I was looking up stuffing recipes and there was one that really caught my eye. I didn’t realize my husband was peeping over my shoulder.

“If you even think about putting raisins and orange peels in the turkey stuffing …” he said. But then he just trailed off, like he couldn’t bear to imagine the horrific possibility.

I can’t stop being extra for Thanksgiving and especially Christmas. It’s the overachiever in me, but also the Food Network addict. If Tyler Florence made his own mushroom soup and fried his own onion strings for the green bean casserole, why shouldn’t I spend $400 and 5 hours destroying my kitchen to do the same?

No, doing an entire spread for my family is my gift to them, even if it means resenting them for it later.

But going overboard on Thanksgiving has significant drawbacks like having to borrow grandma’s walker when dinner’s over.

Here are some signs if, like me, you’re gonna be a little too extra this Thanksgiving.

  1. You set your alarm for 4 AM, just in case.
  2. You create a side dish that starts with the words “deconstructed.”
  3. You’ve been doing side dish test runs since Halloween.
  4. You have created a Thanksgiving dinner folder that includes recipes, shopping lists, polaroids and emergency phone numbers of your mom, aunts and church elders in case something goes wrong with a dish.
  5. You roast your own pumpkin. (Do you also churn your own butter? THE CAN IS A GIFT FROM JESUS.)
  6. You’re whisking gravy, sweating like John Goodman carrying a couch up the stairs.
  7. You put out the Pier1 Thanksgiving themed cloth napkins, but don’t let anyone actually use them.
  8. You’ve made a fancy signature cocktail that only your gay friends would appreciate. Unfortunately, none of them are attending this year.
  9. You’re not even hungry when you finally sit down because you’ve been taste testing for quality assurance since 10 AM.
  10. No one volunteers to help with the dishes because it looks like a bomb dropped on a Home Ec class.

As my mom says, “Keep it simple – it’s only a success if you’re having fun too. And good grief, stop roasting your own pumpkin!”


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