I Love Thanksgiving Because I Can Celebrate Without Guilt

Holidays can be a stressful time for families, especially moms who are blessed to be “people pleasers”. We have an overwhelming need to make sure everyone else enjoys their day, and somehow in the midst of it usually forget to make sure we allow ourselves to enjoy the day too. That’s why out of all of the major holidays, Thanksgiving is my most guilt-free one.

There’s no cupid.

I don’t have to take my daughter to pick out the perfect Valentine’s for her class of 24. There’s no worrying about allergies, whether you can even still bring candy to school, or if you should just settle for the heart-themed pencils. 

I don’t have to pretend to be the Easter Bunny.

No egg hunts to coordinate, or fancy Easter outfits to search for hours on Etsy. I don’t have to sort through all the Target finds to stuff an Easter basket full. I’m not overthinking the family divide of those going to an Easter service and those who aren’t. 

I’m not Santa Claus.

I don’t have to spend months budgeting for Christmas presents. There are no holiday concerts to take work off for. My family doesn’t have to have a feud over the perfect tree or what color of lights to put on it this year. 

There’s just mashed potatoes and turkey.

I Love Thanksgiving Because I Can Celebrate Without Guilt

And a feast to be made.

Family to invite.

A time to organize.

Maybe a new dessert to add to the already annual pumpkin and pecan pie. 

Thanksgiving isn’t stressing about what to get all of your family members for Christmas or fretting over some of the older cousins keeping secrets about the truth of the Easter bunny. There are no side comments from family about spending yet another Valentine’s single. I’m not spending 20 minutes in the aisle contemplating what wrapping paper to get, and if my ex-mother-in-law would have complained if it was too gaudy or not. 

Thanksgiving gets to be exactly what it was intended for– being thankful.

Centering yourself around family and those who mean the most.

Counting each of your blessings, twice.

Finding joy in life and in each and every one of the little things. 

So maybe Thanksgiving isn’t always smooth sailing. There always seems to be some family arguments, though I prefer to settle for the ones about the divide in football teams playing on Thanksgiving Day. Someone is bound to say something that inadvertently upsets another. Maybe the turkey will burn and everyone will be forced to eat only sides for dinner.

But, if my biggest stress about Thanksgiving is planning a giant family meal or bringing out the TV trays to make sure there is adequate room to eat, then I will gladly take it. Sure, I might have to Pinterest some side dishes, or take into account everyone’s food allergies and preferences. But planning a meal everyone will get to enjoy is a small price to pay to spend quality time with my family.

All holidays, especially ones that bring my family together, are important to me.

I do love Valentine’s Day, and Easter, and of course Christmas. I even love all the small holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays in between the big ones. I’m not trying to prove that one certain holiday is somehow “better” than the rest. But for me, Thanksgiving is my most guilt-free holiday; and I’ll take my part in celebrating that fact. 

But the bigger picture is to remember to be thankful, and to be thankful that Thanksgiving gets to be about those who mean the most to you.

So this year while you add a second helping of pie to your dessert plate, remember that it’s your family who brought you together today.

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Carly is a true Iowan, born and raised. She’s a Pinterest fail type of single mom to six year old Stella, who enthusiastically dances to the beat of her own drum. For her day job you’ll find her with a cup of coffee in hand as a secretary at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. After hours, she’s bingeing her true crime podcasts, reading all the books, and having mini JoJo Siwa dance parties with her daughter Stella.