Well here they are -- the holidays again. And while it's always nice to get together with old friends and loved ones this time of year, there's one holiday reunion essayist Peter Smith is not looking forward to.
Smith: I have never met a carbohydrate I didn't like. And, this time of year in Minnesota, carbohydrates are everywhere.
At the office potluck Holiday party. In mail order packages from family, friends, and business associates. Stacked on silver trays on sidebars. In bowls with salsa and bean dip on the coffee table during TV football games. Everywhere.
I try to ignore them, but they know my Holiday routines. They arrange themselves alluringly where I can't help but run into them.
"Hey, big boy," they whisper as I walk by, "Want some real Happy Holidays?"
There are traditional Holiday carbohydrates-gross upon gross of my sister-in-law's cookies, for example. Every year, she enters her manic holiday baking phase just after Thanksgiving and doesn't snap out of it until late Christmas Eve afternoon.
Or those open boxes of chocolates that find their way to the living room end tables. Would they be there any other time of year? I don't think so.
There are the commercial Holiday carbohydrates. Only yesterday, paying for gas down the street, I almost fell for a couple of festive red and green, two-for-a-buck gas station doughnuts. The candy bars sported Holiday wrappers. Most seductive of all, I could get two pints of eggnog for the price of one.
Two pints-two whole pints-of gas station eggnog for the price of one.
What I need here-and I need it badly-is some sort of cap-and-trade program, where I could buy carbohydrate credits from someone who isn't going to use them. Or maybe donate the extra carbohydrates I'm going to consume to someone who needs them... A runner, say... Or a yoga addict.
But no. It's not going to happen. Even as I speak, hundreds of Holiday carbohydrates out there are heading my way.
Ignoring the evil eye my wife will give me from across the room, I will ingest them. They will go down the Holiday hatch, join the carbs from Christmases past ,and enjoy a free ride on my hips into the New Year, and on toward Christmases future.
And I, for my part, will fend off any pangs of guilt by deliberately considering, however briefly, each of those "No enrollment fee" health club offers that arrive in the mail with the Christmas cards.