It's almost Christmas!! Ok, not really. I know it's only the beginning of November. I am definitely one of those people. I always have been in a sense. Once Halloween is over and it hits November 1st, the decorations can go up, the holiday sweaters can be worn, and the Christmas music can commence. Many say that anything before Thanksgiving is too early, but hey, Starbucks already started being festive, so why can't I?

Anyway, this year I've been even more excited for Christmas because the holiday signifies the chance to go home. Something I'm not going to be able to do this Thanksgiving.

It's been difficult hearing my friends, teachers, and peers talk about their Thanksgiving plans, and how great it's going to be to see their families again. It's much easier to go visit family when all you have to do is hop in a car and drive, but when your family is an ocean and hundreds of dollars of plane tickets away, it's not so simple.

This Thanksgiving will not be my first away from Hawai'i. Sometimes I spend it in Upstate New York, of all places. But this Thanksgiving will be my first away from family. The first time I won't be helping my father make stuffing. The first time I won't be forcing my brother to help me boil cranberries. The first time I won't be calling my auntie and asking if I'm making the cherry cheese pie correctly. The first time I won't be crowding the kitchen, trying to steal bites from all of the wonderful dishes before dinner begins. The first time... well, you get the point.

I never really thought being away would affect me as much as it has. Not being with family on this extremely family oriented holiday is going to be tough, but I am thankful for the time I will get to spend with them once December rolls around.

Whatever you're doing on Thanksgiving, remember that being with the people you love is amazing. Also remember that if you can't be with your loved ones, there's no shame in sitting bed with a peppermint mocha and watching the Thanksgiving Day parade and dog show in your reindeer pajamas.

Christmas is coming!