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Thanksgiving is a special day period. Although I feel Thanks and Giving should be a daily thing, this special day allows us to really put it at the forefront of our lives. It’s a great day when you get to spend with family but as you know sometimes the military doesn’t allow that. Being a military family means you may have to rig some things together whether it’s with other military friends or technology to have a great holiday. I’ve discussed some of the ways before that my family and I got through holidays apart. This is not only from my husband during deployments but immediate family too.

1. Uh Hello Technology: Whether your spouse is deployed or you’re missing out on the festivities back home the internet is your friend. Log onto Skype or Facebook and join in the party. Hubby can instantly become a part of the dinner or you can see your new baby niece/nephew with just a few clicks of the mouse.

2. Invite Others: I have always shared the story that one of my best Thanksgivings was when I hosted several military spouses and kids at my home in Savannah, Georgia. It felt just like back home with lots of people, lot’s of food and lots of laughs. Everyone chipped in and brought a dish. We had so much food that we had leftovers for days.

3. A Big Deal Even If It’s Just You And The Kids: You may be just the type of person who doesn’t have alot of friends but would rather just have a small intimate dinner at home with the kids and yourself (hubby included if he is there). Dole out a task to everyone , even the little ones. You can still have a great dinner even with minimizations. Don’t stress yourself making a million dishes. Do one of each and a great dessert.

4. Give Back: It’s Thanksgiving so why not give back. Prep your dinner early and then early on in the day head over to your local soup kitchen. Take the kids with you (if they are old enough) show them what the holiday is really about.

butterballturkey

Giveaway

In the spirit of giving back Butterball is allowing me to give 4 lucky readers a gift check for a free BUTTERBALL Turkey up to $20. This is a time sensitive giveaway and will end tonight. So be on the lookout for an email or FB msg if you are the winner.

Simply leave a comment telling how you get through the holidays as a military family. Winners will be chosen via Random.org and GC will be sent priority mail tomorrow. This is a fast giveaway and ends tonight. Winner notifications will go out tonight so be sure to check those emails or FB messages.

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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of SoFluential.com a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

32 Comments on *Giveaway Closed*Military Family Thanksgivings Plus Fast Butterball Turkey Giveaway

  1. It is hard to adjust not having family around but here at fort Dix we have our military family which we are spending this thanksgiving with. I am cooking and everyone is bring a covered dish or something to help make this dinner amazing. It is the first thanksgiving for us to be without family so it will be an adjustment! But I am excited about it!

  2. Thanksgiving we are taking our 2 kids to the SLC zoo in the morning to watch the animals play with pumpkins and then afterwards we’ll head home to eat a smaller feast (it’s just us 4 this year) and plan on skyping with our families back on the east coast. We always finish Thanksgiving by watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. Christmas is going to be harder this year because daddy leaves in the spring for Korea so we’re trying to make it memoriable but not by tons of gifts. We’re taking the kids for carriage rides in the park and back to the zoo to look at their Christmas displays and lights. Christmas is alwayas harder but we always open presents while video chatting with our families so in some ways it feels like we are all together!

  3. I am blessed to have my family near this year for the holidays but we use good ole modern day technology to celebrate with the rest of our family. Out of the 5 years i’ve been married, this is the first year my husband has been home for Thanksgiving so it’s extra special to me :)

  4. As a military family, some holidays are definitely harder than others. When my husband is stateside, we always try to go home for the holidays and spend it with either his family or mine. This year we won’t be able to make the trip, so we plan to stay home, cook dinner, and celebrate with just us and the kids.

    When my husband is deployed, the kids and I usually visit family and celebrate with them. To us, family comes first, and because we don’t live very close to our extended families, we like to take the holidays to visit and spend time with the people that mean the most to us.

  5. Thanks for the giveaway!
    We plan on getting together with a new military family we recently met. We will all get together & enjoy a great thanksgiving :)

  6. It’s hard not having family near us during the Holidays. So we have always have some of our Military Family over for dinner. This year we will have some of my Husband’s Soldiers, that can’t make it home, join us for dinner!

  7. We try to spend Thanksgiving as a family. In the morning we will start off by face timing with our family in different states. Our kids love to help prep the food and watch the Macys day parade.

  8. I get through the holidays one day at a time. I have to be strong for my daughter so I put a smile on my face no matter what I feel like on the inside. Yes once every week I may cry myself to sleep but I get up and start all over again. I keep telling myself that I am one day stronger, one day closer, one more day under my belt before this deployment is over. I look up at my daughter and think that he will be with us next year so I keep busy with my friends and my little girl during the holiday festivities when he is not here.

  9. As a military family we usually do not get to spend the holidays at home with our family in Mississippi very often. So what we do is fill our home with those soldiers who can not make it home to their loved ones and share our traditions and laughter with each other. We usually have a great turnout and they appreciate not having to eat alone in their rooms or at a local Denny’s. We have been doing this for the last four years and even though we miss being back home it’s great.

  10. Our family gets through the holidays by making it the best for our child, 2nd deployment in a row without daddy home can be tough on the little one, no complaining about or being “down in the dumps” as a mother shows him that we can still enjoy it!

  11. In previous years, I’ve always made a huge Thanksgiving dinner and invited all of our military friends over. In the morning we would watch the Macy’s Day parade. This year, with my husband deployed, I’ve decided to go small and just invited two families over. After eating we’ll venture to the movies.

