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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving When Your Husband is in Prison

Holidays are not the same when your husband is in prison. 

Grief, loss, and sorrow can easily steal your desire to celebrate the season with your family.  In the face of the challenges you are dealing with, holidays become one more thing that sucks up your time and money.  It is difficult to celebrate anything when your husband is locked away in a prison cell.  There he is, eating soy-meat in place of a feast while you are out here trying to celebrate.  I know how hard it is to get through the holidays when your man is behind bars.

Overcoming the stress of prison is a daily battle. 

If you do not fight hard, you will succumb to despair and miss out on the joy of living.  Thanksgiving is the perfect time to refocus.  Decide you will concentrate on the positive things in your life instead of the pain.  Change what you focus on, and you will change your life.  Your attitude dictates your success.  Decide that you will create a positive experience for your family during the holidays. Make a memory that will bring joy into your family’s lives during this holiday season.


Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to teach your children the importance of gratefulness.  There are some things you can do to connect your family despite the bars that separate you.  Yes, you can celebrate Thanksgiving together with your husband even though he is in prison. Here is how:

  1. Visit him near Thanksgiving, if possible. Eat a favorite vending food together.
  2. During your visit (or phone call if you cannot visit), have each member of your family share 3 things they are grateful for.
  3. Together, set a time during Thanksgiving that you will all do the same thing. Things we did were close our eyes and pray for each other, look at the sky, read the list of things we were each grateful for, sing a song, read scripture, write a word on a piece of paper… there are a million things you can do that will bond you together at that moment.
  4. Take pictures throughout the day and send them to your husband
  5. Enjoy being grateful
  6. Enjoy the blessing of gathering with your extended family
  7. Decide to be happy

Moving Forward

Learn how to practice gratefulness, and your family will also learn to be resilient.  In order to accomplish creating a culture of gratefulness, you must model it and insist that your family participate in being grateful.  Start your Gratefulness Journal on Thanksgiving Day.  As a family, write 30 things you are thankful for.  Do this daily through the Holiday Season.  Not only will this help you celebrate the holidays, but it will also set the foundation for a great New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

I am rooting for you-