Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Toast

As I am coming down from my sugar high of Halloween, I raise my glass to this great approaching season of wretched excess. Can't decide which among the wonderful Hallmark Holidays at the end of each year is my favorite. All of them seem to include tons of food. I've shopped for days and I'll start cooking a day early for the granddaddy of all foodie holidays--Thanksgiving.

As I watch all the specials on TV from the queens of cookery and read all the great recipes on the web, they all seem to have one thing in common--butter. And here am I, cholesterol count challenged, trying to find a way to go butterless. I love that gobbler prepared in any way that avoids butter. I have to try to include on my menu veggies and fruits--sans butter. Baked sweet potatoes or Idaho taste great with a bit of garlic,salt, onion and a smidgen of olive oil for flavor. I'll cut out that butter. Dinner rolls are great, but I will invite my guests to dip them in olive oil and hide the butter. If they're on the wheat-free diet, good on them, pass the turkey. They will like my green tossed salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I have replaced butter in my diet with olive oil and spices. Butter cookies on my menu? Nope! Dessert? Maybe next year.

But wait, the most wretched excess day of the year to toast is the infamous Black Friday. Not bragging nor complaining, since I finished my Christmas shopping last week,  I only need to go to the mall for a jolt of adrenaline to compete for those parking spaces and blockbuster specials at the opening of the doors. Forget that midnight opening the day of Thanksgiving. Wretched excess Walmart can count me out. Sleeping is tops on my list.

After all, I need my energy to get busy on my list that I already made and checked twice to sent greeting cards to everyone I never see or communicate with during the rest of the year. They will all want to know I'm still alive, including mandatory pictures and an audit of my year. I will have to dream up something that sounds important enough to compete with those annual letters that announce all the fabulous trips, and family accomplishments. They win.

I will deck the halls before December arrives but I refuse to contact the local TV station and ask everyone to drive through my neighborhood or compete with all the neighbors for the largest inflating lawn balloon. Ba Humbug! Here's a toast to all those tasteful people who put a candle in the window and a home-made cone wreath on the front door.

Cheers to all those children who have a blast opening tons of gifts and toys amid clouds of wrapping paper and bows that I try to bag and save to reuse. Stepping on AA batteries makes my day. Treasured memories are stored of the favorite Christmas holiday when excess reigned and gifts were endless. But wait, it's not over yet, we have the day after Christmas to shop again for better bargains than we could find before the 25th. Toasting those merchants who have our number and know we love wretched excess.

The biggest toast of the year goes to that New Year's Eve celebration when we indulge ourselves in whatever libation that suits us, we kiss while the ball drops, and we sing Auld Lang Syne--grateful to have made it through another year. Thank goodness the season is over and we have to head to the fitness centers to pay the price for our sins of wretched excess.

I personally tip my glass to the magnet on my refrigerator door that says, "The best times are together times."  All the rest is just wretched excess.

A toast to everyone:  May all your holidays meet your greatest expectations.


  1. we switched to smart balance original some years back and like it better now. give it a try, i think you'll be surprised!

    smiles, bee

  2. I am giving cash gifts to my unemployed and employed relatives. Enough to make it meaningful.

    It's potluck for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so less stress for me. As for New Year's Eve and Day, we don't celebrate either, except for a quiet steak dinner with a bottle of champagne for hubby and me.


  3. I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful! It's my favorite just because it doesn't require all the consumerism but is about family and togetherness. We begin our Thanksgiving adventure tomorrow-7 hours in the car with 2 toddlers...yep, family and togetherness.

  4. Happy Holidays to you too, R.J. You finished your shopping already? Oh my gosh! You are amazing!!! I haven't really started yet. I'm so bad at buying the right gift. It makes me crazy. I wish you were my neighbor so you could help me.

  5. Here's to you! I salute you for not being curmudgeonly about your holidays. I have the same attitude, but then again, I can eat butter.

  6. Hello and thank your for visiting my page. Lovely to meet new people, especially on my birthday! :)
    I also have to watch the cholesterol. Actually, carbs are the main issue. And I can go through a loaf of french bread like nobody's business, so it's a challenge.
    Bravo on finishing your shopping. I have been crossing things off the list for a little while now but still have a few gifts to buy. I don't have to go out this weekend unless that kitchen project makes me crazy enough to want to go out.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

    p.s. Like Bee, I use Smart Balance too.