by Deb Silverthorn
Whether you are readying to hark the herald angels sing or loading up on candles for the Chanukah menorah, the season is upon us to gather together and share joy. Oh, and to bustle through the shopping aisles, the grocery stores, the malls, and the mailbox, not mention the attic for all those decorations! And that’s just the beginning of the holiday list. Sometimes we are so busy making this the best holiday ever that we forget to be in the moment.
“Remember the ‘why’ we are together and really try to hold on to that,” says Suzy Harmon, author of Hungry for Health, Starved for Time.
Harmon, the mother of a high school senior, a college junior, and a son in the working world, says exhaling and setting the example to do so for your family is just the recipe for a successful the holiday season. “Remember that ‘good enough, is good enough and the ‘this or that’ which didn’t make it to the table or the decoration that didn’t make it up in time isn’t likely missed by anyone but you.”
If your college or adult kids are returning to the nest to celebrate the season, they likely want to catch up with their friends while they are all back in town. Harmon suggests offering your home as the meeting ground. Bring out the favorite recipes of long ago, stock the fridge with what they love most, and welcome in the masses.
Striking a balance of time with extended family and enjoying some precious moments with your kids without the burden of everyday tasks and a huge “To Do” list can be daunting. Robert and Melissa Chaiken and their two teens have found the holidays to be a perfect time to make memories with their extended families, but also to enjoy some quality time alone.
“We always manage to share some holiday time around the grandparents’ tables, or by going out to eat with our extended loved ones, but for us, it’s also the rare just ‘foursome time’ that we relish,” said Robert. “We run away… to London, Mexico, Disney World or to the ski slopes – it’s not really about where we are, but that we are together, and anytime we are together is a time to be thankful for.”
Harmonious Holiday Recipe Tips with a Healthy Twist
“So much of our holidays are focused on meals that are delicious and filled with memories of our own childhoods, but we can update those meals to be a lot more healthy,” says Harmon.
Here are a few of the tips you can find in her book, Hungry for Health, Starved for Time, available on Amazon.com:
• Add a little pureed cauliflower to your mashed potatoes
• Use pureed dates in place of sugar to add sweetness
• Cook with Himalayan pink salt or sea salt instead of iodized table salt
• Spiralize a veggie like a zucchini and serve in place of pasta spaghetti
• Cook with love, slow down, and engage the family in the cooking process