Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Holidays Are Hard

Holidays are hard…I am writing this in a crunch. I am listening to Taylor Swift, a Diet Pepsi that is so flat it’s not worth it is nearby, as is my daughter’s Christmas list.

I have been writing these blogs for almost two years. The first one I wrote as a regular contributor was right around this time and it was about the holidays and that pang. That pang you get as a parent who shares holidays with a former spouse.

Holidays are hard.

Let’s be honest they suck.

That dance you do. My least favorite dance by the way.

I wrote that blog from my perspective.

I didn’t stop to think about my daughter’s Dad. More importantly I didn’t stop to think about my daughter.

We have been attending this “dance” for almost eleven years. One year Santa didn’t come until the day after Christmas. She has had to wait. Ask me to share lists. Some people think she gets two things isn’t that great.

Is it?

So I asked her. How she feels about things. What she wants. She’s thirteen now. 

Well I should first tell you…Last year she put her foot down and told us how it was going to be. She wanted to wake up Christmas morning here, then go to her Dad’s. Then come home. She told me she was mad we waited so long to ask. I said well you were little…

That kind of smoothed things over. 

This year we now have COVID to contend with. Our state has actually mandated no gatherings with people outside of the home. So I asked her…now what? How are you feeling about things?

Meh she says.

What does that mean?

Mom, I can’t get upset about things I can’t control, remember? No point.

Wow. You are much calmer about this than I am. 

I know. She laughs.

I still worry that Christmas is never what it should be or Thanksgiving or Easter…

I will always feel that pang when she goes. I will always worry she is not getting the holidays she deserves.

The older she gets we are talking and making the holidays more hers. As they always should have been as I meant them to be. But as you know there’s no playbook for this. What you think is right maybe isn’t. So you try to make each moment, each holiday,better.

I am thankful for such a great kid in spite of me figuring this out as I go.

And maybe figuring it out wrong.


Be safe Mommas and much love.


Season Of Gratitude

Season of gratitude….

With Thanksgiving right around the corner I am especially aware of how important it is to be grateful. Not merely as a concept, but more as an experience that can bring you to tears.

It has taken me the better part of my adult life to fully experience gratitude in my body. One of the turning points for me was reading a book called Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer by Brother David Steindl-Rast. He has a wonderful video on YouTube where he described why we should be profoundly grateful to simply wake up in the morning. I encourage you to view it here https://youtu.be/3Zl9puhwiyw.

The bottom line is what Brother David expresses is everything in this world has been given to us. The air that we breathe, the water that we drink, our bodies that’s simply work. I used to take all of these things for granted. The idea that I could just go into the kitchen and turn on the faucet and have clean, potable water to drink. Both hot and cold running water when so much of the world doesn’t have it. That is amazing. Really.

This was also my wife’s favorite time of the year. She assigned all of her clients and students to write 1000 gratitudes before Thanksgiving day. I never once heard anyone say ” yay I can’t wait!” The reaction was more commonly a groan or a grunt. It always became an exercise in overcoming ourselves, but in the long run was a glorious exercise. And showed us how there are so many things in our lives day to day, to be grateful for. The people and things that we interact with every day make our lives wonderful, and we can stop and acknowledge that. 

Of course there are some things in our lives we cannot be grateful for, that we wish would never have happened,  or would never happen again, but that’s not what this exercise is about. Trust me, you can always return to that way of thinking anytime you choose, but for today, for now join me in thinking about all of the wonderful things, and all the wonderful people in our lives. Because we can.


Time To Break Traditions

I realized this is the year we change the rules, break traditions… Nothing has really gone as planned since March, so its time not to follow our normal plan for the rest of the year… Time to break some traditions and make new…

I am such a tradition person, I love traditions… I have tried to pass many down to my kids…so, this year, my kids have been begging to put up the Christmas Decorations early.  I think they started even asking before Halloween.

Of course, I said “no way, we do not put up anything until the day after thanksgiving” in my mom voice.  That is the tradition and we do not change it.  Since I was a little girl, we always put up our decorations and tree the day after thanksgiving.  And yes, we all have that one friend that has always put her tree up in October and I would roll my eyes and think she was crazy…

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday….I love getting the newspaper with all the black friday ads (totally old school), along with watching the Macy’s day parade and the smell of the turkey in the oven….all that delicious food that I can not make.

The place cards sitting in front of each place setting, which were made many years ago that are full of spills and old gravy.  My kids sitting at the kid table putting the olives on their fingers and just eating buns with butter.   The Ham Pickle Roll Ups that no one can live without… My mom telling everyone that there is “No Football” on Thanksgiving.. She never wont that battle.  Its the kick off to the Holiday Season and I love that.

