My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Christmas

on December 24, 2012

Christmas has always been special to me. There is something almost magical about this time of year. Being surrounded by family and friends, hunting for just the right gift for each person on your list, having the house filled with the smell of freshly baked cookies, watching the snow fall outside while you are cuddled up inside.

My mom taught me to cook and bake when I was young, so I was always helping her in the kitchen. As I got older, it didn’t feel like Christmas until I was baking, especially when I was living on my own. I looked forward to the box of goodies my mom would send me each year. Now I bake for friends and for my people in my husband’s office. I think they look forward to receiving the goodies as I do to baking them. The year I had surgery to remove my cancer, I was determined to continue my tradition. Several people told me that it was okay if I didn’t feel up to making cookies. But I told them that I would still be baking because to me, it isn’t really Christmas if I don’t bake cookies. I didn’t make as many as I normally make, and I needed help, but I was happy that I got some done. Summer 2011 my mom died and I was devastated. I wondered if I would ever want to bake again at Christmas. I wondered if Christmas would ever feel the same without her, even though we lived far apart. As the holiday season approached last year, I started to feel better, almost happy again. And I felt the urge to bake. Sometimes I wonder if that was my mom’s doing. Maybe she was watching over me, and knowing how much I love it, she helped me get back into the kitchen. My mom was a very special woman and I still miss her every day. So now it’s Christmas 2012. And I baked up a storm, probably made more cookies this year than I have in quite a while. The difference this year is I only ate 1 cookie. That’s right. I ate 1 cookie. This year, for the first time, I’m having great success with my journey to be healthier. And as much as I love the cookies I make, I love me more. I love where I’m headed. I love what I’m able to do. And I want to continue to do well. So I didn’t indulge as I would have in the past. And I’m perfectly happy with that. And I will continue my tradition of baking, and giving the goodies to others to enjoy. And I will do it because it makes me happy. And it’s just isn’t Christmas if I don’t bake cookies.

My husband and I went to visit my niece Ashlie and her family before Christmas, and we were going to see my brother Jerry and his wife Julie as well. My niece, knowing that I would be baking, asked if I would bring some cookies. I was going to, but decided on something better. Instead, I packed a few of my favourite recipes to take with me. When we got there, I told her that instead of bringing her cookies, I thought it would be more fun and more special if we baked them together. I would teach her like my mom taught me. My niece is extra special to me. I love her as if she was my daughter. Many times over the years I wished she could have been, but that’s another story. She was excited at the idea of baking together. We had a great time baking together. I was thrilled to share a few of my secrets with her. Maybe it will become a new tradition. I would love it to be.

Almost every year since we got married, my husband and I spend Christmas with his mom, and his brother and sister-in-law. There is a new addition to the family this year — Allan and Trish had a baby boy named Alex in October. We are so excited to be with them for Alex’s first Christmas. There is something extra special about that. Even though he won’t really know or understand what’s going on, there is just something about the first Christmas.

For the first time in quite a whole I’m really looking forward to Christmas. I’m healthier and happier than I think I have ever been. As much as I love the traditions of the past, I’m looking forward to making new traditions as well, ones that reflect the new me. I’ve done many great things this year and looking forward to continuing to do more in 2013. Look for a post next week about resolutions for the new year.

I will end this post by saying Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season. Thank you for your support this year. Whether it was words of encouragement when I felt like giving up or just visiting my blog, it has meant the world to me. Thank you so much. May all your wishes come true.

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