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.

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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?



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 . . .


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.

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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.

Emily Solberg

Emily Solberg is a soldier, military spouse, mom to two toddlers, 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 along with the good. You can find more from her on her Facebook page, Shower Arguments.