Decorating for the holidays!


I brought my brother a bouquet of garlic for Thanksgiving.  I bought it from Keith’s Organic stall over at the Union Square Farmers Market.  It really is the perfect gift for a chef. He’s working his way through the bundle as we head towards Christmas Day.  I have to confess, the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to be speeding by.

Old Santa

Lisa and I headed to my father’s house today.  She had bought a tree with him last weekend and it was in need of decorating.  He put the lights on it during the week.  It’s the one Christmas chore he has held for 83 years consecutively and does amazingly well.  He wants nothing to do with the ornaments or decorating in general.  That was always my mother’s domain and she was very particular about every detail.  It took us 4 years but this was the year we abandoned all of my mother’s rules.  The tree has colored lights,  is shaped unlike any we’ve had before,  there is a toy truck under the tree that matches the one parked in the driveway and we are serving chicken for Christmas dinner.  She would be horrified.

We didn’t set out to defy my mother.  It just happened organically if I dare use that term.  It wasn’t until this afternoon that we realized we had veered so far from the decorating etiquette rules my mother had set.  Admittedly, her rules were sound and we’ll come to our senses in future Christmases.  This year though, it was change that was desired.  Why don’t we…. and whatever was said sounded good.  It must be part of the mourning process as not one of us wants what was.  We’re all excited that nothing is the same.

 We’re having chicken because few of us are not eating beef anymore.  I met with a nutritionist at Sloan Kettering a few weeks ago.  He mentioned the book Anti Cancer by David Servan-Schreiber and I’ve been reading it every night since.  It doesn’t say don’t eat beef but limit it to grass fed and not every night.  My brother arrived at the same beef conclusion but it was his arteries and heart problems that is the driving force behind his change of diet.  My nieces never liked beef even as little babies.  They were born pollo vegetarians, a term I actually looked up!  That’s how the roast my mother deemed the perfect Christmas meal was replaced by a chicken.  I also have no doubt that there will be garlic in that Christmas dish.  It’s recommended for inhibiting cancer and heart problems and there is that bouquet hanging around the kitchen.

I hope all of your holiday plans are going well too.

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8 Responses to Decorating for the holidays!

  1. We usually have ham for Christmas and turkey for Thanksgiving, but every now and then we switch it up too, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a roast. Maybe I’ll try that, but not this year, two of our three daughters will be coming for Christmas and they’ve already expressed their desire to have ham.

  2. LB says:

    Your “she would be horrified” comment cracked me up! I love that you all are in this delinquency together.

  3. nancyspoint says:

    This post really resonated. My mother would be horrified, too, by some of the holiday things we do and don’t do now as a family. The holidays aren’t the same anymore. How could they be? My dad’s tree somehow gets decorated, but his house (still feels strange calling it his) sure looks different than it used to this time of year. And yes, the time between TG and Christmas moves at lightning speed I think. Sending warm holiday wishes to you and yours.

  4. John says:

    Sometimes it is good to stray from the traditional … we need to step outside and look around, so to speak. And, especially as your father ages, having a few memories and traditions that are associated with him is probably a good thing. It doesn’t disrespect your mother, I don’t think.

    As for the chicken — we ate chicken, because a turkey is too much for 3 people. A chicken is just the right size for a meal, and some soup the next day. And, you’re right to avoid the beef. I know I’m about 3 weeks behind on my blog reading, so you’ve probably seen the big articles recently about the study (in Britain, I think), that offers pretty solid evidence that beef is b-a-d.

    My mom won’t give up her lamb and beef, but my partner and I have gone about 90% vegetarian. When we do eat meat it’s poultry or fish (and a bit of pork). I don’t exercise much, and I’m carrying around some extra pounds. I was on high-blood pressure medication for awhile (my pressure was running in the 160s/90s before the meds.) The only changes I’ve made in my lifestyle is to get rid of red meat completely, and vastly reduce the amount of other meat. We switched our diet about two years ago. Within six months of changing our diets, I started feeling dizzy and lightheaded. I went to the ER. My blood pressure was low. Turns out, without the meat, my blood pressure runs back in the normal range, 115s/70s; the blood pressure med was making my pressure go too low. A simple diet change was all it took. Like I said, I don’t exercise much. I feel much better since we’ve stopped eating so much meat.

    I think your mother might approve of the healthier choice — my mom likes that we’re healthier. Just as long as she still gets her beef, she’s ok. She figures she’s reached 91, she’s entitled to keep eating the beef. 🙂

    • maesprose says:

      Your mother can do whatever she wants at this point! She could even eat dessert first if she wanted.

      I’m happy you’re watching what you eat. I agree I feel better without the beef.

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