WOSTER: Avoiding holiday treats is difficult for young, oldWhether you’re a kid for real or just an old man trying to think like a child and act like a child and eat like a child, this is a trying time in the Christmas season.
By: Terry Woster, The Daily Republic
Whether you’re a kid for real or just an old man trying to think like a child and act like a child and eat like a child, this is a trying time in the Christmas season.
The holy holiday is almost here but not quite yet. You’ve just about exhausted your last reserves of willpower, and the supply of cookies and candies seems to be growing, no matter how many people eat how many treats.
Thanksgiving is way back when, so far away you can hardly remember that you vowed never to ever again eat more than one meal a day and certainly never, never ever again to eat more than one cookie a week, even if the tempting little morsels were decorated in a fashion so jolly they would make St. Nicholas Grinch-green with envy.
“I sure do love those Christmas cookies, sugar,’’ George Strait sings in the chorus of a holiday song that always makes me smile, even when I’ve just walked in the door after a tough day at the office and have half a dozen things to get done before bed.
“The ones shaped like Santa Claus, Christmas trees and bells and stars. I sure do love those Christmas cookies, babe.’’
Makes it really difficult to stick to the plan of just eating one that week, especially when it’s only Wednesday, every table and cabinet top at the office is home to a plate of fudge or peanut brittle or Santa-shaped sugar cookies with red and green icing.
Strait, one of the most enduring of country singers, had things pegged, all right, especially when he talked about how his wife sometimes waits until he’s asleep, then takes the cookies that he didn’t eat and “puts those little sprinkly things on top.’’
The temptation is all but overwhelming. The dieticians at the clinics and the nutrition books on the shelves tell you of all the ways to avoid succumbing to the lure of holiday treats. Drinking a bunch of water is supposed to help. So is filling your plate with vegetables and maybe some fruit.
Well, sure, that makes some sense, I guess, although I’ve never known a sugar cookie that didn’t go better with a nice glass of milk or a steaming cup of coffee than it did with a couple of swigs of tap water.
Call me old-fashioned, but if cookies and milk is good enough to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, it’s sure good enough for a Lyman County kid who doesn’t have to travel across the entire world in the short space between sunset and sunrise.
And when Lyman County kids grew up, the milk they separated on the back porch tasted a whole lot sweeter than the artesian water that flowed from the well. That’s probably why the nutrition chart always had a dairy section and not an artesian section.
Vegetables and fruit make sense, too, I suppose, for filling a body up and leaving little room for the good-tasting stuff.
I like most fruits and many different vegetables. I can eat a helping or two of nearly any of them a couple of times a day. I even manage to like asparagus a couple of times a year, although it isn’t something I’d order on my own.
(I grew up hating Brussels sprouts, the only vegetable I can remember my mother ever trying to force me to eat by telling me I couldn’t leave the table until the plate was clean. I passed that distaste on to at least one of the kids, and I went through a contest of wills with that one, thinking for the longest while one evening that he’d tire of being stubborn before I would. I can’t recall who won. He probably did. It must have occurred to me that, with all the vegetables in a garden, why stick Brussels sprouts on the table?)
It’s a trying time, all right. Come Christmas Eve, I take a holiday break from fighting it and just eat whatever is handy, starting with the stuff that tastes best. There’s probably a whole section in the self-help aisles about controlling that behavior.
I haven’t run across it. I’m not looking.