Now that summer is out of the way and the holiday season has begun, I can throw out the kitchen window all of those diet restrictions introduced by the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. After all, the whole purpose of the holiday season is to eat.
It begins in late October with the mass distribution of candy, which I have no objection. A little candy in somebody’s life can go a long way to produce happiness. Why, a handful of jelly beans really makes the world go around, which may be why I am just a little bit dizzy.
From October all the way through to New Year’s Day, it is nothing but one delicious delicacy after another. And, I love it.
Around the middle of October my wife announces, “This year you need to be a little careful about what you eat during this holiday season.” Of which I smile back at her and nod my head in the affirmative, whatever that means. Far as I am concerned, a nod is not quite as committed as a word spoken.
In October when I am doling out candy to the kids knocking on my door, I always use this formula: one for them and one for me. After all, what's fair is fair. I have to make sure I have enough candy to go all the way around. As one who is very conscious about not wasting anything, I make sure all of the candy is properly consumed by midnight.
I get away with this because my wife usually has the grandchildren on the other side of the neighborhood going door to door getting candy. My duty is to distribute the candy however I see fit.
Thanksgiving really tickles my fancy. It is an opportunity to stuff myself like a turkey and get away with it. After all, with all the family around the Thanksgiving Day table there is little opportunity for my wife to supervise what I eat or do not eat. As long as the dishes keep passing, I keep participating.
One thing that makes the Thanksgiving Day dinner so wonderful is that you can stuff your stuff without feeling guilty about it. “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” my wife will ask.
I have one response to this query I have used for years.
“Do not worry, my dear,” I say as I pile more mashed potatoes on my plate, “I plan to go on a diet for my New Year’s resolution.” What a wonderful New Year’s resolution scenario. Whoever invented that should receive the Nobel Peace Prize because it has come in quite handy in my situation.
Thanksgiving is so close to New Year’s that it makes a very convenient excuse.
Take the Fourth of July picnic, for example. That is a long way from New Year’s Day and the New Year’s resolution scenario that I cannot use that excuse. At that picnic when my wife says, “Don’t you think you have had enough?” I have to smile and agree that perhaps I did have enough, and lay down my fork in surrender.
What about the summer family picnic time when all of us are getting together? The same thing is happening there. New Year’s Day and its resolution scenario are too far in the future to use as a ploy to get second or even third helpings. During any summer picnic, I am on my own and in some regards, I do not like it.
But the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year’s holiday season is my kind of season.
The holiday season is a time for indulgence. After all, has anybody ever seen a skinny Santa Claus? It would be blasphemous to go to the mall during the holiday season and see a skinny Santa Claus. Personally, I would turn around and go home and sit in the corner for a while to get over it.
The holiday season is for extravagance. Christmas gift giving is giving people presents they do not really need. I cannot recall how many ties I have received down through the years as though I have not enough ties, but every one was an absolute delight.
The season begins with the hearty Thanksgiving dinner, goes to the Christmas Day dinner and then ends with the New Year’s Day dinner. What more could a person really ask for?
There is something about the family gathering around the table indulging in the delicacies of the season and just having a good time. It is not a time to count calories, but rather, a time to count your blessings. It is not a time to monitor what somebody else is eating, but a time to enjoy the family fellowship around a good table set by somebody who knows how to set a good table.
If someone in our family did not cook so well I would not have a problem in restraining my eating. So, I do not believe it is my fault.
After the festivities have subsided and all the food has all been consumed, we still are left with the rest of our life. In light of that I like what Paul said, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20 KJV).
For those who know the Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks for everything is a wonderful way of life all year long.
His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.