Clipping the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Wings
While the human taste for sweetness is universal (we are in fact born with it) our culture seems hell-bent on developing every possible way to get us to put sugar, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners into our bodies Certain holidays are closely linked with sweets—like Easter and Halloween—but they don’t pack the same prolonged sugar high as our winter festivities—pies, Christmas cookies, treats in the stockings, boxes of chocolates, candy canes—to name just a few.
So is it realistic to give up the goodies for a completely sugar-free holiday season? Can you really forget great-grandma’s pie recipe and never bake your family’s favorite breads and cookies?
A more reasonable solution might be to cut back on how much, and how many kinds of treats you make. Set the example for your kids by offering one or two cookies as a serving. Another way to cut back is to offer the treats less frequently, and lastly don’t leave piles of the stuff out for those eager little fingers. Most cookies, cakes and pies freeze well and can be thawed just prior to use, keeping temptation out of sight.
Christmas cookies and other disasters
Those of us with Type A traits can lose sight of some important things during our Holiday preparations. One mom was so busy ordering gifts on-line that she failed to notice how quiet her three year old was. When she turned her computer off and went into the kitchen to start baking cookies, she arrived to see him buttering the family cocker spaniel with two pounds of butter that had been left on the counter to soften up.
And again, a couple of friends were so busy frosting their beautiful ‘Martha-esque’ Christmas cutout cookies that they failed to notice their two preschoolers happily frosting each other, really frosting each other.
In both cases the moms reacted with laughter, but these two anecdotes do bring home the message that our children, our families, are more important than magazine-perfect cookies or spending inordinate amounts of time shopping for the ‘perfect’ gift. Perhaps this is the year we all find more time for family and spend less time chasing perfection.