Happy Thanksgiving! It’s the holiday of gratitude. Oh joy.
Most days, our buckets are filled with gratitude. Truly, filled. But the pressure to push them to overflow during the holidays can sometimes feel overwhelming. Especially at Thanksgiving, when it feels like everyone is talking non-stop about gratitude.
There are the t-shirts yelling at us that ‘gratitude is the attitude’, the endless stories on social media extolling the virtues of gratitude and of course, the over-the-top pressure we put on ourselves to create the most perfect day.
Then, add in anxiously awaiting the return of kids from college (emphasis on the anxious) and/or excitedly awaiting for parents to fly in (insert any emoji you see fit here) and/or all the focus on crafting the most beautiful and delicious meal ever. It’s just a lot. For all of us.
So all of this amp’ed up, extra dose of pressure and forced gratitude got us thinking. What if we took our foot off the gas? What if we lightened up a little? Not completely, but really just a little.
Thanksgiving morning 2018
(This is Angie amp’ed up during Thanksgiving last year. Pre-getting the memo to lighten up. Laura seems to have already gotten the memo. Mostly.)
A: i’m so ready
A: table set (check)
A: food prepped (check)
A: recipes printed (check)
A: new abc kitchen carrot recipe ready to go (check)
L: try hard
A: i am trying hard
L: um, it’s not a good thing
A: wait, it’s not?
L: i have some bad news for u
L: a try hard is someone who isn’t genuine
L: like not authentic
L: someone who is curating her style too much
A: like bragging about making the carrots from abc kitchen?
L: like that
A: ok, but i still like my version of it
A: the version where it’s just someone who tries really hard
A: and maybe that someone needs a really good quote
A: so quote collector
A: what do u got?
A: for me to read to everyone at dinner
A: it needs to appeal to 80 year old mother-in-laws
A: and 14 year-old boys
A: u there?
L: um, slightly busy
L: but ok
L: u want the perfect quote?
L: u couldn’t have asked me yesterday?
L: or last week?
A: omg just give me one of your quotes
A: and how r u so ducking nonchalant rn?
L: it’s just a really big meal
A: that’s annoying
L: i have to show u my masterpiece
L: i made my apple pie with a criss cross top
A: show off
L: pick up your phone
L: how can u send 50 texts and then not pick up your phone?
L: i’m calling u
L: pick up
A: did u forget?
A: i’m a professional
A: at ignoring incoming calls
Angie picks up. FaceTime looks like this.
Laura tries to angle her phone at the pie. But something else much more fascinating is happening. Laura’s entire head of hair is shoved into one of the misshapen hats she knitted. Apparently this is for two reasons - to avoid smelling like onions AND to avoid ruining her blowout (don’t be so judge-y, if your blowout lasted 10 days, you’d do it too). So, Laura in the hat is amazing (yes, it’s up on our website and is worth a look) and Angie can’t comment on the apple pie because she’s in hysterics about the hat situation. Laura hangs up on Angie.
L: were u just wearing a red t-shirt that said ‘shine like diamonds?’
A: pretty sure u can’t turn this one around on me rn
L: pretty sure i can
L: u know i don’t love those shirts, right?
L: the ones that tell us how to feel
A: so i guess you don’t like my ‘radiate love’ t-shirt either?
L: i found your quote
L: ready for it?
A: i’m too busy
A: shining like diamonds
L: then i guess i won’t share the quote you asked for
A: that’s the spirit
L: it’s not joy that makes us grateful; it’s gratitude that makes us joyful
A: kinda love it
A: even if it’s a little like the preachy t-shirts
A: i’ll let u know how it goes
A: when i deliver it
A: at my perfect dinner
A: with my carrots from abc kitchen
L: try hard
Later that night.
L: how’d it all go?
A: rough start
A: my quote bombed
A: my carrots were cold
A: there were some tears
A: but the funny thing is
A: it was still pretty perfect
L: i mean, yay!
L: i completely forgot to make the gravy
L: the gravy!
L: and i may have come undone
L: a little
L: bc i have such a hard time with getting the timing right
L: and having everything all ready together
L: but when i looked around
L: at everyone eating my dry turkey
L: without gravy
L: they were all shining like diamonds
L: to me
So, here’s what we learned last year (and believe us, we’re already struggling to apply it this year, since managing our expectations doesn’t seem to be our/Angie’s strong suit). Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t need the perfect quote. It doesn’t need the perfect t-shirt. It doesn’t need the perfect meal (unless, of course, you are Martha Stewart or Ina Garten or Mary Cummins). Because what we know for sure is that even if our turkey is dry and our carrots are cold, our people will love us and our imperfections anyway. And truthfully, that’s what we’re grateful for.