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What is it about this time of year that makes a sane person think he or she can spend these golden days between late November and the start of a new year stuffing something besides the turkey or their Christmas stockings and not pay the consequences? If you have found a successful method for avoiding the constant onslaught of holiday fare, I’d love to hear your secret! But I bet you’ll have a hard time sharing with your mouth full!
At my office it’s not uncommon to have everything from nut-covered cheese balls, chocolate-dipped popcorn and peppermint fudge accompanied by eggnog, festive cookies, and/or some other hip slimming concoction, well before lunch! I have come to believe that holiday eating is the adult version of thinking there is a Santa Claus. Yes, Virginia, you really can eat over 10,000 calories a day and keep your girlish figure.
When it comes to my magical thinking, what I find amusing is that every morning I get up with complete resolve. At 6:00 am, while brushing my teeth and making sure my hair doesn’t look like I just walked in front of some giant wind tunnel, I stare boldly into the mirror and say, “Today, no matter what anyone brings in, I’m going to drink water and eat celery sticks!” …Fast forward to about 8:30 am and you’re likely to find me munching on Marylou’s Marvelous Meltdowns (you say you only used 4 sticks of butter in these?) or Francine’s Fantastic Fritters (if I rub lard directly on my thighs is it as fattening?)!
As a breast cancer survivor, part of me frets about what this sort of overindulging is doing to my health. Unfortunately, that part of me is generally in a food coma by about 11:00 am each morning. No one has to twist my arm to get me to try some decadent delight, but they may have to slap my hand to keep me from going back for more. Oh, the shame!
And speaking of shame, what’s up with those horrible holiday sweaters? If you ask me, I think there’s a direct correlation between the festive food frenzy and what appears to be a sudden lack of taste and style. Just yesterday, a co-worker who normally wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less stylish than an Armani suit, stopped by my cubicle to ask if I wanted to sample some of her best friend Barb’s Bacon-Covered Chewy Cherries. Although I forced myself to take one (I am polite, for goodness’ sake!) I nearly fell out of my chair, and it wasn’t because the cherries were heavy…
Standing in front of me was a woman who very closely resembled a fully trimmed Christmas tree. She had tinsel. She had holly. She had bells. She had ornaments. Santa was perched on her left shoulder and the North Pole on her right. I guess from the look on my face she thought I was amazed. Well, I was, but perhaps not in the way she imagined. Nonetheless, my gaping mouth caused her to feel it was necessary to twirl around and show me the other side of this eyeball-spinning extravaganza.
On the back of the sweater was a depiction of the nativity scene made out of what very closely resembled dried fruit, and because no self-respecting holiday sweater is apparently complete without one – a fully loaded sled and reindeer appeared to be flying across her back. And yes, Rudolph’s nose was blinking.
So was I.
After making sure I had enough Bacon-Covered Chewy Cherries to last a lifetime (one would suffice), she leaned close and whispered, “You know what I love about these wonderful holiday sweaters?” I was spellbound as I waited for her to continue. “When you’ve had too much to eat, they are the perfect camouflage. I haven’t been able to button my pants for a week – and you’d never know!”
…Did I happen to mention just how beautiful I think holiday sweaters are? If I wasn’t so full, I’d be tempted to learn how to knit! In the meantime, please pass the eggnog…