11/23/2011 08:26 am ET

Gabrielle Giffords Returns To Tucson For Thanksgiving

TUCSON, Ariz. -- U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has returned to her hometown of Tucson for a private visit with her family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Giffords' staff says the congresswoman arrived in Tucson on Tuesday evening from Houston. She plans to spend Thanksgiving with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, her parents and other family members and friends.

"Over the past 10 months, the congresswoman frequently has expressed her desire to return home and said how much she misses Tucson," said her spokesman, Mark Kimble, in a press release. "She talks regularly with friends and visitors from Tucson and maintains a keen interest in events in her hometown."

Giffords was among 19 people shot Jan. 8 as she met with constituents outside a Tucson supermarket. Six people died, and Giffords is still recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

The congresswoman had been undergoing intensive rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston since late January. She was discharged in June to begin outpatient treatment.

In an interview on ABC's "20/20" aired earlier this month, Giffords said she will not return to Congress until she is "better." She also recently recorded a message to her Southern Arizona constituents saying she wants to get back to work.

Giffords also returned to Tucson for the Father's Day and Labor Day weekends.