Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sweet time of year

Most of you know I don't eat sweets, I haven't since Ash Wednesday of 2008 which according to my calendar was Feb 6 because Easter was super early this year. Yeah, it is my own version of Mormon Lent. I usually do it each year, unless I am pregnant or nursing (although this year, I was nursing and nursing and nursing....). I do it just to see if I can kick the habit for a bit. I don't have any self control except for when I do this Lent. It usually only lasts those 40 days. Crazy. And since then, on Easter I had a bit of Angel Food cake with strawberries, but it didn't taste so great and I have had a skittle and maybe an accidental lick of my fingers to clean up something and I allow myself a certain type of dark chocolate, but that was added later. I stuck with it because I think it helped me kick those last few Joey pounds out of my body. And I am not telling you this to be boastful - there are plenty of other habits I should kick that are still lingering about, like that whole clutter habit, but again I am off-track, assuming there is a track. And, I kind of think people are definately in awe of my ability to swear off treats - in awe I say. Just kidding, but I do have people trying to get me to eat sweets, which in some cultures could be considered rude... Being off of sweets also upped my real fruit intake, something that helps me feel better and something I was not great at. Why eat a real watermelon when those little sour watermelons gave me so much more?

So I am downstairs, with my Diet Coke (because I don't have a lot of vices, DC is fine, really Mom) avoiding the wonderment of gifted holiday sweets upstairs. I am usually just fine all year long. We have a candy jar full of M & M's, Hershey kisses, gummy worms, whatever the kids want. There are cookies, fruit snacks, sugared kool-aid a plenty upstairs and in my storage. My kids and my candy-laced husband do not want for sweets, I am just mostly immune to them. Until 3 days ago when some well-meaning neighbors brought over some chocolate mint truffles, and then later, more kindly neighbors bringing over pretzels (our usual neighbor gift, those tramps!) but these were covered in not only chocolate but CARAMEL! Weakness. Then there was the beautifully displayed glass plate with caramels, chocolate dipped strawberries, dipped pastries all gloriously wrapped in plastic and ribbon. The nerve! They must really like us. Luckily for me, my kids realized that mint truffles are the, Joey is eating caramel and chocolate covered pretzels for breakfast as we speak, and I am pretty sure Caroline will be delighted to have her two favorite things - chocolate and strawberries - together in one taste explosion that might just turn her into a junkie.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. Dave is not a fan of caramel, so that is tough, the kids can only eat so many homemade cookies in a given day (if it has raisins, it counts as a breakfast food, right?) and frankly, we have many great neighbors so I don't see this ending until maybe Christmas Eve. My family eats more sweets during this holiday season than at any other time of the year. And we are making our dipped pretzels on Monday night, which Dave loves to make extras and eat and eat. And I might just be making caramel popcorn today for a shindig tonight, and what if I have to taste it to make sure the consistency is good? I truly don't want to. Not that I was an addict before, I was a firm believer in the power of the sweet tart, but I didn't over indulge, much. But I have been clean for quite some time and I really don't want to screw that up. Giving up sweets makes me feel justified in partaking of salty goodness, which is where the happiness really is anyway. Nuts, salt and pepper chips, vinegar chips, chips. In any case, this has been the first time, minus the first 21 days of Lent, that I have been so absolutely tempted and it is not enjoyable. Why not just eat, you ask? I don't want to, not really, not in the grand scheme of things. And in the really grand scheme of things, this is no big deal but for now, it's a dealio.

Here is where I may sound like a jerky, holiday-hating, low-blood sugar fool. I kind of wish the madness would stop. I kind of wish our neighborhood would just choose a charity, donate to it and just give an extra hug to show that we love to be neighbors (not everyone should give hugs, some people don't love hugs, maybe just an extra warm smile with sincerity in the eyes would do?) I mean, who has the time to make all these goodies, then deliver them in the cold, snowy darkness? Why don't choose another time of the year, that isn't swelling with festivities, to show our appreciation for our good neighbors? Like June 25 - nice date, in the middle of the year, kids are out of school, the nights are nice for walking and delivering candy, there isn't so much hullabaloo going on. People may need the extra love right at that time, after they have recovered from the sugarfest that is the holidays. I kind of wish I didn't have to worry about delivering my homemade goodies to upwards of (insert unreal number here, no really, unreal) good neighbors - not because I don't love them, we live in the best neighborhood in the freaking world - but because it causes me stress and I don't enjoy more holiday related stress, I only enjoy a moderate amount, and stress makes me more prone to writing run-on sentences which that symptom is manifesting itself, isn't it? And here is the real reason that I am afraid to admit for fear of sounding a bit self-righteous (but I am not). I think that we all have enough. We have plenty of sweets and goodness and others don't and I would rather donate the money I spend on neighborly gifts to possibly the food bank for one, because I don't know how much gooey goodness, much less nutritious goodness, some others are getting this year (was this a run on sentence?). This year especially, when prices are high and times are tough. And to be honest, because of high prices and tight times, we can't do both - donate and spread sugar goodness to well-deserving neighbors, I mean. I have mulled this around for weeks, and have come to the conclusion (with Dave's input) that we want our neighbors to know we love and appreciate them and Dave thinks a little note explaining what we would like to do (show appreciation, minus the sugar bugs) might come off wrong. So some sugar love it is and maybe a donation will be made at another time. I realize I may be coming off as a little ungrateful - I am not. I am so grateful for this holiday, the neighbors, the friends, even the grumpy neighbors - let me set that record straight. And maybe I'll change my Scrooge-ish attitude about it and maybe I will make gooey goodness to deliver on June 25th and hope my neighbors remember my token of love December 25th 2009.
*** I realize I may sound like I am trying to rule the world and insist that if my neighbors bring us something it should be savory, like a chile relleno from Fiesta Mexicana, or that my neighbors don't have free will. Bring on the candy - the whole family loves it. I just haven't been tempted so many goodies in a long time. Maybe I should just direct you to this one paragraph and have you skip the rest of the post.


Hogans said...

You are crackin me up! I need your willpower!! And I must admit I have taken neighbor treats straight to the garbage so that I wouldn't eat them! Feel bad but its the only way I can do it! You eat one and its over! Good job Whit.

the merriest said...

i was actually inspired by you and gave up sugar for about a week. then my parents took us to the cheesecake factory and i caved. getting back on the wagon never happened. i've done it before, though. maybe after christmas (wink) i'll do it again.

that was a long way of saying send the pretzels my way.

Natalie said...

Super great idea to deliver on June 25!

Miss(Michelle) said...

Where did you find that candyland pic???
Riley's party is going to be a candyland theme.
Thinking of doing it the week after Christmas...definitely want the cute cousins there. I will give you enough notice to detox the kids of sugar before coming to the candy laden shin dig.