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The calm before the cookie avalanche

Posted Dec 24 2009 12:00am

Evening!  Hope your Christmas Eve (or Thursday, if you don’t celebrate the holiday) is going well, blog friends!  I’ll post a recap of Christmas Eve dinner sometime tomorrow or over the weekend; we’ll see when the festivities die down!  When I’m visiting the in-laws I tend not to sleep very much my brother and sister-in-law are both college students with correspondingly crazy sleep schedules so I might wind up writing some of my posts at 3am :)

Anyway, I wanted to make sure my pre-celebration eats were as substantial and nutritious as possible; I foresee an avalanche of cookies (delicious!) headed my way over the next few days.  I didn’t get off to the best start; instead of having a real breakfast, I just had two cups of coffee.  Honestly, it wasn’t a decision made to save calories, I just wasn’t hungry!  Too much cookie snacking while baking last night, I guess…

Around noontime I ran a few quick errands (bank, returning some extra Christmas presents) and grabbed an awesome lunch: a Hugh Jass salad with cucumber, carrot, onion, broccoli and fresh mozzarella:

Served with pita chips and a single-serve hummus on the side.  Tasty and super-filling!  I usually get a bit of shredded cheddar cheese on my salads, but I decided to change it up and go with the fresh mozz.  Honestly, it’s not my favorite cheese; I like its creamy, soft mouth feel (ahem-that’swhatshesaid), but it always tastes sorta bland and flavorless to me.

I finished off my lunch with a pumpkin scone:

SO yummy!  This was my sorta festive, sorta healthy treat for the day. 

So, on a slightly more somber note, I was inspired by  Erin’s post to reflect a bit about the holidays and missing loved ones.  My mom passed away almost four years ago, and memories of her and the last Christmas we spent together are still incredibly fresh in my mind. 

The last two weeks of her life were spent in a hospital bed, and my dad and I took turns visiting her every day, during every available window of visiting hours (she was in the cardiac ICU, and they only let visitors in a few times a day).  It was scary and heartbreaking and I ate like it was my job to mask all the pain I was feeling.

There are so many emotions associated with the loss of a loved one: anger and sadness that they are gone and missing out on important events in your life, frustration that they didn’t take better care of themselves when they were alive, regret that you never got to say a proper goodbye, etc.  I bought a ton of books to deal with my grief and anger (largely due to the fact that most of my mom’s health problems were her own fault), but unfortunately nothing but time made things better.

Christmas, like all holidays (for me, Mother’s Day is the WORST day of the year, hands down), is pretty tough to get through without thinking about my mom constantly.  It doesn’t have anything to do with any special Christmas memories or anything, just this lingering feeling of sadness that someone very important is missing.  The Christmas list feels incomplete without her name on it, I guess; I love buying presents for people, even my notoriously difficult to shop for mom.

Making things worse is the fact that the anniversary of her death (January 4th) is right around the corner.  I start dreading that day the moment winter hits.  I’ve been lucky the past two years; January 4th fell on a weekend in ‘08 and ‘09, so it was totally acceptable to spend the day curled up on the couch, doing absolutely nothing but wallowing in sadness.  This year, I have to be at work and pretend to be human for the day, and I’m already dreading it.

I don’t want to end this post on a somber note, so let me say this: tell the people you love that you love them, as often as you possibly can, no matter what.  Treasure every minute you have with your family members.  Memorize their favorite stories.  Ask them questions about their lives.  Learn from them.  Never take them for granted.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

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