It's that time of year again - the time when every woman I know (and quite a few men) looks at their jeans and thinks "Oh please God, just let 'em fit through Christmas!" Next week, of course, is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and a great time for us all to remember to count our blessings and give thanks for all we have. The problem is that counting blessings and giving thanks don't exactly qualify as calorie-burning activities. Sad but true. Perhaps if we had to do a few laps around the dining room table for each blessing we can think up....of course, all that running on such a full stomach would make me mighty unhappy, which would tend to negate the whole "think of your blessings" thing. It's hard to think "blessing" when your body is screaming "You idiot, what do you think you're doing?"
We all seem to make it past Thanksgiving with our appetites intact, one way or another. However, the day after Thanksgiving plunges us headlong into that most deadly of yearly activities - Christmas baking. You heard me. You just have to make Grandma's pumpkin bread and Aunt Martha's fudge and ohmygosh, did you see that recipe for maple cookies with thousand-calorie cream filling? Gotta make THOSE! Even I succumb to the call of the kitchen at this time of year, and I don't like to cook!
Now, there's always the option of being stubbornly independent and refusing to bake. I've tried it in the past. The problem there is that everybody knows somebody who just loves to bake, and considers it their personal obligation to shower you with holiday baked goods. In fact, if you let it be known that you don't enjoy baking, some folks will take that as a challenge. You could find yourself becoming some rabid baker's own little mission field; not only will you get the baked goods, you'll find recipes taped to your door or waiting in your e-mail. They'll invite you over for a baking day - "Come on, it's more fun if you bake with a friend!" I guess trashing your kitchen is more fun with two?
So I have, as I said, succumbed to the holiday madness. If I'm totally honest, I don't mind baking so much. I mean, hey, there's sugar involved, right? Can't be all bad! It is possible - only possible, mind - that I even (sort of) enjoy it, but I'll deny it if anyone brings it up in public. And I suppose that I could spend a little time on the treadmill to help offset those sugar cookies, instead of just griping about getting fat. Maybe I could even count some blessings while I walk 'em off. What do you think?