Turkey and ham are great, but everyone knows that the real stars of Christmas dinner are the sides. There’s truly nothing like hopping in line (for the second time), skipping over the main dishes and piling your plate up high with greens, yams, stuffing and rolls. You probably already know how sad it is when the sides start to disappear, and you’re left scraping the aluminum pan for leftover noodles.

It’s no secret that this year has been difficult for all of us. We’re physically separated from our families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social tensions have been high since the spring and President Trump’s behavior after the 2020 presidential election left many of us feeling drained. Even still, there is so much to be grateful for.

We can relax today because made it through. The perseverance that Black women have cultivated over the years did not fail us, even when the road seemed too dark to navigate. We kept pushing, day after day, in the midst of odds that seemed unbeatable. We rose above it all and that is something that we should all celebrate.

Today, as you dive into your meal and talk to your loved ones via phone, text and video chat, keep gratitude near your heart. You are loved, you are blessed and you are here. That is all any of us could ever hope for.

In the spirit of love and fun, we ranked our absolute favorite holiday dinner side dishes. Keep scrolling to see our full list.

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