While being home for the holidays is the ideal situation, celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in temporary housing offers the opportunity to make lasting memories, reach out to others and take advantage of a unique situation. Celebrating in corporate housing also gives those living in an Odessa man camp an opportunity to (1) be flexible, (2) be creative and (3) be grateful.  (54)

Tip #1 – Be Flexible 

Spending the holidays while living in oil field housing in Odessa, TX won’t look the same as if you were back home with your family. However, with some flexibility on what holiday celebrations look like, you can still have an enjoyable season with your family. Take advantage of technology and meet virtually. Go to your childhood home on Google Maps and use street view so that you can take your children on a walking tour of your old neighborhood. (Note: Genealogy Gems has some great tips on how to do this.)  With Iron Guard Housing offering internet access and a flat-screen TV that you can use as a monitor, this activity will be easy to do. You’ll be surprised what stories will come rushing to your mind as you see familiar landmarks. Be sure to hit record so all your stories will be preserved. (132)

Tip #2 – Be Creative

In addition to being flexible, you’ll also want to be creative to feel at home while staying in corporate housing. Odessa, TX has many retail stores that will make it possible for you to add a few inexpensive touches to give your place a festive feel. At stores where everything is one dollar, you’ll find little evergreens and small ornaments so that you can have a table-top Christmas tree. They also have a variety of holiday-themed wall hangings so that you can brighten up any room. Odessa has three WalMart supercenters and a Target where you can find inexpensive items like a garland or a table runner to give your apartment a cozy feeling. Don’t forget to check out the many thrift stores in the area for some low-cost holiday decor. After the season is over, be sure to donate your decorations to either the Salvation Army on 42nd Street or Catholic Charities on Andrews Hwy.

If you miss the delicious aromas that came from your grandmother’s kitchen, you can recreate those wonderful fragrances without becoming a gourmet chef. Fill a small saucepan with water and add a few orange rinds and cinnamon sticks. Simmer the water on low and soon your whole place will smell like you are home. If you want something yummy to eat, make monkey bread using canned biscuit dough. Aimee Pruett with Food Banjo has a quick and easy recipe for you to follow. You can buy a disposable pan at any dollar store. (248)

Tip #3 – Be Grateful 

We know that the holiday season can be a difficult time to keep up spirits, especially when away from family and loved ones. Now more than ever it’s important to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. One idea is to switch your thoughts from “I can’t” to “I get to.”  For example, instead of saying, “I can’t be with my family this holiday,” say “I get to FaceTime my kids this Saturday.”  It’s amazing how your internal dialog can change your attitude and outlook. 

Another way to feel better during this time of year is to look for others who could use some cheer and well wishes. You aren’t the only one living in workforce housing away from family. Find ways to spread holiday cheer with those around you. Invite someone over to eat some monkey bread or maybe have a secret gift exchange. (149)

While spending this time of year in Odessa, TX working in the oil fields apart from your family may not be the normal, you have much to be thankful for. By being flexible, creative, and grateful, you can still feel close to your family. Iron Guard Housing values its customers and is committed to serving your needs not just during the holidays but all year round. Be sure to take advantage of their housekeeping and linen services for a stress-free holiday. (80) 

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