Hands up those of us who remember The Waltons.
They have a lot to answer for in my book as I was always so disappointed that my family wasn’t as close as they all were.
I loved the idea of a family Christmas, everyone gathered round the dining table, lots of chatter and laughter etc. Growing up, Christmas Day was for us and we had visitors or did the visiting on Boxing Day for tea. I can still smell those sausage rolls as they just came out of the oven and we tried to pinch one without burning our fingers, mouths, or getting caught by Mum!
In later years when we had our own homes, it seemed to be a bit of a fight to have the parents for Christmas as someone else always managed to get in first, so I’d ‘book’ mine in advance!
Our first house was too small to entertain, though we did have my in-laws over once when I cooked gammon and pineapple (MIL’s favourite) with cheesey cauliflower, but that was in the summer. She seemed quite surprised I could cook, and the rest is history.
When we finally got a bigger house with a dining room, sadly my Dad was no longer with us to join in the celebration. That was the year I served MIL with a plate of roast potatoes and a cheese sandwich.
You can read about that here
I still think Christmas is a time for family and get togethers. To some extent, I miss the excitement of preparing the food, putting up the tree and surrounding it with parcels, the mad sound of ripping paper by excited fingers (and that was just the adults), the laughter at novelty gifts (also for adults) and the silliness of playing charades or some other game rather than fall asleep in front of the telly.
I don’t miss the indigestion from over eating, especially as the calorie count would definitely have been off the charts all those years ago.
However, I would not change my Christmases with Hubby for the world. Simple, fun and full of love, what more could I ask?
Thinking back to the Slimming World group Tuesday night and their anticipations of a half stone gain over the holidays, reminded me of a girl who was in the aerobics class I joined the year Hubby and I got married.
A former Slimmer of the Year complete with sash, photos and media coverage some years previously, she stayed for the diet bit, but never the exercise (which I thoroughly enjoyed until I hurt my back again).
After the festive season and our first weigh in of the New Year, she was surprised (and dismayed) to have put on over seventeen pounds in those two weeks.
She said she had been very careful with the sweet stuff, crisps, cakes, pudding , mince pies and all the Christmas dinner trimmings, so she was asked if she had been out celebrating.
It turned out that her gain was due mainly to her alcohol intake as she had socialized with her friends and family practically every day.
Alcohol, well Baileys actually, was another subject highlighted in our group this week.
One of the girls has decided not to buy a bottle of her favourite tipple because as she knew she wouldn’t measure it out, the bottle wouldn’t last very long, and the pounds would creep back on. She had also decided not to buy the yummies on offer either, like mince pies, stollen, panettone and Dundee cake for the same reasons.
The conversation turned to making choices, and how you could substitute one set of syns for another so that you could have your treats without feeling guilty. It was then mentioned that if you were going to syn, Baileys was probably more acceptable that juice laden (read fat) gravy, though I don’t think I would like Irish Cream over my dinner (dessert maybe).