  12. We usually attempt skype for a little bit if the connection will work. I am getting together with a few other wives for Thanksgiving and we invited some of the single soldiers we know that don’t have plans or any where to go.

  13. Honestly if we’re apart, I don’t celebrate holidays. It’s too depressing. If we’re together, we do our own thing. We aren’t religious so we celebrate our own, special-to-us “holidays”. Right now it’s giftmas season, which is from November to February (so we can hit all the sales!). We just get presents for whoever. Traditional Thanksgiving day is “Eating Day” and this year it’s tacos and marathoning mst3k.

    • Add-on to this: since we mostly only celebrate when we’re together, we celebrate things like our first date, the dog’s birthday, and other stuff that’s important to *us*. Deployment was just something you slog through and have a GIGANTIC celebration at the end.

  14. We usually invite as many friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives as we can feed! I love having as many people as possible to enjoy the holiday with our family, because they are part of our family!

  15. Our family uses technology to get through the holidays, we use skype and xbox kinnect to say in touch. We will also be having family in town to keep our holiday spirits up. This will be our first deployment during the holidays in four years. But I’m sure having the two little ones will keep everyday a new adventure, especially as they await Santa’s arrival!

  16. As a new military spouse, this will be my first holiday without my husband. Unless you count my birthday. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to get though it. But you’re right, with Skype hopefully it will be easier. I’m still going to prepare a great dinner and I already set up my Christmas tree in hopes it will raise my spirits! :)

  17. We try to find out whatever holiday fun is to be had at each post and do a bunch of carnivals or parades. On Thanksgiving and Christmas eve my husband takes cookies to the barracks and invites anyonr who wants to come over to join us.

  18. We are lucky to have our soldier/daddy with us at home this year. Glad to be able to have a great dinner together. We will not be able to go back to our home state, but so glad we are together.

  19. We always make sure to invite all our friends and have a big dinner. Not everyone can go home for the holidays

  20. During the holidays that we are unable to spend with our loved ones. We always invite our military friends that also are not able to “home”. They will all bring a dish. If you cannot go home, you have to make the best of it.

  21. This is our first fully military family Thanksgiving. We had the option of going to family, since we are stationed close enough to home. But hubby has battles in his unit that are very far away from family and cannot make it home. So this year we are preparing Thanksgiving dinner for a couple of soldiers that will be completely alone otherwise. We have a full 17 item menu and a turkey would be amazing! Thank you for the giveaway and hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving!

  22. We are rooted in tradition and have picked up some new traditions from other military families we have met these past couple years. Those traditions really help keep the day about family and friends – especially because this is the 3rd Thanksgiving away from them. We usually invite single soldiers to our house for Thanksgiving Day. The guys and our 6 kids play football outside until the game is on or once it is over. For Christmas – we do the same thing. Always inviting soldiers who are not going home for the holiday to come to our house and to go to Christmas Eve service with us. We have 6 children and we don’t have a lot of things but what we do have is time and we try to give that to others as much as we can. We help prepare holiday meals for the homeless through the outreaches on the island, we bring stockings and treats to the soldiers on Staff Duty and CQ (for Christmas), we get involved with all the Christmas activities the post has, etc. For us, it is trying to show the kids that while we would love to be near family for the holidays – that is not a reason to be sad. The holidays are about celebrating what we do have and what we can do for others.

  23. Adjusting as a large family in military is hard. We have 7 children, move to new schools and that is a hard adjustment especially at the holidays time.
    Thanks for this chance would be great:)

  24. My husband and I invite some of our friends and some single soldiers who aren’t going home over for Thanksgiving Dinner. Then my hubby tortures me with football on the TV!!! Lol!!!

  25. This is my husbands and I first thanksgiving as a married couple! He made it back from deployment this year! We are 2200 miles away from family but thank God for friends and love. I have two military families coming over for thanksgiving and we are all far from home. But that’s what I love about the army, you can make home with great people anywhere you go! We will definitely be face timing out families during the holidays since we can’t afford to fly home. But we always make the most of any situation and we keep our faith in God!

  26. Last holiday my husband was getting deployed to Afghanistan and I was 9 months pregnant. My husband just returned in October and met our son for the first time. This will be our first holiday as a real family. We are expecting another child and I cannot wait for all our family holidays.

  27. I’m so excited this year we are spending Thanksgiving with our first son! We are going down to Georgia to give thanks with my brother who just got back from deployment and his wife as well as my sister and her family. This will be the first time we’ve gone out of state for Thanksgiving. Our first four years we spent in Alaska with friends on Thanksgiving day and always ended on Black Friday with our own diner after we hit all the sales.
    This year we are just thankful to have our first baby to share the day with our family.

  28. Its just me ans mt lil family my husband is a re c recruiter in milwaukee wi so we are so far away from family we dnt travel much home its a two day drive. And friends we do know have family close by so we just spend it enjoying each other and the kids

  29. It’s me, my husband and our two kids who are 4 and 8. We get through the holidays being away from family by still having traditional family dinners with just us, and sometimes we have the pleasure of being graced with the company of younger airmen or other military families who are also away from their families. We also make phone calls to those who are far away. It really helps us get through without being too sad.

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