I’m Holding My Vegetables Hospice

It’s the first week of January, and I’m finally sober enough to go for groceries. My limp from a Christmas catfight over the turkey in Aisle 5 has mostly healed. Yuletide preparations, in the exact opposite order, trigger my annual post-holiday hangover. I’d wave my magic-making wand to get ‘er done, but it needs to be recharged. Since the elves have hit retirement age, Mama could use new batteries too.

This month, there’s no C-words on my grocery list: cookies, cake, cheese, chocolate, chardonnay, chablis. My cart is brimming with “A” words for atonement: arugula, asparagus, apples, almonds, alfalfa, and (ginger) ale. I’d go full vegan, but my chai would be naked and afraid without a titch of Baileys.

In December, all things edible are guilt-free. I’d samba through the supermarket to the soundtrack of my ravenous stomach. Visions of nachos and charcuterie danced in my head, justifying each kilo of cheese. The woman in front of me ringing through her organic, vegan life choices is clearly a scrooge. I’d eat her too. Serving joy on a platter to my flannel wearing family is a hallowed tradition.

My week’s grocery cart contents scream detox. Going through the checkout line, with pores sweating sugar and eyes glazed like ham, I appear to fit right in. Tis the season for snowman rolls, denim waistbands don’t discriminate. The sale priced chocolates with their slightly tarnished wrappers try to seduce me. I anticipate our shameful weekends together will resume by month’s end.

Every year I picture my perfect family lovingly gathered around the bounty…my blood, sweat, and tears à la carte. Christmas gluttony is like having a baby. I’ll forget about the rolling gastronomic contractions until next year, when I blissfully do it all over again!

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