December 21, 2001 Halifax Herald

Christmas diet resolve gone out the window!

WELL FRIENDS, another year is fast fading away and Christmas, with its great expectations and fabulous, fattening feasts - I've already had a few Christmas dinners with friends - is just four days away. The kids, especially the wee ones, are getting antsy. The endless questions - Is he coming tonight? Should I go to bed now? - will soon be over for another year. But finding relief like this may be only for the short term; indications are that the stage is being set to make it endless.

Hey, just like Santa, I see what you're doing! Stop shaking your head and saying: "He's gotta be kidding." To reduce your skepticism, just contemplate what's been going on around you. Haven't you noticed that with each succeeding year, the stores begin their sales pitches earlier and earlier? Pat and I took note, around the first of August, that a few were already pushing some Christmas stock. This is a sure sign that we're going to wind up having barrels of fun for 12 continuous months, year in and year out!

Can you imagine the joy of fielding the questions - "Is he coming tonight?" "Should I go to bed now?" - every month of the year? Are you now grabbing your head in horror? Do you wanna sign up for the funny farm now or wait and take a chance that it won't happen? Whoops, I just added three more questions to the already endless questions being fired at you.

Is your anxiety level rising? Are you now reaching for a box of chocolates to try to soothe it? Take comfort in this: It won't go on forever. Kids grow up, you know - don't you? Darn, I just can't stop asking questions. I'm truly sorry!

Lord, it must be the power of suggestion, just picturing you gobbling down chocolates galore got me started! Man, oh man, but that lemon centre was delectable. Oh, wow, unfortunately for my diet resolve, it's not the only one fast disappearing down the hatch - strawberry, raspberry, nut, etc., are all going down with great enthusiasm. But, hey, when you're doing something really pleasurable, there always has to be a spoiler to dampen the mood. For me, it's my scale sitting evilly in the bedroom corner, reminding me that during the holidays last year, I gained 10 pounds. In shock, I promised myself that I'd reform, and refrain from overindulging next season. In strength, I'll now renew the pledge: I vow, I will not gain 10 pounds! I'll keep it down to nine and a half, even if it kills me. With a resurgence of such deep resolve, I feel better already!

Now, on to a related subject. The notion that reindeer will soon be flying through the air, delivering goodies with Santa, has brought to mind a short deer story. A doe, following in the cloven footsteps of her ancestors, began coming around last spring for short, very destructive visits. I'm sure it wasn't done with malice; it was probably the thought of feasting on newly budding tulip bulbs that drove her. She did it daintily; this was deduced from the neat way she nipped them off. When she got rolling, she savoured them one by delectable one, only overlooking three. Mind you, this happened in the city.

Now the unbelievable comes into the picture. On the old Stewiacke Valley Road, about halfway between Brookfield and New Glasgow, sits a little community park in the middle of nowhere. It's outfitted with well-cared-for outhouses, with guest books, picnic tables, and a few small flower beds, one of which was planted with tulips. You guessed it, nary a one was eaten. Could it be that only city-slicker deer eat tulips?

Unfortunately for my gardening efforts, the story doesn't end with tulips; she has a taste for roses. Last spring, I planted a bush that produced lovely yellow roses all summer. By September, there were just three remaining buds, which, if left alone, would've produced beautiful flowers in late November or early December. It was not to be. I got up around 2 o'clock one late fall morning to have a drink, and looked out the front window. There she was, having a contented, early-morning rosebud snack. When I went out to chase her away, she gave me a "get lost" look! Without so much as a pause, or a second glance, she continued snacking. This aggravated me to the point where I got her attention by heaving a small stone at her. She ran off and faded into the darkness.

Well folks, I gotta go now. Dustin, a neighbour's four-year-old son, and a good friend, will soon be knocking. He's a youngster so full of life and love that it's contagious. He loves to come over and help me with yard work and Pat with hers. Because he's such great company, we sometimes take him with us when we go on an outing and, of course, buy him some odds and ends. Some are very useful and very pragmatic. For instance, Pat bought a countdown calendar for him that dispenses a candy per day up to Christmas Eve. It's a delight seeing him come visit and enjoy himself! We look forward to helping to entertain him and his little brother Bailey throughout the seasons for many years to come!

Tons of thanks, folks, for your many letters, phone calls and in-person comments about my columns! Knowing that most of them are stimulating some serious thinking about society's ups and downs makes it all worthwhile.

May the Great Spirit be with you and yours throughout the holidays and cause you all to have a healthy and prosperous New Year!

Daniel N. Paul


Home   Column Index 2001   Web Site Map