What to bring to the holidays

November 12, 2009

WintersquashHummus

This year, my husband and I are doing the holidays a little differently. We’re still going to see the family and eat pumpkin pie, but we’ve decided to do it all in a different frame of mind.

Specifically, without guilt.

Do you ever feel guilty around the holidays? The first thing that comes to mind is food – we eat more than we should or the ‘wrong’ types of food and then beat ourselves up for it. Or maybe it’s guilt that you aren’t doing enough, aren’t throwing the most lavish party or buying the most perfect gifts.

Maybe it has to do with family. I know people who trek around on snowy holidays visiting 4 sets of parents! Do you feel you have to see everyone, make an appearance? Maybe this year you say, “See you next week” or “Let’s have dinner in February.” Would that be even remotely possible? Consider it.

One year we drove home from the holidays in our rental car, drank a bottle of wine and fell asleep on the couch. We were emotionally spent and mentally shaken. We left the car outside and totally forgot to return it on time. (Luckily, the car company didn’t charge us the hundreds of dollars in overage fees they could have – happy holidays to us! Whew.)

That is not how I want this season to end! It’s all about making choices that are right for us, drawing boundaries, and taking care of ourselves physicaly and mentally. Maybe one or two relatives will get annoyed. Maybe our front door will go without a festive holiday wreath. And maybe we’ll decline a party or two. Who cares?

My intention for the season is to bring happiness and joy into my life and the lives of those around me. How can I bring happiness? I’ll have to create it, and spread it. I will eat things that make my body happy, I will sleep until I am well rested, and I will spend time with people who make the holidays a celebration. I will not feel guilty about the choices I make.

What about you? What will you bring to the holidays?

Of course, one thing you’ll probably need to bring is something to eat! Here’s a super easy dip that everyone will love:

Holiday Hummus
1 15 oz. can chickpeas or white navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup roasted squash puree (any kind will do, I used Delicata)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
small handful fresh thyme leaves
S+P, to taste

Everything goes in the food processor – just blend it up. Try whole wheat pita or pumpernickel bread for dipping. It’s also great as a spread. Remember – it’s sweeter than hummus so it may not taste great on some vegetables. Experiment, and enjoy!

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays.