The Hemp Connection + [tips]

May you enjoy the moments and not fret about the calories

Several years ago, when my nephews were young, we celebrated Christmas Eve together. My mother is German, so in our house, the Christmas tree never goes up until Christmas Eve. We decorated the tree together, and went off to Christmas Eve service. But not before Matthew put out a plate of carrot and celery sticks for Santa (he felt Santa needed a fitness program).

We had arranged ahead of time to, after church, rush home and put all the Christmas presents under the tree while my brother, in his car, would take a detour to look at Christmas lights in order to have everything in place for the boys when they arrived back at the house.

I found a piece of red yarn and taped it on the inside of the fireplace. It was going to be evidence that Santa had really been there, and in his haste to get to the next house, he ripped his pants in the chimney and left a little piece behind.

Everything went off without a hitch. When my brother and his family walked in, the presents were under the tree, my dad--er--Santa--had munched on the healthy snack, and lo and behold! Santa really had come while we were at church.

A little while later, Matthew's brother Michael came into the kitchen with a completely devastated look on his face. In his hand was the yarn, as well as the tape that had attached it to the chimney. His curiosity had gotten the best of him."These aren't Santa's pants, this is yarn!"

He was right at that age where he was starting to not believe in Santa, but really wanted to believe, just one more year…and we all knew if we didn't immediatel y come up with a plausible explanation for the yarn/pants, he was going to lose that last magical Christmas.

I swear, aunties' brains are totally programmed for emergencies like this. Out of nowhere an idea popped into my head.

I squatted down, rolled my eyes, let out a huge, (faux) exasperated sigh, and said,"Michael, what does Santa use to get around the world on Christmas Eve?"

"A sleigh."

"And is that sleigh closed in with windows and heat like your dad's car?"

"No."

"It's wide open and windy, and probably very cold in that sleigh, right?"

"Uh-huh"

"So Santa can't really wear jeans. And even your softest, fattest sweatpants aren't going to work to keep him warm, are they?"

"Uh-uh"

"Santa needs the thickest, fattest, warmest pants he can possibly have so he doesn't catch a cold while he's going all around the world in that sleigh!"

His eyes brightened up, and he nodded his head. That Santa glimmer of hope started to return to his eyes.

"I think this must be some very special material made just for Santa, and I'm betting, as Matthew said, with those extra pounds, Mrs. Claus had to let the pants out a little bit and since Santa was in such a hurry she used tape instead of thread."

That was all it took.

I have to say, in all my years, I don't remember a fraction of the gifts I received, or the food, or the parties, or who sent me Christmas cards. I remember the moments. As I've gotten older, I've declined more party invitations and made more one on one time for the people I create and enjoy those moments with.

I know many of you are coming to this blog looking for advice on diet, exercise, depression, etc., and it can feel sometimes like the holidays are a chore when you have to account for all of the things your doctor, nutritionist, and therapist are simultaneously asking you to do.

Keep the faith! The calories and the exercise and all the other things will take care of themselves, and inCYST providers are committed to being here all year long to bring you the best of the best of information to help you do that.

Whether it's Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa that you celebrate, I hope, for at least a moment, you are able to put the mechanics aside, and enjoy a clear, starry winter night, or a Santa moment with a child, or a snuggle with a happy pet in its new forever home. That, 20 years from now, not how many exchanges are in a serving of stuffing, is what you're going to remember and smile about.

PS I was very pleased to learn that a few weeks after that Santa near-miss, my budding scientist of a nephew had kept the"evidence", and Santa's pants actually made it to show and tell.