Christmas Tradition

Christmas Cookies

Every Christmas the grandkids come over, spend the night and help me bake dozens of cookies.  I started this tradition years ago with my oldest grandchild Cameron.  And he is now 15.   Each grandchild got to choose what cookie to make.  Hadley chose chocolate chip cookies, Timothy chose sugar cookies and Cameron chose Reeses Peanut Butter cookies.  Cameron was in charge of the dry goods and Hadley and Timothy helped with the butter and eggs.  After a few hours of baking and several dozen cookies later, we all settled down in front of the fireplace to watch our favorite movie, Elf.

So let’s talk cookies.  How can anyone make cookies without licking off the dough from ones fingers.  And cookie dough is so delicious. So I put a wet rag right by the bowl and continually wiped my hands so the batter would not stick to my fingers.  I really am too old to lick the spoon and bowl, so my middle grandson Timothy took care of that.   So mission accomplished with not eating the cookie dough.

How can anyone make dozens of cookies and not eat any?  And does eating a broken piece of a cookie count?  Certainly, a taste of a cookie will not hurt.  That question kept going over and over in my mind while looking at the cookies.  So what I did was break a cookie in half.  I gave one half to my grandson and I ate the other half.  And it was absolutely delicious.  I savored that delicious morsel in my mouth.  I could taste the butter.  I love crunchy cookies and these cookies had just the right amount of crunch.

Now, what am I going to do with the rest of the cookies?  I brought some to a family Christmas Party.  And I gave some to the grandkids.  I will keep some for Christmas Eve dessert for our traditional family dinner with the kids and grandkids.   What does not get eaten on Christmas Eve will be given away to anyone that would like them.  And what is left over will go directly into the trash.

Now, one might ask why when I am still on my quest to lose weight, would I put myself in front of such temptation?  Why did I make friends with the devil?  I absolutely love cookies.  I can stay away from most sweets but crunchy buttery cookies is my downfall.  I used to make cookies for our clients at the studio but I would end up eating them.  And my rear end got bigger.  So now we have chocolates and I can very easily stay away  from them.

So now I look at the several platters of cookies on my table and say is it worth eating one?  One home made cookie has 2 points.  Not a big deal.  But the question is, can I just eat just one?  Some days yes.  But most days no.  So for today I am not going to have a cookie.  I may eat one later.  But for right now I am going to take a pass.

So getting back to making a deal with the devil?  If cookies are so tempting for me to eat, why do I make them with my grandchildren?  That’s a simple answer.  Because they like making cookies.  It is a wonderful activity that we can do together.  It is a time to bond.  I truly believe that they will remember this special time with me.  They will remember this pre Christmas tradition.  I have been doing this tradition for so many years, I don’t want to stop it because I have a problem with cookies.  I would rather keep this tradition and show some self restraint than give it up.  And don’t thin grandma’s make cookies with their grandkids?

Thin Grandma’s don’t lick the cookie dough off of the spoon.  They don’t lick the bowl.  And they may taste a cookie but they do not eat ALL of the cookies.   That is why they are thin.  I am now a thin (or thinner) grandma.  I am going to act like a thin grandma.  I am going to enjoy the act of baking cookies with my grandchildren and not the act of eating ALL the cookies.

Fat or thin, Christmas traditions are not meant to be broken.  This is one Christmas tradition I hope to keep for a very long time.  I do love eating cookies but I love being with my grandchildren as a thin grandma better.

Sam’s Club

I am not a great shopper.  I really do not like to shop at all.  But there is something about Sam’s Club I like.  I actually enjoy shopping at Sam’s Club.  There is so much to see and buy.  You can buy absolutely everything you want or need at this massive warehouse.  As long as you need a huge quantity of food or items you are good to go.

Sunday is usually our food shopping day.  Usually, John and I go together.  But today he was busy with bills, laundry and football.  I also new that I wanted to wander around Sam’s.  I needed a winter wool coat.  I had a client come in the other day and I loved the coat she was wearing.  She told me she got hers at  Sam’s Club.  And John has a very low tolerance for shopping.  He is a get what you came for kind of guy and not let’s look around type of person.  So today I went food shopping by myself and really enjoyed it.

When I arrived at Sam’s Club, I went straight to the clothing section and found the coat I was looking for.  Since I have around 20 more pounds to lose I did not want to make a huge investment in a wool coat.  So I found the exact same coat as my client and it only cost me $50.  If it lasts one season (because I am hoping next season it will be too big on me) it will definitely be a good buy.

And then I started my food shopping.  Did you know that you can wander through Sam’s and get a full meal for free?  There were so many vendors handing out their goodies to any hand that reached towards them.  I had to laugh because in my larger days, I loved eating at Sam’s.  I would go to every vendor and try every delicacy.  I always went to Sam’s hungry and always left very full.  Sam’s was always my favorite shopping adventure.

Several years ago when all the kids were still at home, I used to buy everything in bulk at Sams.  I always bought the huge chocolate chip cookies combined with macadamia nut and white chocolate chips cookies.  The kids and John would eat the chocolate chip cookies and I would eat ALL the macadamia nut ones.  I used to buy the huge box of tortilla chips and the huge jar of salsa.  Salsa always kept things healthy.  I wanted to make sure that there was always something to snack  on at our house.  We loaded up the cart with frozen pizzas, huge boxes of Cheezits and various huge bags of snacks.  I remember the huge bag of pretzels.  It had to be at least 10 pounds of pretzels.  And you do know that pretzels are a health food!  The kids and I loved the buffalo wings – never for dinner – just a snack.  For years I always bought the large Turtle Cheesecake for our Christmas Eve dessert.  We always stocked that large bag of Gardetto snacks.  They were fat free.  So of course they were healthy.  The bagels at Sam’s were huge and one bagel probably could feed 3 people.  I devoured each one with a ton of the 10 pound brick of cream cheese I purchased.  The 1 pound blueberry muffins were to die for.  And who could eat just one.  And then we would get into the car and open up a box or a bag of snacks and enjoy our ride home.

But what I bought today was so totally different than what I used to purchase. I wish I had taken a picture of my cart today.  I had lean turkey breasts, tossed salad, grapes, apples, limes, clementines, Greek yogurt, bananas, olive oil and grape tomatoes.  I love stocking up on fresh fruits and vegetables.

I actually was hungry during my whole time shopping at Sams but successfully walked past every vendor.  I honestly did not even look at what they were serving.  I just knew that I would not be tasting anything.  I felt great that I was one of the thinner shoppers at Sams.  And when I was looking for clothes I was looking for a medium and a size 12.  Not a 2XL that I used to wear.  That was a great feeling.

So Sam’s Club I have figured you out.  I will always shop at your warehouse. But I will not succumb to my past habits.  Old habits die hard.  But thankfully, eating my way through Sam’s club habit is gone forever.