The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Thanksgiving

Family. Friends. Being thankful. Stuffing yourself silly with food. So much work.

Thanksgiving brings to mind many things, especially hours spent in the kitchen with a hot oven and simmering pots and pans full of side dishes.


Of course, there’s cleaning that needs to be done before relatives arrive. There are the festive little Pinterest-inspired decorative touches. A real leaf here, some gold rope tied around the napkin there. I see you and I feel you. But does it have to be that way? I’m here to tell you it does not.

Sit back, relax, let me pour you a glass of pricey red wine someone else bought and give you the lazy mom’s guide to Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful. Thankful for not lifting a finger.

First of all: Do not host Thanksgiving. That’s correct. I know it’s tempting to help out and to take the weight off your friends and family. Aunt Susan hosted last year, and would it kill her to host again this year? Of course not. You are busy. You have children at home. Besides, let’s be honest, that house of yours is a mess. A quick little dusting isn’t going to do the trick, and ain’t nobody got time for anything more involved. Marie Kondo? Try Marie Can’t Do It. Don’t volunteer as tribute. Let someone, anyone, else deal with the mess and crowds of Thanksgiving.

Great. Thanksgiving dinner is at someone else’s house. But you’re not in the clear yet. Your laziness needs room to spread out and breathe. You were asked to bring something to the gathering, because of course you were. Resist the urge to actually cook or bake anything. Consider picking up a liter of soda on the way, some plastic silverware or pre-packaged fruit. Don’t feel guilty. You brought something, didn’t you?

When you arrive at the holiday gathering, make sure your kids are looking especially cute. Dress them in Grandma’s favorite sweaters she bought them, and add hair bows and hair gel as needed. This dressing step is very important to your freedom, because you’re about to hand off those adorable little pains in the asses to someone else. You birthed them or adopted them. You changed their diapers and continue to feed them each day. You’ve done enough. Let someone else watch your kids for awhile. Anyone, really. Uncle Frank. The cousins their age. Don’t be stingy: share the joy that your kids bring. Let them go and keep an ear out for any screeching. Little arguments are OK. A bang here or there. Only look if it sounds like someone is wresting a couple of hyenas.

Now that your hands are free, fill both of them with a beverage or your choice. Wine. Beer. Champagne. Whiskey. Soda. Water. Whatever. Sit down. Enjoy.

You feel bad, don’t you? Your family members or friends are working away in the kitchen. You want to help, and this is perfectly natural. You’re a kind soul. Call out from the comfort of the couch, “Can I help with anything?” When Grandpa peaks out from the kitchen to look at you, make sure your two full hands are visible. “Oh that’s OK, honey. I’ve got it,” he’ll respond. Don’t argue. You offered, and that’s all you can do.

It’s time to eat, so really enjoy your meal. Serve your kids first, and be sure to place them at the kids’ table. Give them big old plastic cups of soda guaranteed to keep them quiet for the duration of the dinner.

Wrap up your meal a little before everyone else, because you are going to selflessly volunteer to keep the kids entertained and out of everyone’s hair during cleanup. Don’t even think about troubling yourself with actually playing, or God forbid, sitting on the floor. You are digesting, after all. That’s crazy talk. The turkey has made you tired.

Simply put a movie on for the kids and flop back down on the couch. Work done. Dishes avoided.

Congratulate yourself on successfully executing a lazy mom’s Thanksgiving for the record books. You have so much to be thankful for. Loving family, wonderful friends, and a rare day to relax and unwind. Lazy never felt, or tasted, so good.

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