So this week, it really hit me hard  when my mom said we could not have Thanksgiving this year.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Thanksgiving was cancelled, I was mad.  And at first, I was kind of mad at her…. How could she cancel thanksgiving…. And then I realized it was for the best.

But not getting together as a family, its just so sad, plus I might have to cook now.  I know lots of whining from me… But I am tired of trying to be ok with all these damn 2020 changes.

So, yesterday my daughter asked again, “can we please put up our Christmas decorations this weekend” and I started with my mom voice “NO…along with my normal rant about when we put them up” and then I stopped and said “yes, I guess we can”.  I mean, “ why not”.

I mean really why not…nothing is normal anymore this year… maybe its time to break traditions and start things new.  I feel like this Holiday Season should be just full of extra joy and happiness.  It’s like I want to turn our home into a Holiday Village with snow and twinkling little lights.

I know that I feel the heaviness of the unknown this year and I can tell my kids do also.  They do not understand all the changes in our plans and not being able to get together like in the past.  They are doing their best with it, but I think we are all just tired.

Easter, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween, 1st Communion, Confirmation, many Birthdays and now Thanksgiving are all different.  There are no big family get togethers or celebrations.  And as much as I have gone with the flow and adapted, it really sucks.

So this year, we are starting our holiday decorations and celebrations early… I am breaking my golden rule and breaking the traditions.  It started this morning, with the holiday music and ordering another Christmas tree off amazon.  And we all decided to make Xmas cookies the day before thanksgiving. Another tradition that I just broke…

We might all be sick of it all by Christmas, but at least we can really enjoy the next 6 weeks.  And I want my kids to remember 2020 as the year we started new traditions…





Holiday Realness

I’m sitting writing something I wasn’t going to.

My sadness at being without G during the holidays.

It is the reality of being a single parent during the holidays. It’s a choice you make. It doesn’t make it any less hard.

On everybody.

Luckily we have gotten G to a place where she revels in multiple meals, knows Santa will find her and cherishes her different traditions.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not all lollipops and roses and my anxiety raises starting in October, because I know it means behind the scenes I have to start holiday negotiations and frankly it’s awful. It just is.

I try really hard to keep my chin up,but this year in particular I fell on my face. My chin dragged on the floor the minute I called her from my office to say goodbye. Knowing I wouldn’t see her for the next few days.

Truth bomb when she is here typically we are in the same room on our respective electronics, but she’s HERE.

It’s especially lonely when you’re alone. I don’t have anyone I go home to. OK, my golden doodle and while he is majestic…it’s not the same.

While at work I watched as the families are excited about plans with loved ones. Running errands at Target, families stuffing carts. At my favorite wine shop where I got two bottles of wine, couples making negotiations about how Thanksgiving is going to go.

So I wear a lot of waterproof mascara, try to stay away from social media and keep to myself.

Pro tip: maybe John Mayer’s song Stop this Train, while an absolutely beautiful song should be avoided. You may burst into tears. In you car. In the Target parking lot.

Here’s the thing, G needs time with her Dad and his family. It’s so important to have those traditions and I wouldn’t dream of taking that time away. But this is the same guy who lets her stay up late and thinks pizza is a food group. So I worry. I miss her. I get lonely. As much as people say the holidays are hard for people and be compassionate, when it’s in their face it isn’t as easy to deal with as they post on Facebook. Sadly those are things you find out as a single parent. Not everyone is here to hold your hand. Friendsgiving invites are few and far between.

I think it’s harder this year for me because she’s hitting an age where she needs me less. Which will DEFINITELY be a blog for another day.

I’m a pretty independent person but I’m human.

“I have a happy personality with a heavy soul. Sometimes it gets weird.”

However, I am lucky. I have some people I can reach out to. Which as a guarded girl I still struggle with. Here’s the thing being sad doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. So last night I poured a glass of wine, and chatted with one of my favorite fellow single Moms. I set some boundaries for myself. I had a good cry.

I snuggled with my majestic doodle. I let myself be sad.

The holidays are hard. Remember not everything is easy and that’s ok. You don’t have to be tough all the time. But maybe remember to let people in. Breathe. Share. I know it’s hard.

Let people love you. Let people hold your hand. Find the people you can chat with at 1030 at night who let you swear like a pirate, cry and make silly promises.

Give yourself a moment.

You got this Mama.

I believe in you.


Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
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