I am a survivor of Christmas overload. Seven parties in seven days, and three more to go. There should be medals for this kind of dedication to frivolity.
I love parties. I love Christmas. But I don’t love the exhausted, bloated feeling that goes along with the Christmas party. Call me undisciplined, fallacious even…but night after night of decadent temptation starts to crumble the walls of careful self-preservation and eventually, caution is thrown to the wind, carbs are embraced, and the culinary delights of the season are succumbed to.
Christmas is such a strange animal. People overeat, overspend, and drink too much for a solid month, leaving them pudgy, broke and hung over by New Year's Eve. Entitlement aside, deep down, we all know that Christmas doesn’t have to be this gluttonous, and yet setting boundaries on fun proves to be much easier said than done.
It’s not an obvious seduction, like drugs or illicit compromise; true Christmas party overload is inherently subtle. It’s one sip of wine at a time, two late nights justified, then three more. It’s going back for seconds at the buffet table and avoiding the gym because there is “just so much to do.” Bustle, bustle, justify, justify…and then, all of sudden you can’t zip up your pants.
If someone offers me a cigarette, it’s easy to say no because I am not a smoker, nor do I intend to be one, but when it’s your mother pushing the most divine pecan pie known to man, the boundaries start to blur…a lot.
Moderation seems to be the obvious solution, when we veer towards excess, but it’s a tough sell to say no to “just one more” party, the last cookie in the office basket and the mocha swirl sample at Starbucks.
The Grinch said it well, “Maybe Christmas, doesn’t come from a store, perhaps maybe Christmas, means a little bit more.”
And so, maybe contentment at Christmas parties comes with less and not more, maybe finding the “more” is simply saying “no more.”