Treats take back seat

Published 9:29 pm Monday, December 22, 2008

By Staff
My, how time has slipped away over the past couple of weeks. I woke up one morning and realized I have less than a week left to do everything I wanted to get done for Christmas.
When I paused to think about all I had left to do, I made another realization: It ain't gonna happen.
In years past my family has had the enjoyment of at least a dozen or so homemade treats straight from my kitchen. I've gone to the trouble to make fudge, cookies, cakes, pies, and even made homemade chocolate covered cherries (no easy task, let me tell you) a couple of times over the years. I've made homemade sausage balls, cheese balls, dips, spreads, you name it and I've probably given it a try using my family as guinea pigs.
This year my family is going to be lucky if they get some pre-packaged cupcakes and brownies. The closest thing they'll probably get to a homemade treat is a cookie I bake from the pre-portioned pack of cookie dough I bought from my son's school fundraiser this year.
I'm sorry that they will have to suffer with fewer treats this year, but I think I may have gotten some of priorities lined up a little better these days.
In the job I have, I stay pretty busy all through the year. But, when the holidays roll around, our schedule usually heats up.
There are Christmas concerts, plays, parades, visits with Santa, awards ceremonies and donation presentations to cover at this time of year. Some events take place in the evening, which seriously cuts into my fudge making schedule.
I have enjoyed attending the concerts and plays and my son has even tagged along for a few of those events. Even though it was part of my job, I can say that I enjoyed the music and dramas I witnessed and it gave me a wonderful opportunity to share the holidays with my son.
As I write this, I am forced to consider why I feel the need to get in the kitchen and work into the wee hours of the morning preparing treats that no one in my family needs. Although they are very tasty, we could certainly do without all the fat, calories, salt and sugar tied up in those treats.
I think I have this notion that when you put a lot of effort into a thing meant for someone else, it shows how much you care about them. I'm guilty of trying to make 800 different dishes to make sure that everyone at the buffet table has a couple of things they'll enjoy. I guess that it's my nature to want to make everyone feel comfortable and cared for when they come to my house.
As I further ponder how much my feet usually hurt from standing in the kitchen for hours on end, I have come to realize that I might have been making a big mistake by spending so much time there.
It takes time to roll out those little peanut butter balls and sausage balls and cookies and on and on and on. During all that time in the kitchen, I've been guilty of shooing people out of the room with a gruff “I'm busy” comment as they turned to leave.
By spending that time in the kitchen over the stove or hovered at the counter, I missed some valuable time with the people I love the most.
This year, I've spent more time with my family and less time in the kitchen. I've enjoyed some old holiday television shows with them and have even ridden through town just to look at the lights. I've spent more time on stories and conversation with my son.
Yep, I think I like this new attitude. My feet certainly won't hurt as much and I may even save my family a pound or two of holiday weight.
I'd rather sing a Christmas carol with my husband and son that make another peanut cluster any day of the year.
I hope that everyone will take the time to slow down and pay special attention to those they love the most. Just remember in years to come that not one person will remember all the things displayed on your Christmas table, but they'll remember the story you told or the song you sang or the feelings you made them feel.
I've decided one pecan pie is enough. Merry Christmas.
Lisa Tindell is news editor of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at

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