North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

December 18, 2013

Danielle Cater: Presents, food, family important at Christmas

Danielle Cater: Presents, food, family important at Christmas

NORTH JEFFERSON — Have you done all of your shopping? Have you hung all of your stockings? Have you trimmed your tree? Have you checked all of your lists... twice? You’re quickly running out of time to mark off the important things for this festive season and if you don’t watch out, this year it will pass right by you.

I know what it’s like to shop for Christmas presents on every lunch break in the week. And I know how it feels to have you children change their desired Christmas list six times in a day.

But don’t get too wrapped up in these things. The presents do matter, believe it or not. I know that we try to put on the facade that it doesn’t matter about presents at all, but the fact of the matter is that Christmas has some emphasis on the presents and if we didn’t get any gifts for our four babies, I can guarantee we would have eight pouty lips on Christmas morning. But the season isn’t just made up of the presents.

I’m hoping that most of our readers are mature enough to realize that the presents are not the main purpose of Christmas. But I know there are some women out there who will be angry little bees if they don’t get the boots or the necklace that they asked for. I also know a number of men who will be grumpy little elves if they don’t get the gun or four-wheeler that they asked for.

But for the most part, we can rule out presents as the main purpose of Christmas.

What’s another reason people love this time of year? Oh yeah, the food. Man, you really can’t beat the food you get between Thanksgiving and New Years. It’s practically impossible not to gain weight during these weeks. You can stay slender, but it’s definitely torture to do so. I would rather pay for it at the first of the year and enjoy the good home cooking that’s being handed out.

I, personally, love cooking for the holidays. Just this past week I made a caramel pie and mocha fudge brownies and brought them to the office. We feast off of our snacks every afternoon around 2 p.m. and you can bet there is a mid-morning snack on most days also.

Not only do you have to beware of the foods you cook in your own kitchen (because you know you HAVE to taste test them), you also have to beware of the food you eat at all of the holiday parties and gatherings. There is constantly ribbon cuttings and grand openings and lunch meetings around our office and most are accompanied by deliciously, horrible-for-you food. I use to say that our office was haunted by a spirit of obesity, but I’m pretty sure that’s a personal demon that I just bring into the office every morning and take home with me every night.

Don’t be too hard on yourself while dieting during this season. It’s just plain wrong to try to hold back for the next two weeks, but after that, get back on the wagon and count those carbs or calories or whatever it is that you choose to do about your own, personal weight loss.

So we have established that Christmas is not only about presents or the delicious food that abounds during this season. What else could this holiday be about? Oh, I know, what about our family and friends! Yes, there is nothing much better than sitting around a living room or kitchen table right after you’ve eaten a big, family dinner and talking to the people who mean the most to you. Whether it’s reminiscing about how Uncle Jack body slammed Aunt Bobbie Sue into the bushes by the front porch in 1986 or talking about how much everyone hated, but still ate, Aunt Ethel’s homemade fruit cake, or remembering how Grandma always just sat in her rocking chair smiling and watching her family do their Christmas routines, there is something to be said about memories with our families. This is the perfect time of year to put away any differences that may have come between members of the family in the past year and reconnect with the people who help to make the holidays so merry and bright.

If you have problems with a member of your family, be the one to swallow your pride this year and make the holidays better for everyone by burying the hatchet and bringing the family back together. No one likes an awkward gathering, so do your part not to be the problem. Nothing on this earth is more important than your family, or at least it shouldn’t be.

This column next week will tell what the real purpose in Christmas is (as if you don’t already know), but for this week, be thankful for the presents and food and family that make Christmas everything that it is to you. If you go back through your memories, I can guarantee that some of the your fondest ones include these three things around Christmas time.

You’ve got one more week to get your home, presents, food, mind, heart and body prepared for Christmas ... good luck!

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014

Featured Ads
Twitter Updates
NDN Video
Royal Wedding Live