The holiday season is not my favorite time. There, I've said it. While those words will border on the blasphemous to some, others will no doubt nod in familiar agreement. Maybe I just approach the holidays the wrong way, but for me they have come to represent excess and stress. Much of the stress, I think, comes from the excess: too much eating and drinking, too many parties, too many worries about gifts, and too many Christmas songs played in public places.
But yesterday, as I thought about tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, I had an epiphany, at least as far as the excessive eating is concerned. I DON'T HAVE TO eat so much that I just want to curl up on the sofa after dinner and take a nap. I CAN SAY NO to that giant helping of something-or-other that some well-meaning person is trying to drop onto my plate. I DON'T NEED dessert.
It struck me as almost funny when I thought about this annual ritual of giving thanks for our good fortunes by gorging ourselves on turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and green beans and buttered rolls and pumpkin pie. Obesity is a real problem in this country, with nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults considered overweight or obese. It seems to me that we do a pretty good job of giving thanks throughout the year.
This yearly license we seem to give ourselves to ratchet up our already poor habits a notch or two can outlast the holidays. While the typical holiday weight gain is not as high as you might think, about a pound, the problem is that the extra weight tends to stay on. Add that up over the course of a lifetime of Thanksgivings and Christmases and it's not a pretty picture.
I don't mean to be a killjoy, I just think maybe it's time to "lighten up" on the holidays. I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow spent in the company of the people or activities with whom you find the greatest joy.