As a television reporter, I usually end up working on Thanksgiving. We all have to work one of the three big holidays, and for me, this is the most benign holiday to miss.
It is a holiday that revolves around eating, football and extended family. I'm not a big fan of heavy food. I know nothing about football. And, in my experience, extended family gatherings usually come with built-in stress.
Because my husband's family is here, and mine is not, he generally takes the girls to several Thanksgiving day celebrations. This involves multiple meals and lots of driving. The end result: Everyone is exhausted by the time I meet up with them after work. I am perfectly content to dine on takeout while they belly ache about all they ate.
Ultimately, I think we put too much stock in individual holidays. We build them up to be such an important day, but they rarely live up to our expectations.
In reality, the moments that mean the most in life tend to sneak up on us, and rarely occur during a carefully pre-planned event. It is when I am reading to my youngest daughter and she leans over and kisses me out of the blue. It is when my oldest daughter laughs at something funny I've said and her whole face lights up.
This year I give thanks for those moments. I'll leave the stuffing and football to someone else...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.