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Posts tagged ‘Christmas’

Scrooged

man shaking his finger at you.

You are hereby absolved from your Christmas baking. Yup, you don’t have to do it. I know what you are thinking, “I was enjoying this lady’s blogs, but now I’m wondering if I’m reading stuff from a nut job. I mean, here it is August, why are you talking about Christmas now?” Well, I figure if I say it now, you’ll have time to let it digest. Plus, if I say it any closer to Christmas, I’ll probably get hate mail.

So back to the Christmas baking. Either you are the Nana, MeeMaw, Gigi, Grandma, Granny, Mom, Aunt or other producer of the family Christmas goodies, or you are the recipient. If you are the recipient, pass this on to the producer. You know who they are! They are the martyrs who tell you, “I was up till midnight last night making three dozen pfefferneuse, two dozen chocolate chip and two batches of kringles.” They are the ones who bring the huge plates of cookies to the office parties or give them as gifts. They strive to outdo each other as the preeminent cookie supplier. Points are given for both quantity and quality. They wouldn’t dare have less than three kinds of cookies on hand for any occasion from November 30 to the end of January.

They are also the ones who complain that they can’t lose weight, or they gained x number of pounds over the holidays. So stop it. Just stop.

I can hear the screams of outrage now. “I can’t, my family expects it.” “What fun are the holidays without goodies?” “Lighten up, you have to live.”

So how serious are you about your health? Do you really want to lose weight, or do you want to just complain without really doing anything? How about that family? Do you really want to set your children and grandchildren up to be overweight as well? Do you seriously want to train them to be unhealthy? It scares me how we have this mindset to give our children food that is bad for them, simply because it is not making them fat at the moment. What do you think happens when they stop growing? Also, if that food is unhealthy for you, why do you think it is any less so for children? While it is a topic for its own blog post, we are training our children to be unhealthy by giving them the white flour, sugar, salt, processed meats, and fats that we know we shouldn’t eat. Our society is a bit schizoid as well in its competing beliefs that we should party for two months and not gain weight. Generally, people gain 1-5 lbs over the holidays, and never lose it. Half of that is alcohol, so there is another part of the equation, but telling people to not drinking is even less popular than telling them to lay off the baked goods!

If you can’t stop, may I suggest modifying. Instead of baking two or three kinds of cookies, bake one batch of one kind. Do not bake another till the first is gone. When you have multiple kinds, people feel obligated to take one of each, encouraging over-consumption.

Think about it. All the time you save not baking all that stuff will give you time to go for a walk or to the gym. If all this is causing you to have a glassy eyed look of horror pasted on your face, well, you have a few months to adjust to the idea. And when you come out of hibernation in the spring a few pounds lighter instead of heavier, you’ll thank me. Really, you will.

Change is Good

In the past, I’ve been a bit of a scrooge about Christmas. Not that I have anything against celebrating the birth of Christ. It’s just the traditions of the holiday had lost their luster for a few years. Mostly because of the S.A.D. thing, and Christmas coming nearly on the shortest day of the year. Shopping in the dark, or simply driving in the dark filled me with dread. Adding all the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking into what felt like an already full schedule¬† made me tired just contemplating it.
The last few years have brought a reprieve. With grown children juggling family expectations, Christmas at our house has moved to an earlier date. The internet has made shopping fun again- just sit in your p.j.’s and click a button and, shazam! a few days later, packages arrive. I am the queen of how to make cooking quicker and easier, and the aforementioned grown children are more than capable of helping. My predilection for healthy eating has removed some of the expectation of cookies, and what I still bake, I do so when I feel like it and freeze it.
I don’t know who first planted the idea in my head that traditions are not carved in stone, but I thank whoever that was. Doing what makes you happy will make for happier family gatherings. If you have children, you are establishing the traditions in their minds, do so with your comfort in mind. If your children are grown, if they have really high expectations, make them responsible for those expectations.

Christmas tree with packages

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