Holiday Hype: November/December 2014

This was supposed to post while I was away. Not sure how it slipped in today. I will re-post it on Nov. 1st

Solstice Tree from

While I love Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, or whatever end of year celebration you choose, like the Winter Solstice Tree, I don’t like the hype that goes with some of these holidays. (Celebrating the Winter Solstice goes hand-in-hand with caring about Mother Earth) Even before Halloween is over, and definitely before Thanksgiving, all the December holiday paraphernalia is on display in stores and people start running around like crazy to find the right gift..

My focus will be on the importance of these holidays in light of the world around us, giving gifts of home made food, hand-crafted items, and finding items that may not cost much but are significant to the persons who will receive them.

A homemade pumpkin pie I made last year at the end of October. The gift of food is priceless!

Home baked goods and tasty food are always “in season,” so if you like to bake and cook, consider these as perfect gifts, especially to friends and family who do not have the time, energy or inclination to do so. Penny, my daughter-by-marriage now works full time but recently squeezed into her schedule a pot of chicken soup for a sick friend. It was greatly appreciated and something Penny knew would give her friend comfort.

An offshoot of this is MANNA’s yearly Pie in the Sky fundraiser. This non-profit organization that cooks meals for critically ill people bakes pumpkin and apple pies to sell, with the money going  to help fund their meals for the ill.  Find an organization nearby that does a similar fundraiser, or organize one with friends. I know, so many of us lead overly busy lives, and one more responsibility is the last thing we need. Then create your own way of giving that works within your time line and budget and send me your ideas.

As the end of the year looms in sight, many people make big plans for New Year’s Eve. I was never a big fan of this celebration, because I found that people had to drink in order to talk truthfully. However, this year I would like to couple the end of 1024 and the new year to come with more about Healthy Aging, since at New Year’s we are paying a great deal of attention to the passage of time.

During the summer I started a series on Healthy Aging and never posted everything I wanted to, so I will continue during these two months. I did review Growing Old is a Full Time Job by Susan Lieberman and this one on Death, Dying & Dessert is a perfect

follow up. We all leave this earth at some time and pretending this isn’t going to happen doesn’t make  it go away. This book will help with coping with end of life issues.

There are two more books I hope to review before 2015: Disease Proof by Dr. David Katz and Sex and the Seasoned Woman by Gail Sheehy. Stay tuned!

November is also Diabetes Month & I plan to give you an update on what I have been doing about the high level of diabetes in my own family.

There are other dates in November & December, such as  Election Day and Veterans Day, Great American Smoke Out, Poinsettia Day & Natural Fruitcake Day. I will highlight those I can fit in between health topics, reviews, etc. In the meantime, think about how you can make this holiday season meaningful and joyful.

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