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Healthy Holiday Traditions

Now that the holiday season is here, are there any family traditions that you've given up because they're unhealthy, or any new healthy traditions that you've created?

This year, I'm planning to make the following changes in our holiday traditions:

1. Cookie and Candy Making: When I was a child, my Mom, Grandma, and all of the female relatives would spend weeks baking dozens upon dozens of different kinds of cookies. There would be trays of them sitting around during and following the holidays. They would give trays to everyone they knew. I have lots of pleasant memories associated with this - after all it's fun to eat and receive cookies and it's fun to have something that you can give generously to everyone that you know!

Every year I’ve felt like I should be carrying on this tradition. But I just don’t have the time to do all that baking. Most of the people that I know are trying to eat more healthfully and don't really want to be given a big tray of cookies, anyway. So this year I am going to let this family tradition go. I am not going to bake cookies or make candy. It's not like we won't have any sweets over the holidays. I am sure we'll be given cookies by others that we can enjoy. And I'm planning to make a yummy dessert to enjoy on Christmas Day (I'm not sure what it will be yet).

In place of this tradition, I'm planning to start a new tradition - a cookie baking party. I'm going to invite some family and friends, make a big batch of sugar cookie dough, and at the party the kids can roll and cut out the cookies and decorate them. We might even have a surprise visit from the jolly old man in red! This will let us enjoy the process of making the cookies together (and eating a few!) while we enjoy spending time with family and friends. There will be no pressure to make a huge quantity of cookies – the kids can make them until they get bored with it and then we’ll quit.

2. Christmas Dinner: I’m still trying to convince dh of this idea . . . In place of our traditional huge turkey dinner with all the fixings, I’d like to make the turkey in advance and on Christmas Day have a pot of soup and turkey sandwiches. That way I won’t have to spend most of the day in the kitchen dealing with food preparation and cleanup. Instead, I can spend Christmas Day having fun with my family.

Mon. Nov 27, 12:43pm

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wait until you get all of the complaints about not giving out cookie trays. lol. also tell dh to do it and then see if he changes his mind.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 10:56 PM

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paragraph 3 sounds like a great idea with the kids. sounds like alot of fun.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 10:58 PM

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who is "dh"? i keep seeing that in threads here and i am baffled!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 11:33 PM

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I am guessing that it is ....dear husband...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 11:40 PM

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In all technicality it's darling husband , but you got the point! Similarly you might run across dd, ds, dw, etc. for the rest of the family. It's just chat room/thread speak. You can find whole web pages dedicated to these internet acronyms which I found really helpful in the beginning.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 3:35 AM

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I think the cookie idea is great, but soup and sandwiches on Christmas Day might be a little much! There are tons of places that will fix the dinner for you and deliver it to your house prepared and ready to go....why not do that if the issue is you cooking all day. Or fix your dinner like you did the cookies....make it a family event. If you cook dinner, you can have greater control over how healthy the meal is...maybe include a salad and more veggies?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 5:54 AM

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Have you heard of a cookie exchange? Everyone comes over with say 2 dozen cookies (everyone makes something diifferent) and then swaps cookies with each other. That way you get 2 dozen different cookies with half the effort instead of 5 platters of the same thing. Everyone trades recipes too so you end up with some different things. Also, it doesn't have to be cookies...could be candy, kids crafts, etc.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 8:04 AM

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I'm planning on working at a soup kitchen this christmas. I'm going to bring my children so that they can see what is the holiday season is really about.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 1:30 PM

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I've done cookie decorating parties with kids a lot. The one thing I do differently is that I have the cookies cut out and baked and they're just doing the decorating. My kid gets to help with the cookie baking, of course :-) Depends on the number of kids and the ages. It gets pretty chaotic even when the cookies are already baked. I alose get sugan cones for them to decorate--upside down with green icing, they do an excellent imitation of christmas trees.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 4:08 PM

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I'm a big advocate of sometimes having low-work food served on Christmas. And other years, really, if people want a big Christmas dinner, they had better be helping with it big time! We have a cooking brigade and a clean up brigade.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 7:55 PM

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this has nothing to do w/ eating on the holidays but my sisters and i decided that spending money to buy each other presents that we don't really need every year was getting ridiculous-so last year we decided to make x-mas happen for a struggling single mother and her 4 children. one of my sisters is an OT at a rehab center and her supervisor coordinated the family's needs for us. at first it was just about getting them the basic things they needed (like winter gear, socks etc) and food for the meal for the day but then we got really into it and bought some fun presents for the kids and some nice things for the mom to pamper herself with. it felt so good to do this for someone-especially since growing up, we never went without on christmas, and to give that "joy" of suprise on christmas morning is a wonderful gift by itself!!! we are planning to do this for another family this year!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006, 11:54 PM

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