Thanksgiving when half your heart is 500 miles away

Spending the holidays away from your family can be a bittersweet part of moving away from your hometown. This will be my third Thanksgiving in South Carolina and I’m not sure I will ever get used to not going to my grandparents house for Thanksgiving dinner. This year will be even more bittersweet because it will be my brand new niece’s first Thanksgiving and I won’t be able to spend it with her and my sister. There are a lot of miles in between me and most of the people who raised me and grew up with me. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and granted I am very thankful that I get to spend it with my family that is living here now, I will always miss my traditional Thanksgiving celebrations but I have come up some ways to make Thanksgiving special even when half of your heart isn’t going to be with you.

Drinksgiving…Thanksgiving Eve

Friends, dancing and a lot of Bud Light. Need I say more? While most of us will be with some of our family on Thanksgiving Day, the night before offers a chance to get out and catch up with friends, while enjoying a drink or two. And after all, Thanksgiving dinner is a perfect hangover cure.


Technology is all around us, and last year it helped me a lot. I text my Uncle and told him to let me know when he was at my grandparents house so I could FaceTime them. We all talked and got to “see” each other for a few minutes through FaceTime and it really helped. I always Post photos on Instagram and Facebook of our day and tag my family so they can follow along and see how our day was going, and of course I ask them to do the same.

Create new traditions

Living in South Carolina that means, taking a walk on the beach on Thanksgiving morning. Frying a turkey outside in the yard and letting the kids ride their bikes with friends. Make new traditions that you can enjoy with your family for years to come.

Enjoy the family that is with you

So maybe we won’t have all our cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents running around but we do have our family that lives here with us now. Invite any family over that you may have close by, friends, neighbors, anyone that may need to spend time with others for Thanksgiving.

Remember to always Give Thanks

Take some time, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, to give Thanks. There is still so much to be thankful for, even if we aren’t with some of our family on Thanksgiving. It is important to remember the true meaning of this holiday. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, and about being thankful

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
— Oprah Winfrey

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