Bypassing the Christmas Coronary

Weary Santa

Weary Santa

I just finished my fourth batch of peanut butter balls for the 2013 Christmas season.  They are not turning out as well I had anticipated.  You want it all PERFECT for the holidays.  The chocolate would not melt smoothly, so the balls have small blotches of chocolate “bumps” scattered on top.  No matter how hard I tried to mix it… still lumps!  Oh well, they are kind of like the year 2013.  That was not very smooth either and there were far too many lumps and bumps along the way!

There is plenty to accomplish before Christmas day arrives!

My list of THINGS TO DO continues to get longer and longer, even though I am crossing things off as the days and weeks go on.  To top it off, I am told to try to avoid a “Christmas coronary too!  I think I will need some special elves to help me avoid that!  (Maybe some elves like the ones on the K-Mart Christmas commercial in the Joe Boxer shorts!)   The commercial alone could give some individuals a bit of a Christmas coronary – or, at the very least, some heart palpitations!

My To Do List:  (What should I cross off?)

1.)   Make another couple batches of peanut butter balls!  (Darn!)

2.)  Make traditional and required jelly cookies.

3.)  Make fudge, popcorn balls, gingerbread men, and caramel corn.

4.)  ? Buy frosted cookies?

5.)  Make Party Mix. (MUST make every year!  Must add extra cashews!)

6.)  Put up Christmas tree. (Don’t forget to put model Christmas Train around tree too!)

7.)  Decorate house. (Clean it first!)

8.)  Order Lorie Line tickets. (Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!)

9.)  Make treats for grandkids school (I have great ideas that I found on Pinterest!)

10.)  Buy gifts for family and friends (and wrap them beautifully!)

11.)  Need ideas for elves on shelves for grandkids!

12.)  Hang Christmas stockings on mantle.

13.)  Knit mittens for MITTEN TREE donation.

14.)  EXERCISE! (Yeah, sure…)

15.)  Get piano tuned.

16.)  Write Christmas letter for friends and family. (Maybe I could just send them a link to my blog instead?)

17.)  Make Christmas cards. (Email link to blog also?)

18.)  Plan Christmas menu… and on and on.

My Christmas “to-do list” continues to grow longer…
I have come to the realization that it is time to re-think the list and the Christmas coronary.  The Christmas coronary is not an old wives tale.  According to Tufts University study, the holidays bring an increase in coronary events.

There is also a cardiac event known as “The Happy New Year Heart Attack” that will sneak up shortly thereafter.

Yes, the two riskiest days for heart related deaths are Christmas day and New Year’s (December 25 and January 1).  

The holidays have a tendency to bring an increased stress with family and friends gathering and over-indulgence in food and alcohol.   We normally try to limit or avoid foods and drinks that are not heart-healthy.  We now give ourselves permission to eat more and exercise less.  After all, this is a very special time of the year!

What are the factors involved in this dilemma?

Stress – Will I get it all done in time?!

Emotions – I am missing some family and friends this holiday season.

Over-eating – all my favorite foods!  Add your favorite alcoholic drink and your defenses are weakened!

Decreased exercise – Who has time to exercise?!

Time is running short!  Who can take time for self?!

A white Christmas – corresponds to frigid cold temps and snow to shovel and slippery walkways.

Overlooking signs of trouble – The “holiday heart” is enjoying family, friends, intake of high fat foods and alcohol and certainly will not want to take the time to see a doctor or seek immediate medical help when needed.  People simply tend to overlook signs of trouble even with chest pain or shortness of breath.

How are we going to avoid the Christmas coronary, the holiday hustle and bustle, the rushing through the season?  Some possibilities could be:

Christmas morning brunch at Fanny Hill with Santa – It will be festive with no fuss, no mess and lots of heart healthy food choices.  I will fill my plate once and step away with no nibbling and easy on the salt.

Christmas parties will find me having a high protein snack before heading out.  It will keep me from over-indulging at the party.  I will eat slowly and partake in the conversation and socialization with a limit on the alcohol and with avoidance of those rich and creamy holiday treats.

Remember that physical exercise or activity is important even through the holidays.  Even a short walk counts for physical activity.

Dress warmly and avoid the cold temperatures.

This is the time of the year to steer clear of heart stress like emotional stress, anger as well as physical exertion like snow shoveling.

My most important tip:  If you or someone in your family has chest pain or shortness of breath or something that just does “not feel right”, do not ignore it.  Seek medical attention.  We need to “listen to our bodies.”

AND…
I am going to go to K-Mart and buy everyone on my Christmas list a new pair of Joe Boxer shorts!  (I guess the K-Mart commercial really did have an impact on me!  What can I say?!)

The girls love Joe Boxers now too — maybe Joe Boxer makes tank tops for the gals — perfect bedtime attire!

Now, if all my family and friends would let me know the correct size they want, I will get the perfect size!  Thanks K-Mart!

Take care of your heart during the holidays!

I welcome any and all Christmas suggestions on how to avoid the Christmas coronary and the Happy New Year Heart Attack.

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8 Comments on “Bypassing the Christmas Coronary

  1. Very true, Sharon…I am beginning to feel it would be a good time to “retreat’ and really enjoy what Christmas is about!!!!

    I also think that family members should now take on responsibilities that you have done for so long. Katrina always brings soups and breads for the day before and after the holiday. Kirstie is our dessert lady, so that always takes care of desserts, and Kim brings whatever is necessary like soda or ice cream. Maybe each member can become proficient at one of your special treats, so the traditions go forward in their families, too. Just some ideas, as it is way too overwhelming. YOU also do everything with perfection!

    YOUR Christmas sounds beautiful!!!

    YOU have some great advice for all of us…THANK YOU, SHARON!!!!
    Love,
    Theresa

  2. S says she wears medium shorts; but M wants you to know, he just goes commando! It’s a Scottish thing! ; )

  3. Downsize. Share the “load”. For many years we have made Christmas more “casual”. Less preparation for everyone and more relaxed time together!

    • Thank you Kris. Concise and to the point. I agree whole-heartedly that the time together is what matters most… and I/we will slip into a more “casual” mode. I appreciate your wise response.

  4. My suggestion is to celebrate Christmas early, like at Thanksgiving. Then you can relax and really enjoy the season. Of course, it helps when your family comes early from another state and forces the issue. May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. PS. I enjoyed your peanut butter balls and never noticed the lumps. If they are chocolate, who cares!! Ida Mae

    • Thank you, Ida Mae! Of course, I was careful not to give you any of the peanut butter balls with the lumps! We need to get out into the world and get some steps in… what do you say?

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