Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping The Elves At Bay

I was lousy at sending Christmas cards this year (I mean last year), and my gift-giving left something to be desired, but when it came to the food aspects of the holiday, I did good. I was right on schedule with all the holiday eating to be done, and I accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. Some people get an early start with their Christmas packages, and bully for them, but I get an early start with the snacking. I was able to start way back around the first of December, when the first round of treats came into our office at work. Our subscription vendor sent a big mound of white chocolate and milk chocolate peanut clusters and right on the heels of that someone brought in homemade candy, and someone else brought in one of those assortments of homemade Christmas cookies that give away the fact that they spent hours and hours mixing up food coloring and cutting dough into Christmas tree shapes. There was the work holiday party of course, and the time-honored custom of wrapping extra cookies in a napkin for a mythical co-worker who couldn't come to the party, but who mysteriously turns into you as soon as you reach your cubicle.

There was food that showed up in our kitchen without me moving a muscle. A fruit cake materialized as if by magic. Roger said his mother had mailed it. Then while we were eating dinner one night, a friend of Roger's stopped by and dropped off a large stollen. Roger answered the door, but all I did was sit there, my fork in mid-air, as the stollen, which I first took to be a side of beef, was handed off to Roger and given a new home with us. Not wanting to fall behind, I sliced and ate a piece immediately.

The real challenge, of course, lay ahead at my mother's house. Arriving there the day before the day before Christmas, I saw I had my work cut out for me: a jumble of peanut clusters and miniature candy bars, a big tub of Chex party mix, an iced carrot cake...and that was in addition to the Topsy's popcorn tin we had hauled out with us, brimming with three varieties of popcorn --buttered, cheesy, and caramel.

I didn't waste any time and started noshing almost as soon as I'd hung up my coat, because I knew that there was a natural law in effect that would bring an increase in sweets the closer we got to Christmas. Sure enough, when Marc and Anne drove up on Christmas eve day, they came bearing more freshly baked goodies. Anne had made delectable soft gingerbread cookies, chocolate mint cookies, a tea cake and a something or other cake --all the cakes are starting to blur together, but whatever they were, they were good.

It's no wonder I'm up at all hours at my mother's house at Christmastime. It takes a lot of wake time to eat and digest (or at least give a nod to my digestive tract) unseemly amounts of carb and sugar. And Lilah coming down with the stomach flu on Christmas eve just added to the strain. With one of our team on the sidelines, or rather, flat on the couch with an empty ice-cream bucket that grandma gave her, in case she suddenly needed it, I had to pick up the slack and eat for two. It may have seemed insensitive of me to be munching ceaselessly as Lilah ran off to the bathroom for the 7th or 8th time, but we all know what you get  when you leave too many holiday sweets lying around uneaten --an infestation of Christmas elves! And lord knows we already had all the Christmas cheer we could stand.


  1. i KNEW there was a reason, and a darn good one,,to approach the christmas eating season with conviction! thanks for enlightening me, monie. and props to you,,,ya did good! sorry to hear about lilah's bug. blek. glad you were able to pick up the slack and keep those nasty elves at arms length. this was very amusing. :)

  2. Whoa! I think I got a contact sugar buzz by the second paragraph. But, I have to admit, I was ridin' that treat pony pretty hard, myself.
    It's all a blur, looking back, but the fact that I gained just short of 6% of my base weight (which has remained within 1-2 lbs for the last 47 years) in just 10 days means something pretty darn tasty must have been going on. Kind of sorry I misssed it because I sure am remembering every single bite of the salads I've been eating for the last 2 days.

  3. H.B.,

    Har, har --laughing my butt off at the image of you staring down a big salad. Arugula time! I can't believe you really put on that much weight, but even if you did, I'm sure you'll just burn it off hiking or surfing or diving into a mosh pit.

    Suzanne-Yes, we must be vigilant against those elves!

  4. h.b...you keep track of your weight in percentages?? of base weight?? i guage my weight by last year's jeans....i.e..if i can still wear them, everything's good. congrats on the 47 years of consistency, though. and by the way,,i love arugula!

  5. well, i am shocked. that's all. just shocked. you didn't say one word about booze. how can you leave out the booze? where was the booze in this story?

    ps- i guess it must be a rite of passage to lie on mom's sofa with the puke bucket nearby. good times, good times.

  6. Now that you mention it, there was a bit of wine consumed, yes. Oh and the egg nog with rum, thanks to Marc and Anne who brought the rum. I did avail myself of that, yes.