Sunday, November 22, 2009


We are about to kick off the holiday season. Now many of you out there reading may not celebrate, and I appreciate that. We all have different beliefs and ways of living, and I respect that. Still, even if you do not celebrate religious holidays, traditional American holidays or even any old day at all, there might be something in your life for which you are thankful, and I'm sure you recognize it in a way that's appropriate for you.

For those of you donning kitchen aprons, whipping up pies and hearing your little ones practice their lines for their school's Thanksgiving day play, I do wish you happiness this week as you consider the blessings in your life. Many of you may be celebrating Thanksgiving far away from your loved ones. Many spouses are deployed. Still, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice. Sure, it can be difficult to get in the spirit of celebrating when you are feeling melancholy, but don't.

I have been there. And, I know I'll be there again. This year, I expect will be my last Thanksgiving Day with my family for a few years. So, I'm going to try and make the most of it and enjoy every last second, from the stuffing to the bickering and even the cleaning up of dishes after a meal. That's the stuff memories are made of; well that and a whole lot more.

I can remember one year in recent memory that my husband was gone for every stinkin' holiday, even beyond the 'holiday season'. It all started with Thanksgiving. We celebrated early and even put the Christmas tree up that day to so he could partake in those festivities. It did feel a bit rushed, but it meant a lot, to both of us. He still felt a little bit a part of the season, even though he would be gone all the way past New Year's; heck, I believe it was well into the end of January even. Typical, schedule. Not really surprising; but it was not a whole bunch of fun.

How can you make your Thanksgiving more enjoyable if you are by yourself or it's just you and your little ones? Why, join your friends of course! I can't think of a military family that would turn away people from their Thanksgiving table. Okay, there might be some out there, but who needs them anyway. Their turkey might not be as yummy as the next guy's. So, make it known. Embrace your "aloneness" and accept any invitation that comes your way--even if you aren't particularly close. You may be pleasantly surprised at the friendships you can develop in these situations. You may also be shocked to know how welcoming your peers can be. Heck, many folks love to invite as many people as they can because they truly believe it's the company that makes the holiday and not the meal. People, in general, love to entertain. Allow them to host and entertain you. It'll show them they are needed and give them warm and fuzzy feelings for reaching out and you'll feel better making new connections or firming up old ones.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week, whatever your plans are. Be safe, if you travel, and remember, it's more than the food that makes this a great holiday.

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