Time for some real, honest-to-goodness straight talk about our holiday time behaviors. Not sugar on the pill, I’m going to tell it like it ‘tis: We, yes we. Okay, most of the “we” are going to eat what we want no matter how miserable we feel afterward. We’re going to drink as much nog—straight or spiked—as we want. We probably will not jog, walk, run, lift, or lunge very much for about 6-weeks. Why? Because it’s Christmastime, people! It’s New Years and party time, y’all! So, let’s not kid ourselves about what this much-needed cheer is really about. With all due respect to those who are more disciplined, perhaps more religious, than others, let me offer another perspective to this time of year.
Do you think it’s coincidental that things and people seem different from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day? It’s almost as if it was intentionally contrived that the end of each year is a little “kinder and gentler.” Like whoever planned the national, annual calendar decided that “we” had endured enough since the year begun and that our reward for enduring interesting bosses, dissatisfied co-workers, disobedient, wayward children, inconsiderate partners, stubborn neighbors, and blood- relatives is 6-weeks of red, white, and green cakes, cookies, chips, dips, and alcoholic beverages . So, for the last 5 weeks of the year and the first one of the new one, we get a reprieve.
Because somehow during the holidays deadlines are softer than they were, say, a month ago? How about all of the extra smiles and hellos you get just for waking up. This is all by design, my friends. So denying yourself of the decadent food, exotic drinks, elaborate parties, or wicked deserts (extra special food) would be like saying “No Thank You” to a well-deserved gift. And everyone knows it’s not polite to refuse a gift. And it would be hypocritical of you to pretend that you “simply couldn’t.” In some cultures, it’s downright disrespectful to not accept a gift of any sort.
So eat up, drink up, and take all of the necessary precautions i.e., having a comfortable place to crash (nap) and making sure that your designated driver is a non-drinker. Accept the next 6-week as a well-earned break from the year of ups, downs, and uncertainties. And if your year has been extraordinarily kind to you then consider the holidays the cherry on the most elaborate sundae you can imagine.
You might be asking “Why the license to over-indulge, Dr. Debra?” Well, my answer is more times than not, you do what you want to do—eat, drink, party, etc. So, having experts tell you to be disciplined or deny yourself just might not be what we should do. Besides, it doesn’t work. Tell me I’m wrong? So, I thought I’d turn the usual advice on its head and say “eat, drink, and Merry Christmas! You have the rest of the year to be balanced. Isn’t that the purpose of the New Year resolutions?