Tomorrow is a big day for kids. Costumes, candy, haunted houses and for the faithful few, waiting in sincere pumpkin patches for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. For parents, that means a lot of work…and a lot of candy management. We hope these tips will make it easier to make healthy decisions as you rush through your last minute preparations.
Holiday traditions are an important reminder of the miracle of the connections we have with family and friends. Since Hanukkah is celebrated around the same time as Christmas, it has become a well-known Jewish holiday. This year, 2011, Hanukkah starts at sundown on Tuesday, December 20th and ends at sunset on Wednesday, December 28th on the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah always starts on the 25th day of the month of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar. Since the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar don’t exactly coincide, the days for Hanukkah appear to move around and usually fall in late November or December.
Recently I have had the pleasure of two speaking opportunities with Clara from the Good Shepherd Food Bank. While the folks at Good Shepherd always do a nice job, I was especially excited to see one of their latest initiatives – a Virtual Holiday Food Drive.
My husband’s family has a cookie recipe that has been passed through generations. The cookies are loaded with just about everything–M&M’s, peanut butter, chocolate chips, Reese’s Pieces, and of course, plenty of sugar, butter and eggs. These decadent cookies are the sort you should limit to just one (okay maybe two!). Here’s the problem: the recipe for these Monster cookies (yes, real name) makes 144 cookies!
As the holidays approach, those of us who are fortunate enough to have a roof over our head, food in our cupboards, and a little extra money to give our family gifts take the time to reflect on our good fortune. As we listen to the news about the economy and hunger and the misfortunes of others, we often realize just how well off we are–well off enough that we can spare a little of our time and money to help those who aren’t quite so lucky. In the spirit of community and kindness that surrounds the holidays, we start looking for ways to give back. Time being short and money being tight, we all want our donations to have the greatest benefit for those in need, so how do we do it?
I would not characterize myself as one of those people that lack focus, but this time of year even I find to be utterly distracting. Even now as I type, emails are popping up, advertising “50% off and free shipping” (today only!…thus multiplying the distraction). So I am here to offer you some helpful, healthy tips for staying focused during this frenzied holiday season. Think of this as a road map to staying healthy.
It has started. The cascade of one-day holidays that each seem to take a full week to celebrate and then linger for months. This was clear when my son was yelling the other day that he must have another piece of candy because, “It is Halloween!!!!” The only problem was that it was October 24. Operation “Hide Candy” has begun.
On a day when people like you and I, despite our better judgment, purposefully cart our children around collecting junk food, here’s a fun way to keep the spirit of healthy living alive tonight. When my children came home and saw these just casually hanging out on the kitchen counter, they were more than a little disturbed…and my kids are not easily impressed by anything I do. But with a few pieces of fruit and about 15 minutes with a paring knife, you’ll have a fun item to share for your Halloween celebration.