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Take the Stress out of De-Stressing the Holiday

I get it. You want to impress. So this weekend has been spent shampooing carpets and cleaning the bathroom tile crevices with a toothbrush.


The in-laws are coming! The in-laws are coming!

If you haven’t already, you’ll begin your food preparations today or tomorrow. You’ve already decided whether to go with something new or the tried-and-true holiday favorites. Turkey or alternative meat-free roast. Dressing or stuffing. Green bean casserole. Pumpkin pie.

Some of you are even decorating for Christmas before the guests arrive.

And of course you’ve consumed all the articles and vlogs on how to keep it simple.

Enough already! Hell, I’m tired just writing all this!


We all have the media images of the perfect holiday without thinking of how much work goes into making that perfect meal.

These crazy holiday gathering expectations make me want to vomit all over your freshly pressed table runner. Get a fucking grip, will ya?

This holiday was originally a celebration of having survived a year of hardship, and was marked by eating, drinking, and shooting off guns. And all that food consumed was cooked by 4 over-worked women, because by then those four were the only ones left. The place stunk too, because Pilgrims didn’t bathe. That cleanliness is next to godliness thing? That didn’t come over on the Mayflower.

Fast-forward almost 500 years and we’ve gone to antiseptic living conditions, but we’re still over-working the women. Sisters, enough! The guests who truly carry a grateful heart would be happy with a peanut butter sandwich. And the rest? Well, who really gives a shit what they think anyway? They are petty and spiteful and probably jealous.


This is how I see the ungrateful bastards.

Let me be clear: I am not grateful that you’re killing yourself this week to clean and cook and entertain, then spending money all weekend long on things others don’t need and probably don’t want either. And the fact that you’re doing all that spending in the name of the Christ child is kinda creepy if you think about it.

So here’s the advice that no one will give you about how to celebrate Thanksgiving: Be open to whatever the day brings. Be grateful for what you have, especially if you’re not a white dude, because this time next year you might not have it. And quit worrying about being perfect. Not a one of you I’m guessing will lie on your deathbed mourning that you won’t have one more chance to get the meal right. At least, I hope you don’t.

Enjoy your day. Enjoy your life. 


And give me a cookie!

If you have some free time in the next couple of months (insert eye roll emoji here), how about checking out I Am Magazine. This online mag celebrates ALL women, not just the young skinny pretty ones. I am a bit partial since they posted one of my blog posts recently. But even if they hadn’t, I wholeheartedly support anyone who’s working toward making the world an equal place for all women.



About Jen and the Furries

Hello and welcome. I’m a 50 something woman who’s probably awake when she should be sleeping. Oh, and there are animals, because who doesn’t have pets?


18 thoughts on “Take the Stress out of De-Stressing the Holiday

  1. Well said. Our group is small and we don’t use it as an opportunity to overeat. We don’t over decorate either. It’s more of an opportunity to get together and catch up. I swear if I served pizza no one would notice. (However if there was no pumpkin pie there would be hairy eyeballs!) The guys try to watch every sports game that’s on TV. That won’t change.

    Posted by Kate Crimmins | November 20, 2016, 8:05 AM
  2. So true, Jen. The emphasis really should be on being thankful for the things with which we are blessed. We should all forget about being perfect, because it’s never going to happen. Just enjoy the day, 🙂

    Posted by meowmeowmans | November 20, 2016, 8:58 AM
  3. Thanks, Jen! Happy Thanksgiving to you and the furries! 😉 xoxoM

    Posted by Margarita | November 20, 2016, 9:04 AM
  4. So glad I don’t have to cook. My sister used to cook for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. It became too much so we start going to their tennis club. The food is delicious, the room is pretty and inviting, and best of all, there is NO cleanup.

    Christmas is not my holiday, but I hate seeing all the decorations up before Thanksgiving. It’s just gotten too commercial and about presents. A lot of them you get wrong anyway and the person needs to stand in lines to return it. Give it a rest and just enjoy the day.

    Posted by Lynda Fisher | November 20, 2016, 12:57 PM
  5. Cooking? Nope. Cleaning? Nope. Antiseptic? Nope. Meeting my best friend and heading to a fancy restaurant with impeccable service and view of the NY skyline? Yup. Lots to be thankful for. Doggie bag? Nope.

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | November 20, 2016, 4:25 PM
  6. I agree…stay in the moment and take it as it comes. 🙂

    Posted by Susan Langer | November 20, 2016, 4:30 PM
  7. nailed it!!!!!!

    Posted by murphysmission | November 21, 2016, 4:05 PM
  8. Ha! My family never seemed to stress over holiday meals. So I don’t, either! Now of course I’m in Ireland so my family is just me and my slightly confused husband. But he promises to make the turkey on the BBQ grill, come rain or sleet or snow. And I’ve finally taught him how to carve one, too! He lets me run with the rest of it, mostly – deciding how much other ‘bad things’ we should have. And how much turkey to give the cats and dog without making them sick, of course!

    Posted by heretherebespiders | November 21, 2016, 4:23 PM
  9. Going to my son’s for Thanksgiving and not going near any kind of shopping on Friday. i guess we aren’t “real Americans” 🙂

    Posted by Marilyn Armstrong | November 22, 2016, 1:42 AM
  10. Hear, hear! Finally someone shares the voice of how most of ‘us’ girls feel about the howlidays!

    Posted by Tails Around the Ranch | November 22, 2016, 8:25 AM
  11. Well said! I recently wrote on how to prevent all the madness of the holidays. Perhaps you’ll enjoy this post as well! http://www.ajourneyofprogress.com/2016/12/05/7-tips-less-stress-holiday-season/

    Posted by Heather | December 18, 2016, 4:01 PM

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