Ah the holidays. Time for gift giving, ugly sweater contests, and parties galore. For many of us this is also a time to be away from family, friends, and that special someone that brought us into the military community. Just because you might feel a little more Elsa than Anna this year doesn’t mean you need to abstain from the whole celebration. You could always do the tried and true method of fake it til you make it. Cheer yourself up by hosting a get together at your place!

5 stressed over the holidays

Why not host a cookie decorating party? Pillsbury has easy sugar cookies that you can bake up ahead of time so when the kids arrive all they have to do is cover the cookies (and themselves) in icing and sprinkles. Or if you’re a bit more ambitious go ahead and tackle a full on gingerbread house. Don’t worry if the house falls apart. You can always improvise!

1 dino house fail

Or maybe you need a night without the tiny humans. Browse the aisles of Whole Foods for the fancy cheese you can’t pronounce, amazing bread that has no calories since it’s the holiday season, and a bottle or two of wine to share with the other frazzled spouses in the neighborhood. If you have everyone bring two bottles of their favorite wine you can open one for tasting and leave the second corked for a wine swap at the end of the evening.

2 wine humor

We can’t forget the many service members that are missing out of family celebrations this year either. They say it’s better to give than to receive so why not get the FRG together for care package building. Find the Betty Crocker of the group and let them take over your kitchen, baking up treats to wrap up for each box you put together. You can create an assembly line in the dining room full of flat rate boxes, wrapping paper, stockings and any fun gifts you and your team of elves can collect to send to those that won’t be with their families this year.

3 crafting

And if you’re feeling really ambitious why not offer to host a holiday feast for all. Open your home to those who are like you, missing the traditions of home while stationed away from family. Open your table to the single service members that can’t take leave. Call your mom or dad for the family recipes you miss the most and recreate home the best way possible. And if you burn the turkey and have to serve grilled cheese sandwiches instead believe me, no one will care…unless you leave the plastic on the cheese (which a member of my family may have done once!)

4 group meal

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