Many people experience stress from expectations of what the holidays should be like. I remember one of my favorite Thanksgivings was when I spent the day alone. I ate a pumpkin pie. I worked out and read and wrote and spent time outside. Letting go of what many people think the holiday should be allowed me to have a wonderful day, even if it wasn’t traditional. As a baby of divorce, I learned this perspective the hard way. Many of my holidays were not nearly so pleasant. The worst Thanksgiving I remember was when my mom was taken to jail the day before Thanksgiving (for a crime she did not commit that is not punishable with jail, even if she had been guilty). On that Thanksgiving, I visited my little sister at the emergency foster care center she was taken to and then some family friends drove me from the Canadian border to North Carolina. I tried to eat Subway from a gas station. I don’t think I’ve ever cried more than I did on that specific day. Now, most anything that happens on a holiday feels quite lovely to me. And I’m hoping you all can recognize how beautiful your holidays are, even if you’re in the midst of some chaos or feeling like you’re alone or suffering.