Why we make crazy bagels on Thanksgiving

Last year, my therapist told me that it’s been proven that traditions = happiness. And the more traditions you have, the happier it makes you.

Well, that was shitty news because Andrew and I don’t have any traditions. We don’t have weekly date nights or a neighborhood bar where they know our drink order. We don’t really celebrate anniversaries and holidays are always a chaotic blur of family.

In fact, I kind of hate the holidays. There is such an emphasis on gifts and Andrew and I spend most of Thanksgiving and Christmas driving between our family homes, and it feels like SO much work for…nothing. A bunch of stuff that I’d be just as happy not getting.

(Yes, I’m totally a grinch!)

So when my therapist told me that, I decided that I want traditions. Growing up, my family’s Christmas tradition was Mexi-Brexie (egg and soy-chorizo tacos) and mimosas before opening gifts and my mom always stuck an orange right in the toe of our stockings.

But now my family is spread around the world, and can’t always be together on Christmas. And Andrew and I are caught in that space between being the “kids” in our family units, and making our own family unit with our own kids. It makes holidays feel funky monkey. As my mom put it a couple years ago, “a bunch of adults sitting on the floor opening gifts is kind of awkward.”

I started to read a lot about traditions.

Like why they can help children develop strong emotional attachments.

And that it doesn’t matter what the rituals are, just how many there are. Because the more traditions we have, the better our holidays are.

How even thinking about traditions can make us feel good.

Did you know that a healthy tradition involves:

1. a strictly defined time and place; 2. a set of features that are repeated year after year; 3. another set of features that are different from year to year; and 4. a lot of symbols.

And last year we decided to make some traditions.

On Thanksgiving morning, we held our First Annual Crazy Bagel Competition. We each had to make the craziest bagel combo we could imagine. Andrew went French Toast and I went with Margarita Pizza:

Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 6.17.18 PM.png

Andrew won.

This year, Andrew went with Churro bagel and I went with Truffle Butter BLT.


Andrew won.

Last year, this whole tradition thing felt a little silly. I mean, it’s not really a tradition if you're doing it for the first time, right? But this year, it actually felt meaningful. ThanksBagel is officially an annual tradition in our house.

In fact, I think I’ve become obsessed with tradition!

We decided to make a tradition of getting our tree the first weekend after Thanksgiving. I personally think that getting a tree in November is a bit gauche…but Andrew loves it and I have to agree that it does make it harder for me to price compare (whereas in previous years where I drive all around the city looking for the best deal on a tree and then panic and overspend last minute on a raggedly twig tree…)

So this year, we got the dog and bundled up and drove out to a tree farm to cut down our very own tree.


Maybe traditions are the antidote to consumerism.

Our traditions can serve as a reminder that it can be about more than gifts and Black Friday shopping and running around from holiday party to holiday party. That sometimes it’s just the chance to look backwards and think about all the years you’ve done this before and all the years you’ll do it again.