At some point, I will need to host a Thanksgiving dinner. I recognize and accept this fact. However, because I’ve been someone’s guest for pretty much every Thanksgiving of my adult life, I have plenty of time to think about the holiday and the gratitude that goes along with it. When I became a parent, the things I’m often thankful for have shifted, and I’d even guess that there are some things that every mom is thankful for during Thanksgiving. While not every parent celebrates the same way, and surely not every mom has the same warm fuzzy feelings that I do for the holiday, when it comes to some of those universal Thanksgiving traditions, I’d wager that many of us can relate in a fundamental, universal way.
This year, for example, when we make the over the river and through the woods to my in-laws’ house, I’ll be thinking about another holiday season with my son, his growth, the relationship I have with him, and the upcoming Christmas season because I’m only human (well, a human who celebrates Christmas) and everything that has changed since this time last year. In other words, nostalgia will sink in and I'll be a puddle of feelings.
However, once we arrive at our destination and prepare ourselves to feast, and the reality of the day ahead and the giant amounts of food inevitably sets in, things will change. Doting relatives, a blaring television showing parades and football sinks in, and some hyper children will cause my "thankfulness" to shift, ever-so-slightly, and I'll probably end up thankful for a few, um, different things. Either way, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, so here are a few things I'm sure every mom is thankful for on Turkey Day.
Forgiving Pants And Boxy Shirts And Scarves
Elastic waistband leggings have been my jam lately, and the fact that loose and free-flowing shirts are everywhere these days doesn’t hurt either. You might be asking, “What about scarves? What do scarves have to do with Thanksgiving?” Well, dear reader, I will tell you. Scarves draw the eyes upward and distract, while simultaneously covering gravy spills, cranberry smears, and turkey grease. You're welcome.
Her Kids And Whoever Else She Gets To Celebrate With
Of course, kids and family must be included on this list. If I don’t add it now, I may forget when I’m too distracted by fixing a plate for my toddler and getting the right mix of shapes and colors on it.
The Kids’ Table
My son isn’t big enough for a kids’ table just yet, nor do we have enough kids in our extended family to make this a realistic option. Still, I can’t help but imagine how glorious this must be for moms of slightly-older kiddos who can be trusted to sit at a table with food without absolute disaster occurring. I see you all, and I raise my glass to you and your peaceful adults-only table.
Enough Food Options For Even The Pickiest Eaters
I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like at least something from a Thanksgiving spread. Perhaps there are some of you reading this who are like, “Ha! You haven’t met my son/daughter/partner/me,” in which case I offer my condolences because that can’t be easy. However, for the rest of us the plentiful options make everything right.
All The Glorious Leftovers
Though my family isn’t hosting this year, we are more than willing to share the leftover responsibilities. I mean, no one wants to see it go to waste, right? Plus, my loved ones sweat up and down that it really is helpful, so I’m going with it.
Three Kinds Of Pie
I say this carefully and with the utmost respect for those who disagree: pumpkin pie just doesn’t do it for me. I know, I know. Please don’t throw anything at me, but it’s the truth. I’d take pecan or apple or pretty much anything else over pumpkin. Thankfully, (pun intended), we typically have options on Thanksgiving.
It helps us stay awake when we’re finally getting to the pie, and also every other day of our lives thanks to our kids’ and their early wake-ups.
My son’s been making valiant, and sometimes successful attempts to skip his nap lately. However, after I feed him this plate of turkey? Not today, son. Not today.
To be fair, my dearest mom friends are long-distance, so I won’t be seeing them on the actual holiday. However, it’s safe to assume that my phone will have some messages from them, just as theirs will have some from me.
Dressy (Read: Adorable) Kid Clothes
Tiny sweaters and dress shirts and giant flower headbands and delicate baby cardigans? Yeah, they make the world a better place. I’d like to propose that we all send photos of cute kids to current world leaders and watch the peace treaties start accumulating.
On Thanksgiving, the internet saves us when we need last minute reminders on making gravy, setting the table, and mixing drinks. Then again, everyday it saves us by helping us come up with toddler activities, diagnosing rashes, and giving us access to our Facebook mom groups.
Extra Relatives To Play With (Read: Distract) The Kids
I love playing with my son, don’t get me wrong. However, I also love relaxing with a delicious beverage and some choice appetizers, while simultaneously putting my feet up on the coffee table while I watch other people play with him. Everyone wins, you guys.
Whoever Made Your Kids’ Favorite Toys
Speaking of my son and playtime, I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout-out my thanks to whoever’s responsible for all the toys and trucks that have taken over our entire house. I know that sounds slightly snarky, but I mean it in all sincerity. I have no idea where this love of his came from, but I’m happy he gets to explore it with small versions that fit in his hands.
Dishwashers And Washing Machines
In general these are helpful, but on Thanksgiving they're absolutely crucial. Tackling dishes after such a monumental meal is slightly less painful when modern technology’s around. As far as washing machines go, that’s just a given when there’s a toddler in the vicinity.
Couches And Blankets
Nothing beats a post-Thanksgiving couch spot with a soft blanket (although regular couch spots with soft blankets are a close second).