Still learning, and accepting help this Thanksgiving

I’m still learning how to be. Every day is a process of deconstructing “the rules” I adopted at a young age and strived to achieve. This includes the rules related to big holidays like Thanksgiving.

Once I decided to stop “faking it,” I realized how much needless pressure I’ve been putting on myself the past 39 years.

And Thanksgiving is a big pressure holiday.

The first year after after my mother-in-law passed away, my father-in-law suggested we order Thanksgiving from a local grocery store. THE HORROR!!!

I flipped. No way was my beloved husband going to spend his first Thanksgiving without his mother feasting on store-cooked goods. So naturally, I took on organizing the entire feast.

It wasn’t my first time. I’d helped my mother and grandmother for years, and thanks to watching a long-ago TODAY Show segment featuring Martha Stewart, I know exactly how to crisp a turkey.

Fast-forward to the Thanksgiving after becoming a mom on Oct. 30.

For some insane reason, I decided to host all of our family for a HUGE thanksgiving at my house…less than ONE MONTH after my son was born. Oh, and his birth wasn’t at all like I’d planned, so we spent a couple days in the NICU before going home.

I remember refusing suggestions for store-bought items, even though let’s face it – most of my Thanksgiving feast IS a store-bought item requiring very little preparation at my house.

On Thanksgiving night, I remember nursing my son in the bedroom while sobbing and telling my husband I’d made a mistake. That was nine years ago.

So what makes this Thanksgiving different?

I am accepting help.

As you know, I’m a contributor to Flagstaff Moms Blog, and an opportunity came up to visit our local Wildflower Bread Company and sample some of their Thanksgiving pre-order offerings. I jumped at the chance.

We’re traveling for this Thanksgiving, and I want to contribute without showing up with grocery bags of supplies and requesting time to bake pies (from a can) or crescent rolls (also from a can).

I went in there to try some pie, and walked out with a hefty pre-order of some delicious, freshly-baked items. Read about the items I tried and how to get your own by clicking here.

I would not (did not) accept this kind of help a few years ago.

The negative, perfectionist voice still inside me whispers that it’s because I’ve “given up,” but I know better. I’m learning. I’m becoming wiser. And I’m very #Thankful.

Much Love – H

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4 thoughts on “Still learning, and accepting help this Thanksgiving”

  • Bravo for accepting help! Thanksgiving isn’t about how/where the food was made – it’s about being thankful for what you have. I once had a memorable and happy thanksgiving at a restaurant, about which, leading up to it, I was not super thrilled. But it was my first year away from home and my empty-nester aunt and uncle invited me to their house for the long weekend. Up to that point I had only seen them a few times in my life because they lived so far from where I grew up. On Thanksgiving, we spent 3-4 hours at a restaurant getting to know each other better, laughing, and reminiscing about family (along with stuffing ourselves silly, because Thanksgiving). Then we left the table and went home – no piles of dishes or wondering where to put all the leftovers. It was meaningful without the stress. It reframed my idea of the holiday. In future years, my family took to ordering gigantic vats of pasta, salad, and garlic cheese bread from a local (not chain) restaurant which helped us and the local business. We even did an appetizer Thanksgiving one year when people had many families to visit and there was lots of coming and going – it was delicious and we just grazed all day in between games and football. So be happy with your choice – we are all enough just the way we are and no one (who’s worth it) will judge.

  • So, I am proud of you! I used to help my mother with a huge New Years Eve open house every year. My mother would get so stressed out it was hardly worth it. Finally one year I told her I would help her with all the decorating and initial prep including desserts, but if she would not cater the other food portions I was out! It ended up being the best ever open house because my mother was finally able to relax no enjoy it along with everyone else! A little help can go a long way.


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