There are three pieces still remaining in our refrigerator and because I hate to throw them away, I will “take one for the team.”
I shall eventually consume the last crumbs of the cheesecake that beckons to me each time I open that door to temptation, avoiding the bathroom scales at all costs. I sometimes circle through the dining room and sneak a childhood favorite of mine – a chocolate covered cherry. I am very grateful for the invention of yoga pants during this time.
All of the remnants of the Christmas cookies, candies, cakes, and assorted goodies just seem to multiply rather than dwindle, much like the excess pounds that we all manage to gain during the holiday season each year.
There is just something so appealing about the traditional edibles that families produce annually. Recipes that have been handed down for generations get resurrected for the annual festivities and become a big part of our December rituals. Aunt Sue’s coconut cake, Grannie’s ethnic cookies, Uncle Bill’s world-famous eggnog, cousin Jane’s pies, or Mom’s secret recipe for dressing are unique parts of every family. Each flavorful bite conjures up memories of past family gatherings and shared meals.
Children leave milk and cookies out for Santa to give him sustenance as he travels the world with his sleigh stuffed with toys and gifts for everyone that made his “nice list.” There are even a few carrots for the reindeer to munch on as they fly through the sky. I do hope that Santa has some red yoga pants to wear.
My mother always made a jam cake for Christmas, and the recipe was passed down from her paternal grandmother. It was a favorite of everyone, and now that the torch has been passed along to me, I have tweaked it just a bit.
Rather than churning my buttermilk as Nanny did, I just buy a carton at the grocery store. I don’t pick the blackberries, nor do I make the jam from them. A package of chopped, shelled walnuts ends the work of shelling and breaking them up by hand, and my electric mixer eliminates the need for beating the frosting to the proper consistency with a wooden spoon, (which was my Daddy’s job). Instead of greasing and flouring, a can of cooking spray allows the cake pans to easily release the baked contents.
Much like improvisions on old recipes, I am planning to get myself back in shape after indulging over the Christmas holidays. Now there are programs I can install on my mobile phone to track calories, nutritional information, and how much I can consume to achieve my goals.
As each day’s progress is entered, I know at a glance how many calories are left for me to use at the end of the day. Most of the time, I end up with an overdraft on my account.
Because I have tried weight loss support groups on several occasions in the past, I think my membership might be forever suspended due to repeated failures, so this is no longer an option for me.
As we bid farewell to 2022 and begin 2023, I reflect on the lives of loved ones lost during the past 12 months, milestones, celebrations, tears ,and worries that will be packed away inside my heart much like the seasonal decorations. Just as all the remnants of delectable foods end up as memories, so it is with everything that has happened in the old year.
Resolving to get my spiritual life back on track along with my physical well-being, I plan to increase my time each day for prayer and reflection, placing myself and my family in God’s never-failing hands, and trusting in His mercy and goodness in all things.
My wish for everyone comes from the words of Benjamin Franklin: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
Copyright © 2023 Mary Margaret Lambert