The Real Housewives of New Jersey star's four girls will spend the holiday at home with Joe and his family
Credit: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/Corbis

It’s a time for family, and Teresa Giudice is putting hers first this Thanksgiving.

A source tells PEOPLE that the Real Housewives of New Jersey star, who’s currently serving out the end of her 11.5-month sentence at the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, will spend Thanksgiving alone in an effort to shield her young daughters from spending their holiday behind bars.

“Teresa wants Thanksgiving to be as normal as possible for the girls,”the source says of Gia, 14, Gabriella, 10, Milania, 9, and Audriana’s, 6, doting mom. Though Giudice will likely be able to make a timed phone call home, the girls will spend the holiday with their dad Joe and family.

“She just wants the girls to have a good day,” the source says.

As for her own holiday, the source says Giudice, along with her fellow inmates, will dine on a Thanksgiving meal prepared by prison cooks.

One thing she’s surely thankful for: Her Dec. 23 release date means this is likely her last holiday behind bars and she’ll be home for Christmas.