Danger in December
December 5, 2014
I’m in the Danger Zone. It’s that time of the year when I’m faced with all manner of temptation – particularly when it comes to doing my weekly shop. As soon as I walk into the supermarket I am greeted by pyramids of chocolates; mountainous piles of pastry-based treats; bottles of Irish Cream Whisky liqueur on special offer. All those things which have been deemed (by those who try to steer our “spending trends”) a requirement for a Happy Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t plan to deprive myself during the “Festive Season”. However I am resolved to make sure that this covers 24/25/26 December, and likewise my New Year celebrations will span 31 December and 1 January. The problem lies with the budgeting. I try to spread the cost over a few weeks… which means that I have to have “stuff” in the house from the beginning of the month. I try to make sure that the early buys are the trimmings for the main meal on Christmas Day (I confess that I’m not a “slave to the oven” on the 25th and rely very heavily on a certain national “Aunt”….) and my freezer is already full of vegetables and turkey. The problem starts now. My “other job” gets very busy in December and all my earnings from that go to pay for festive fayre.. so I’m now at the point where I’m buying “treats”.
Thanks you WLR I’ve learned that the natural mixed nuts that I buy every year are, in moderation, an essential source of great nutritional healthy oils. Likewise my seasonal satsumas, whilst being something that I really enjoy, are a fully-endorsed part of my five-a-day. Even the figs don’t seem sinful… but the Christmas cake, mince pies, and supplies for the cocktail cabinet (even though I remain resolutely “on the wagon”) are a palpable source of temptation….
I have resolved the issue of “pastry dependency” with the help of some wonderful friends who are blessed with baking skills that I can only dream of. I supply the ingredients and a print-out from the much-trusted and well-used WLR recipe database and my WLR compliant mince pies; rum truffles; and Christmas cake appear as if by magic – and, I promise, they taste equally as divine as the “non-WLR” versions… and a heck-of-a-whole-lot-better than their shop-bought counterparts.
That said… as I’m wandering up and down the aisles, I still have to make a conscious effort not to fill my trolley with things that I don’t really want and which I definitely don’t need. However, when family and friends are coming to stay, it’s really easy to load up with all the things that you think “other people” might like. (Stollen, Panettone, a selection of deserts all spring to mind) – which is why I’m going to send an email to all those people who are spending time in Hudson HQ over the “holiday season” to find out what their “essentials” are. When I met Lovely Husband I was astonished to discover that his “Christmas” has to involve parsnips. They never featured in my family but are absolutely non-negotiable with LH. He struggles with my mother’s love of Brussels sprouts (and still doesn’t have them on his plate) but my mum wouldn’t feel it was Christmas Dinner without them.
Booze-wise, because we operate an “open house” policy we always have wine, traditional ales and a selection of spirits available. None of these tempt me, but I know that a glass of cool lemonade or icy-cold cola just might, so I make sure that my mixers are always the “diet variety”.. (and I have to confess that my local supermarket do a litre of ready mixed “Lime and Soda” for the princely sum of 45p which is my tipple of choice at the moment – so I plan to stock up on those (and buy the fresh limes and ice-cube bags) and enjoy a tall glass with “ice and a slice” whilst my guests partake of something with % on the bottle.
Because of all I have learned here at WLR; because of the shared wisdom of my fellow WLR-ers; because I know that my habits have changed…. I’m quietly confident that “Danger in December” can be minimized. I know that my eating habits have changed. I know my tendencies towards “junk food” have been curbed. The value of planning and preparation is possibly one of the most valuable lessons that WLR has taught me… and they are never more evident that in the run-up to Christmas and the start of a brand new year.
So, if you do find yourself facing temptation whilst preparing for your own Christmas celebrations.. just take a breath… count to ten… remind yourself of all you have learned; of all the benefits of “sticking to the plan” and trust yourself. You won’t let yourself down.
Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll catch up with you next week.
With a hug.