I know as a dietitian I’m supposed to be writing posts right now along the lines of “10 strategies to survive the holidays”. But to be honest, I really don’t like that wording choice and don’t even agree with some of the suggestions those kinds of articles offer.
I mean, the whole concept of “surviving” the holidays just takes away from their whole meaning. The holidays aren’t something to survive. They’re not a huge battle for which we need to design a game plan. They’re a time to enjoy. A time to spend time with your friends and family, go to parties, have fun picking out the perfect gifts, bake shortbread cookies from your Nana’s recipe, and watch cheesy Christmas movies. The fact that the media makes people feel like they have to fight to survive the holidays turns it into a time of stress rather than a time of joy.
I’m not saying that it’s healthy to end every holiday celebration with a food overload-induced stomach ache. My outlook is that we should choose things that contribute to our enjoyment. If eating something will contribute to your enjoyment, eat it. If not, skip it. Personally I don’t care for store-bought baked goods (I’m looking at you grocery store cookie with the texture of cardboard). But eating one of my favourite cookies freshly baked out of the oven after an afternoon of baking with my family is part of what enjoying the holidays means to me. And potluck dinners with my friends are another one of my favourite holiday activities, so I choose to fully enjoy the food at those as well.
My point is that while the holidays are not a time to go crazy with overindulging, you also shouldn’t restrict yourself from what you love about this time of year. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about how many treats you didn’t eat – it’s about how much you enjoyed the holidays.
Don’t forget to enter my big holiday giveaway! You have until this Friday December 19th at 9 am EST to enter. Open to those living in Canada and the US only.