Holiday Grieving and the Art of Thanksgiving Tostadas

By Elizabeth Villa

Last Thanksgiving, my parents and I started a new tradition: Thanksgiving Tostadas.

It takes a lot for me to pass up any opportunity to eat mashed potatoes, but last year was different. My marriage had just ended, my sister wasn’t home, and the idea of the three of us sitting around a big turkey dinner was depressing.

We knew that it wasn’t like every other Thanksgiving, so we decided not to pretend that it was. By making a simple menu change we threw expectations out the window and did what was best for us on that day.

Sure there were tears, but there were also tostadas. And you know what I love more than mashed potatoes? You guessed it – tostadas.

Doing what’s best for us can be extra hard during the holidays. There's a lot of stress, added expectations, and so much that’s out of our control.

But whether it’s changing the menu, giving yourself space to grieve, or finally standing up to *that* uncle, there are ways big and small for you to do what’s best for you this holiday, too.

That’s the art of making Thanksgiving Tostadas.

P.S. If you want to make some Thanksgiving Tostadas...


  • Corn Tortillas

  • Refried Beans

  • Cheese

  • Tomatoes

  • Avocado

  • Lettuce

  • Sour Cream

  • Salsa

  • Anything else that looks good to you!


  1. Fry the corn tortillas or buy them already fried from the grocery store.

  2. Heat the beans in a sauce pan.

  3. Chop tomatoes and green onion.

  4. Layer your tostada however your taste buds desire.

(Thumbnail Photo: Annie Spratt)

Elizabeth Villa is a 29-year-old entrepreneur living and working in Los Angeles. She recently started Do The Good Stuff, changed her marital status, and moved back in with her parents. Her experiences and conversations have made her an advocate for pursuing health and wellness on your own terms as one way to claim your space in the world.