Getting Giving: I'm working on it

11.24.10: Leo's 30th Month


Help! The holidays are starting! The joy! The togetherness! The food! The giving and the loving and the eating and the celebrating and and and…how is it that usually I’m the one saying “Yay! Let’s be cozy and social and celebratory!” and Aaron’s all “Grr, forced happiness time makes me angry and antisocial!” but this year the tables have turned?

I don’t want to wear sweaters and party and love everybody and get fat. I want to go for a nice long run in spandex, eat a healthy breakfast, then sit on my loveseat with a book for the rest of the day while people everywhere enjoy each other and dust gathers on my party shoes (and everything else, because I certainly do not want to get up from my loveseat to vacuum).

Maybe it’s global warming. Who wants to be stuffed with stuffing when it’s still t-shirt weather out? The warm weather we’re having is, however, quite good for jogging. And maybe the jogging is what has me fighting back against all the goodies. And possibly, during the past several months while Aaron has worked non-stop and I’ve barely seen him, I’ve come to feel that somewhere, someone owes me some quiet time with a novel. Because when one parent is working nonstop, the other parent is, by definition, parenting nonstop. And nonstop is not actually the best way to delight in the company of a two-and-a-half year old. The best way to do that is with lots of breaks. Maybe for cocktails.

In any case, the holidays are here, my long-lost, hard-working husband has finally returned to the bosom of his family, and, though our yule-log screen saver has stopped working, and the weather feels rather more springy than it ought to, there never was a better time to remember about the pleasures of giving. That’s right, giving, because it is nice to do and makes a person feel good, whereas sulking on a loveseat is a rather Grinch-like activity. And so, I am working on it.

To start with, I made my sweet family a cranberry breakfast cornbread, and introduced Leo to the pleasures of maple butter. I know, it’s small, it’s not exactly world peace, and it might be pointed out that I also enjoyed the breakfast. But the season is just beginning. Give me time.

Recipe: Cranberry Breakfast Cornbread with Maple Butter

Zoe Singer is a freelance food writer and cookbook editor and co-author of The Flexitarian Table. Food Editor and blogger for The Faster Times, she tries not to eat for two now that her son is a toddler.