We’re having a rotisserie chicken for Thanksgiving dinner this year. And—get ready for this—I’m not even cooking it myself. I’m going to get up on Thursday morning and waltz into the grocery store and pick up a pre-roasted one that’s hopefully nice and fresh and steamy under that cheapo plastic cover and not dried out from sitting under a lamp for too long.

I have no desire to slave away for hours in the kitchen and probably set off my fire alarm and inevitably overcook or undercook a whole turkey for my family of four, just so I can plop one down on a platter in the middle of the table and take a picture for Instagram and my son can loudly proclaim, “BUT I DON’T LIIIIIIIIIKE TURKEY.”

The truth is, I don’t even like turkey, either.

So . . . I’m not doing it this year.

Instead, I will focus my energy on recreating my family’s delicious stuffing recipe, which will definitely spark joy and bring me immense pleasure in devouring. Give me stuffing, and ALL THE PIE.

RELATED: Instagram Released a Thanksgiving Pie Chart of Favorite Types By State—And I Have Questions

The fact of the matter is, I keep learning more and more about myself during 2020, and one of the biggest lessons I’ve come away with is that I need to stop doing crap that doesn’t fulfill me. Especially if it involves time-consuming, tedious traditions that conform with a preconceived notion of what a holiday is supposed to look like.

Well, guess what?

NOTHING LOOKS LIKE IT’S SUPPOSED TO THIS YEAR.

NOTHING IS NORMAL.

So what better year to let it all go?

What better year to release yourself from the expectations, the pressure, the guilt?

What better year to do whatever YOU want to do, the way YOU want to do it?

What better year to create your own brand new traditions that work best for YOUR family?

By all means, if it makes you happy—do it! Knock yourself out! Do the whole shebang!

Do the turkey and the gravy and the casseroles and the pies and the homemade cranberry sauce stewed from cranberries harvested right off the bush in your front yard instead of my personal favorite Ocean Spray jellied stuff.

(Which is absolutely delicious, by the way, and don’t try and tell me otherwise.)

But if you don’t?

If you’d be perfectly content with a rotisserie chicken and some bomb stuffing and a few scrumptious desserts and maybe some asparagus since I couldn’t find any green beans this morning . . .

Heck, if you’d rather just skip the whole ordeal and order Chinese food and put on a Hallmark Christmas movie . . .

THEN DO THAT.

If all you were waiting for was permission to do exactly that, then here it is:

Do whatever YOU need to do to get through this season.

RELATED: Even 2020 Can’t Take Away the Love We Have in Our Hearts This Season

Do whatever YOU need to do to be happy.

Life is way too short, and 2020 has been way too long, to do things that don’t at least bring a modicum of joy to the holidays.

You do YOU, babe.

I’ll be over here cheering for you.

From my couch.

In my sweatpants.

Probably eating stuffing straight from the bowl.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom of two, and fierce advocate of women supporting women. The goal of her writing is to help others feel less alone in their parenting journeys, and she isn’t afraid to share the hard parts of her own. You can find more from her over on Facebook and Instagram at Shower Arguments with Emily Solberg.

Her Future Will Not Be My Broken Past

In: Living, Motherhood
Mother and daughter hold hands by water, silhouette photo

Forty years ago, you were an innocent child. You were brought into this world for a purpose. Your innocence is robbed before kindergarten by a trusted relative. You are broken and bruised by those entrusted to protect you. You are extremely emotional in your childhood, but no one listens to understand. As you grow into your teenage years, emotions are bottled up out of fear. You lean into promiscuous behavior because that is the only way you know how to get men to love you. Because of abuse that no one took you out of, you stay around those who...

Keep Reading

Mom’s Special Recipe Means More This Year

In: Grown Children, Living
Bowl full of breadcrumbs and celery, color photo

Three weeks before Easter, my family and I stood in the hallway talking to a team of doctors whom we had flagged down. We were anxiously inquiring about my mom, who was in the ICU on life support. We hadn’t been able to connect with the doctors for over 48 hours, so it was important for us to check in and see what was going on. The head doctor began discussing everything they had observed in the scans and what it meant for my mom’s quality of life. Every word made our hearts break. The doctor continued to talk about...

Keep Reading

I’m a Mom Who Reads and is Raising Readers

In: Living, Motherhood
Mom with infant daughter on bed, reading a book, color photo

Since childhood, I’ve been lost in a world of books. My first true memory of falling in love with a book was when my mom read aloud Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With each voice she used, I fell deep into the world of imagination, and I’ve never seemed to come up for air. My reading journey has ebbed and flowed as my life has gone through different seasons, but I’ve always seemed to carry a book with me wherever I went. When I entered motherhood and gave my whole life over to my kids, I needed something that...

Keep Reading

You Have to Feel before You Can Heal

In: Living
Depressed woman in bed

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” -Cheryl Strayed How do you heal? You let the pain pass through you. You feel your feelings....

Keep Reading

I Didn’t Know How Much I Needed Other Mothers

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two mom friends smiling at each other

I read somewhere the other day that when a child is born, a parent is too. In my first few months being a mother, I’m learning just how odd that sentiment is. In an instant, I became someone new. Not only that, but I became part of a group I didn’t realize existed. That sounds wrong. Of course, mothers existed. But this community of mothers? I had no idea. It took us a long time to get where we are today. Throughout our journey with infertility, I knew in my heart I was meant to be a mother. I knew that...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

Please Don’t Tell a Couple Trying to Conceive to Just Relax

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Black-and-white photo of medical supplies

This is a plea. A plea to those who know someone who is struggling with infertility. So, if you’re reading this, this is directed right to you. Please, for the love of everything, when someone tells you they are struggling to conceive, do not tell them to “just relax.” I know it’s the cliche, default term most blurt out because they don’t know what else to say. It’s awkward to discuss for some. I’m 10000% positive it is coming from a good place and is meant to be calming and reassuring, and you really do believe it’s true because a...

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

That Mom at the Playground Could Become Your Best Friend

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Young mother sitting on bench looking at playground

I didn’t realize I was that mom at the playground. That mom who always smiles at the other moms even if she doesn’t know them. That mom who often makes small talk while she pushes her toddler on the swings. That mom who strikes up a conversation while sitting on the bench watching her older kid play. That mom who can often tell whether you are interested in talking to her or not. And if you don’t seem interested, that’s okay. Because maybe you’re preoccupied with other things going on in your life right now. Maybe you’re overwhelmed with the...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading