Sunday, December 18, 2011

12 Ways to Celebrate and Share the Love of Christmas, Without Overeating or Pushing Food on Others

This is the third in my four Sundays of posts built around the number 12. This one gave me a lot of formatting problems for some reason so it was late to publish this Sunday but here it is: 

Not our stockings but at
one time we did have this one
One: Take a walk around the neighborhood to see all the decorations after dinner. Do it several times and you will see things do change as the month goes on. Seems in the south the day after Christmas is the day many people down here un-decorate! My family or origin always waiting until New Years Day and our family waits until Epiphany. 

Two: Instead of stuffing stockings with candy, stuff with toys, magazines, hair ribbons, beanie babies. . . My family does theme stockings. One year everything in a stocking had to be that person's favorite color. Last year everything had to be built around a Harry Potter spell. This year the stockings are themed around our favorite works of fiction. Yes, we are a crazy family - but our stockings are mostly non-caloric. 

Three: Take in a show, event, activity that gets you laughing. Comedies, plays, skating, paint balling - whatever cracks you up and makes everyone happier. 

Four: Find a place to people watch. You would be amazed how entertaining it can be to watch other people and imagine what they are thinking, saying, planning. Get the kids involved and spark their imaginations. We get a cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and enjoy making over people's lives for an hour. 

Five: Fill the tiered cookie/candy plates with with an array of fruits and nuts. Here is a photo of mine. The berries are gone already and the whole pineapples do not fit, so they are decorating the dining room table. 

Six: Have food gifts in the house that others gave you and cannot bring yourself to toss them? Take them to a crisis nursery or a local hospital and donate them to the volunteers who give of their time. 

Seven: Take a game and make it over to fit your family. Two years ago my family played Family Christmas Jeopardy, which I invented, (light up game board, answers, questions - all of it) in order to earn the right to open each present. It was a lot of fun. This year I am doing something else but cannot reveal it here until after Christmas because you never know who is reading. . . . 

Eight: Watch an old time holiday favorite and make a game out of it . For instance: count the number of times they say Red Rider BB Gun in A Christmas Story.

Not our feet
Nine: Mani-Pedi day replaces cookie baking day with my daughters this year. This is not to say we will not do any baking together, but what we bake no longer requires a full day, 5 pounds of butter and infinite amounts of Christmas candies.

Ten: Graciously accept when other people cannot understand their own need to give love with food. If someone gives you a gift of food, offer your sincere thanks for their expression of love and gift it away to where it can be enjoyed. If asked, tell the giver simply that their gift was enjoyed. Most people will not push for the details of what you thought of each bite. 

Not my counters
Ours never look this good
Eleven: Encourage each member of your family to take care of themselves for what they need to be at peace during this holiday season. I need three meals a day, not late brunch and binge fest dinner. I have three meals each day. My daughter needs her bath time and TV hour before bed. My oldest may need a brisk walk in the sun each day to balance the seasonal effectiveness disorder. My husband thrives on a clean and organized kitchen with uncluttered counter tops. We all have our needs that keep us sane and happy. Encourage your loved ones to state and then work toward what they need. Help where you can. 

Twelve: Take one minute three times a day to stop and say what you can be grateful for each day this week. When you take the time to keep yourself aware of and feel the gratitude you will naturally pass that attitude on to others. 

Diane, at Fit to the Finish wrote a fabulous list of 50 Holiday tips. EVERY ONE of Diane's Holiday Tips are awesome. When she got to #50 she wrote WOW because she could not think of any more tips. I took WOW and came up with Wait Out the Wants. When I WANT something (and yes, I mean food but it could also mean non-edible stuff), I need to Wait it Out. Very often the WANT will subside. I am saved from misery, mischief and money trouble when I Wait Out the Wants. 

In keeping off the pounds I am grateful so many people, like Diane, are willing to share what works for them and in return, I am grateful to share what works for me. Please share your story. Together we all get better. 



Maren said...

I agree! I find it really helpful reading tips on how to get through tough holidays etc when trying to lose weight. Sometimes the advice is really "simple", but it helps just to read it and then reflect on it!

Cenandra said...

I love it! Especially your toes! :)

Very good ideas for substitutions Jane.

Caron said...

Great ideas. I'm learning to "wait out the wants." This time of year it can be difficult.

Anonymous said...

I love your number Eleven. Thank you, Melody

that TOPS lady said...

I loved this! (and btw, re:the comment you left on my blog, YES...the facial hair is cut LOL)

Anonymous said...

Oh those are good suggestions. Sometimes I am at a loss for what to do.

We went for a ride up to the mountain above our house to play in the snow and then came home for dinner (it is dark by 4:30 right now) and then out for lights. A great way to enjoy the season and to distract yourself.

I think I am going to give a mani/pedi gift for me and my friend Chewy. She loves little festive body accoutrement! Last year I knitted her holiday socks. It did not stop me from wolfing down fudge though.

So many commercials are food oriented this time of year - I keep the flipper close by.