The holidays are a special time of year – the smell of gingerbread, cinnamon, turkey, and the constant acts of giving and kindness throughout the community. When a Marine isn't able to go home for the holidays, MCCS is here to provide many opportunities that allow Marines to experience the holiday cheer.

Feeling homesick and in need of a traditional holiday dinner? Adopt a Marine/Sailor is a program that matches a Marine or Sailor with a family who has opened up their homes to transport you to and from their house and include you in the family traditions. Many lifelong friendships have started with this program and continue throughout the years during other holidays and special events.

Keeping fit and active during the holidays is important not just for your semi-annual weigh-ins and to show off on Instagram, but also for your mental health. There are several fun runs and challenges throughout the season so you can have fun and stay fit! Check out Jingle Bell Runs and 12 Days of Nutrition. For more, visit your local Health Promotion and Fitness Centers.

Other traditions on base include the Tree Lighting, holiday movies at the Theater, sales at the Marine Corps Exchange, youth concerts, bazaars, and parties.

Another well-recognized tradition is Toys for Tots. Each year, thousands of toys are donated and matched with local families in need. By helping others during the holiday, you may be helping yourself.

Another great resource for volunteering is the Single Marine Program. All year long they to local schools, senior centers, and animal shelters. Volunteers are still needed between October and January so your time is sometimes essential to those in need, whether they are 2-legged or 4-legged.

Tickets, Tours and Travel offers lots of ideas for a day trip or a weekend getaway. Check out a museum, go to a show or concert, hit the slopes or visit a park.

Your installation Information & Referral office may have a list of community events that you and your family can attend during the Holidays.

Stuck on base with no transportation? The Single Marine Program, and the Recreation Centers offer vans and buses to local shopping centers so that you can get your holiday shopping done. Need to wrap all those gifts but don't have the supplies or know-how? The Recreation Center has all your gifts wrapping needs! Paper, ribbons, bows and gift tags along with the tape and scissors and personnel – some who have the talent to wrap a gift blindfolded!! Boxes from the local Post Office are available to get those gifts to your loved ones in a timely manner, but don't wait until December 24th!

Transportation and supplies varies by installation, contact your SMP Rep for more information!

On the holidays, Recreation Centers are open for Active Duty. Join us for games, tournaments, movies, food and great staff.

Although not part of MCCS, we need to mention the infamous Chow Hall. The Dining Facility aboard the installation normally has good food, but during the holidays, the Chefs kick it up a notch! Mouth-watering flavors for a feast that taste just like Mom's cooking! Turkey, stuffing, ham, potatoes, pies – oh my!! (I think I just gained 5 lbs. writing this!)

There are many opportunities awaiting you, whether on-base or off. Not going home for the holidays doesn't have to be a bad thing. Take the chance to do something different for your community, your fellow Marine, yourself, and experience a new tradition this year.

Everybody experiences stress.  Family, Finances, Work, Relationships, Loneliness.  DSTRESS is here for you. 1-877-476-7734. Free 24/7 assistance. Speak with a Marine veteran or professional counselor.Everybody experiences stress.  Family, Finances, Work, Relationships, Loneliness.  DSTRESS is here for you. 1-877-476-7734. Free 24/7 assistance. Speak with a Marine veteran or professional counselor. Holiday Survival Kit