Temptation lurked around every corner today. It smiled at me in the grocery store at 8 am when I spied the sweet potatoes on sale for 38 cents a pound. Or when I saw the mountains of butternut squash and stalks of brussel sprouts next to the fresh sprigs of rosemary. It got the better of me, when, after standing in line for over an hour for an Amish Turkey and they didn’t have my order, I caved and choose the 27 pound one over the 12 pound one, even though I am only cooking for four people and one of those is a vegetarian. This temptation to do more, strive more, make things perfect—to get everything right—is evil and expensive.
Thursday is Thanksgiving and marks the official beginning of the holiday season in the United States. Most of us will gather with our families and feast on roasted turkey, cranberry relish, bread stuffing and creamy mashed potatoes, just to name a few of the traditional dishes. We will top off our over stuffed bellies with pumpkin pie and other yummy treats that grace our tables.
When I told my partner Jay, that I was going to host Thanksgiving dinner despite still being only 5 weeks post op from my foot surgery and still in a walking cast, he looked at me with doubt and concern. He knows I have a weakness for cooking and what starts as a small manageable meal of maybe 4 dishes can easily balloon out into 10 to 12 dishes.
So far, one day until the holiday, I have managed to stay on track with just the basics for Thanksgiving meal— almond garlic green beans, cranberry apple bake, gluten-free cornbread, sage mushroom stuffing, redskin mashed potatoes with gravy and of course turkey. Ok, I did just purchase a 27 pound turkey for only 3 people, but leftovers are always awesome.
However, I did not add sweet potatoes with baked apples and ginger to the menu. I did not buy the ingredients to make an upside down pineapple cranberry cake in addition to the pumpkin rice pudding with coconut cream whipped topping I am already making. More or less, I am keeping it in check. I am not letting temptation to do more or have an idealized holiday ruin me.
The holidays in the United States can be marked by exaggeration and over abundance. It is easy to get caught up in the whirl wind of more and more and yet more. I know during the holiday season I need flexibility with how I take care of myself. Crashing and burning is always hanging out on the edges during this time of cheer and twinkle lights. I can feel perfectionism stirring awake as I walk down the aisles of the craft store filled with elaborate tablescapes, door wreaths and trees overflowing with handmade paper ornaments and silver and gold bows Martha Stewart couldn’t even make. Oh, yes the holidays are a huge danger zone and I must walk with care.
May you find balance and self-care as you navigate the holiday danger zone and may you walk with care too.~ Kira