Meet Martyr Stewart

As the holidays roll around, it’s time for all of us to set another place at our perfectly appointed table.

Introducing Martyr Stewart.

 She’s giving and creative and driven and the color of Satan.
You cannot help her, but you cannot be grateful enough. Ever.


You all know Martyr Stewart. She’s the one who’s been researching how to sculpt garlic rosemary mashed potatoes into the shape of the Mayflower.

It’s a side dish AND a gravy boat.  Get it?

She’s the one sculpting little turkeys in the sweet potatoes before baking, with pecans as the feathers.


Can you see the little turkeys in the slices? They’re WATERMARKS.

She’s the one who knows how to write code on Pinterest, and if you stand still long enough, she WILL pin you. But mostly, she’s that friend or family member who insists on going above and beyond at the holidays, but is ultimately disappointed when people just don’t appreciate her efforts enough.  How do I know Martyr Stewart?

I am Martyr Stewart.

Every year, I try to have a Martha Stewartish holiday season, where I set a beautiful table and make delicious yet healthy meals and maintain low levels of stress while gazing lovingly at my adorably genius-level children and helpful life partner. This story ALWAYS, UNERRINGLY begins with someone asking if they can help, and me pouring a glass of wine and saying, “Oh no, I’ve got this!”  And every year I burn something, undercook meat to the point of trichinosis, break a glass, watch the dog eat half a brick of Butter Flavor Crisco I knocked off the counter, ultimately to end in doggie diarrhea, while my kids watch marathon sessions of VicTORIous and The Office and Current Husband plays Bejeweled on his iPad and I drink too much wine and end up crying about how I can’t function in a grown-up world.

My mother was a Martyr Stewart. My sister is a Martyr Stewart. My mother-in-law has her Martyr Stewart moments. And I’m sure my daughters will someday make me proud as they call me on their first Thanksgiving without me, weeping about how they cooked the plastic bag of giblets and neck INSIDE the turkey, and the dog ate the pumpkin pie, and NO ONE IS DOING A GODDAMN THING TO HELP!

I know some of you actually do achieve perfection. This post is not for you. But I know that some of you post your pictures of bunnies made of cabbage leaves and little cakes in the shape of the Blessed Mother and gingerbread houses with working toilets, and that there is a hidden life of project failures we never see, and we’re left only to assume you are perfect.  But I’m onto you.  I know you poop.

This year, in honor of Martyr Stewarts everywhere, I’ll be posting Martyr Stewart FB and Twitter posts.  Please feel free to join in with your own on the FB page or on Twitter, and be sure to hashtag it with #MartyrStewart.

Let the Illusion of Perfection and the Quest for Martyrdom begin!



  1. Ok – first of all..I got the book! Cried at your awesome inscription and the token swear…the closest thing to a medal I have ever won. Now, about the martyr thang….I’m not sure what’s wrong with me….maybe I’m an under-acheiver…but on holidays? I ALWAYS let everyone else do the cooking and I drink tons of wine and enjoy myself…even when it’s at my house. My husband is super proud.