The family of Bobbi Pack at Thanksgiving

Celebrating Thanksgiving Away From Family

Bobbi Pack (Nov. 28, 2013) This year Thanksgiving is a little different for our family because we are stationed thousands and thousands of miles away from family. I really wish we could afford to fly or drive home, but it’s just not in our budget right now. So it’s time for us to make the most of where we are with the friends we have collected over the months we have been at Fort Bragg, NC.

Thanksgiving is usually celebrated with family, however this time we will have to “recreate” the atmosphere and share the love with our fellow Army friends. This means that I will have the opportunity to introduce my culture and new ideas that may break the “traditional” Thanksgiving many are used to having. But that is the beauty of Thanksgiving it’s fun and gives you a chance to show off your cooking and decorating skills.

Here are just a few ways in which you can share your culture with people that surround you….wherever you may be this Thanksgiving:

1. Invite everyone! Yes, even the family that is an outcast to your Thanksgiving dinner. This is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone, and finally meet the new family that moved in down the street. I think you will be surprised how the ‘odd’ guest at your dinner party may actually bring a new spark to your current circle of friends. And, you never know they may be inspired by your awesome Thanksgiving spirit.

2. Share the responsibilities of planning your Thanksgiving Day meal. We all are on a tight budget these days and it costs a lot of money to host a huge Thanksgiving dinner. So, why not pool resources among friends and share responsibilities of preparing meals….this could be the perfect opportunity for you to show off your culture and for them to do the same. How fun would it be to think outside the box and have food from all walks of life!?!…I think that sounds amazing and so yummy!

3. Make this year a year to remember….full of fun, excitement, culture and most of all friends (new and old ones). Due to the fast the Army only gives the soldier Thursday and Friday off (along with the normal weekend) it is really hard for many to go home for Thanksgiving . However, you still want to feel sentimental over this beautiful family day and use it to build memories with your new and old friends….the same way that you would with your own family. So, why not have an amazing meal play some games, reflect on what you have and use this as the perfect opportunity to get to know each other more personally. This could be done over coffee and that yummy pumpkin pie your new neighbor made…or maybe it will be a pumpkin cheesecake…can you say YUMMY!?!

4. Think outside the box. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your Thanksgiving dinner memorable. Trust me, I want to break out my wedding China and have my friends see how beautiful my dishes are…but I don’t have to do that. Paper plates are fine…my guests are there to celebrate the special day not to check out my China plates. Also, I went to the Dollar Store the other day and their Thanksgiving paper plates, napkins and cups are so darn cute! They all match and have the cutest little turkeys on them.

5. Don’t break the bank on wine. I am sure many of you are like me and love a really good, and expensive bottle of wine. But, sometimes the $5 bottle of wine is great and goes really well with turkey and mashed potatoes. Even if you have to purchase the wine in a box…oh well!…That is fine with me. Honestly I would rather save the money and purchase that pumpkin cheesecake…how about you?

Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for all that you have been blessed with over the year and sharing this time with your friends and loved ones. This life we live is not an easy one…we all know the sacrifices we have to make and being away from our family is one of them. I wish I could spend every holiday with my family, but with our tight budget I know that is just not possible. But, I don’t want that to spoil Thanksgiving. If you can’t be with the one’s you love then you might as well share your love with the ones that you are with this Thanksgiving.

Bobbi is the proud wife of Mike, an active duty Army Soldier and mother of two amazing Army kiddos and two loving four-legged Army kiddos as well. Bobbi is currently stationed with her family in North Carolina and is loving it. You can check out more of Bobbi’s blogs, military deals and discounts at .

(Photo by Bobbi Pack)