Suck it, nutritionists: Christmas is not Christmas without ploughing an absurd amount of cookies, chocolate, caramel popcorn, booze; downing a copious quantity of rich cheese and all manner of savoury delights! Christmas is not Christmas without the table FULL of plates of tantalizing concoctions beautifully arranged on a tray with garnish and cranberries and lovely springs of dill. It is the season of phyllo pastry, mini-quiches, smoked salmon, cream-cheese EVERYTHING! It is the season of Chocolate; of advent calendars and Pot of Gold and Turtles and After-Eights.
I don’t know about you, but I am super sick of that age-old column that appears in every newspaper and magazine around this time of year, with a headline that goes something like this: “How to Stay Thin over the Holidays” where some scrawny grinch-bag goes on to tell me that I should eat a massive plate of raw celery before going to a party, limit myself to one appetizer, (or even worse, as I saw recently, a suggestion to eat ONLY one appetizer, and skip dinner altogether — blasphemy!) drink only one glass of wine (which should be daintily sipped over a four-hour stretch…. yeah right).
Christmas is a season of celebration, not moderation. And for me, celebration is inextricably tied to eating. I love food, and so does my whole family, and our family reunions are never complete without certain key items: Aunt Kate’s famous spinach and artichoke dip. My mom’s pineapple muffins. Uncle Jim’s quiche. All these things (and many more) are as much a part of the event as any of the actual people in attendance. A family that eats together, stays together.
And most of these columns, these guilt-inducing, misery-inspiring columns, say that the average person gains about a pound – ONE MEASLY POUND! – over the whole holiday season. A pound is approximately 3600 calories. That’s only like, ten runs in January to get that off. No big whoop!
Let’s just be clear here, that I am not endorsing a flat-out binge-fest on everything in sight – I’m just saying that, one time of year ladies, lets give ourselves a bit of a break. Lets stop mentally calculating calories and amount of time you’ll have to jog to get it off, let’s stop DEPRIVING ourselves, for only a few weeks of the year, let’s instead allow ourselves, give ourselves permission, to go a little nuts, to laugh and joke and sing and, yes, EAT, with our dearest friends and family.
Time to put some Bailey’s in my coffee….