important to get
out of your rut and make the holiday special. Here are five ways you can celebrate Thanksgiving
while your family member or loved one is deployed.
1. Make a Thanksgiving Care Package
This may seem like a given, but there are many ways to make a great Thanksgiving
package unique. You can name one for a deployed family member or a military family
who you know is far from home and needs a reminder that they are loved. Get your kids
involved and teach them about giving back to others. Send backed goods in mason jars,
jerky, and other holiday related items.
2. Make a list of all you are thankful for
While it may be difficult to come up with things you are thankful for while your loved
one is overseas, it is not impossible. It is good to focus on those little things that you are
blessed with in your life. Making a “thankful for” list will help you think of some positive
things while feeling down that your family is missing that someone special during the
3. Adopt a Family
Stay busy this Thanksgiving by giving back to others in need! Find a family you can
“adopt” and give back to them by inviting them over for Thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy
giving to a family in need who also has a family member who is deployed. You will not
only be helping someone else who feels sad during the holiday but will also feel good for
being around similar company.
4. Let a Family Adopt YOU!
Allow another family to help you by having you over for Thanksgiving dinner. It will keep
your mind off of the sadness of missing your loved one. Go out, enjoy a good dinner and
some company. You may surprise yourself with how much fun you have and how much
you and your family needed the time with others.
5. Have a Special Military Spouse Thanksgiving Dinner
If your family member is part of a unit that is deployed together, plan a Thanksgiving
dinner with all the families who have a loved one deployed. Make it as simple as a
potluck dinner with everyone pitching in a side dish or make a traditional feast. The
holiday is about togetherness and that comes in many ways.