Making Traditions Is Making Me Crazy

We’ve all seen the commercials, the cards, and the movies. The family is present around the Thanksgiving table, eagerly awaiting the beautiful turkey to be carved and devoured. The mom is there, hair coiffed, pearls on, and smiling like her children are perfectly behaved and nothing burned on the stove that morning. I want that for my family. I want the picture-perfect dinner spread, with memories to be cherished for a lifetime. But, how in the world do I do that?

turkey meal dinnerThis is my first Thanksgiving to be a mommy, and I want it to be so incredibly special for my son, who will remember absolutely none of it. My husband and I both have great memories of Thanksgiving and the holiday season from our respective childhoods. We each have little things that are special to us, and we want to pass those on to our son. We also want to establish our own traditions and memories.

Here is where I go a little nuts.

I want crafts. I want baked goods. I want to breed thankfulness in his little heart. I want to prepare a feast that is one for the books. I want to wear a cute outfit that will look great in family pictures. I want it all. I want all the food, memories, and warm feelings one can manage to stuff into a day. Speaking of stuff, I also want stuffing.

I have been scouring social media on how to decorate, how to cook the perfect meal, and how to create cutesy crafts with my baby. I even painted his little feet and made a crafty turkey for the holiday. Poor little guy was so confused when I slathered paint on him and made him lay perfectly still while I printed his feet on a canvas.

Thanksgiving, craft

I have since decided that I hate Pinterest. I just can’t keep up with all the ideas and cuteness. I am doing well if I just shower and do my hair in a day, so who am I kidding to think I have time to live up to this picture-perfect version of someone else’s Thanksgiving? So, I am giving up.

I am not sure our parents sat down and listed out the things they wanted to establish as traditions on special days like turkey day. I think as life happened, traditions happened. If I boil down my desires and my emotions to one thing, it’s that I just want to be with family and be happy on Thanksgiving. I want my son to look back on Thanksgiving and not think of a panicky mom trying to make sure everything is perfect for the Instagram post later. I want him to remember warmth, love, laughter, thankfulness, and family. The crafts, table settings, and decorations will be forgotten and go out of style. The traditions and memories made from just enjoying the holiday will last. I want to be present for my son and just enjoy the day with him.

So, who is with me? Let’s abandon the quest for the perfect holiday and the Pinterest-worthy look. Let’s just be together, eat some pumpkin pie, and be happy.

Happy Thanksgiving, Fort Worth moms!

Julie B
Julie B was born and raised in Oklahoma and will forever proudly call herself an Okie. She moved to India after college to study language and culture, where she worked with women and children. She has since fallen in love with all things Bollywood. She moved to Texas in 2014 to attend graduate school and found her handsome husband Sam while there. They welcomed sweet baby Hudson into their lives in 2016, and Julie is now a stay-at-home mom taking graduate classes in her “free time.” She is a recent coffee convert and loves to cook spicy Indian food with her husband. You can discover more about Julie on her blog Sweet Tea and Chickpeas.


  1. Yes! This resonates with me as I prepare to host my daughter’s first Thanksgiving with my mom and in-laws. I could get so overwhelmed trying to plan the absolute perfect day that I don’t stop and just enjoy my family! I agree it’s so much more important to just be present.

  2. Well said! We do remember the emotions associated with family gatherings –the good and the not so good! And your children will remember the special food that only you or a relative makes for the meal and not much else.


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