Updating Holiday Traditions: Mindful Gifting

You were probably expecting a post about mindful eating because I said I was going to write about that today.  Well…

I was going to write about mindful eating today, but after a particularly soul-wrenching therapy session today, I decided against it.  And I don’t mean soul-wrenching in a bad way; I was given an awful lot to think about and ruminate on, some of which I’ll write about eventually.  So if you were expecting my insights on mindful eating, I apologize and will write about that later on this week.  Promise.

What I will share with you is something my husband and I did today that has become a holiday tradition for us.

Last year when we were having the “what do you want for Christmas” conversation, it was determined that neither of us really wanted anything.  The way we looked at it, if we wanted something badly enough, we could just go get it whenever we felt like it.  And that gave us both pause.

When it got right down to it, we agreed that we were very lucky to have all that we have.  We also recognized that there were many in our community that did not, and wanted to share what we had with others.  So we chose 3 organizations/individuals to give gifts to:  the Samaritan Inn, our county’s homeless shelter; Toys for Tots, and a local restaurant whose children’s library was in bad need of replacement.

We made a Costco run for the Samaritan Inn, a Half Price Books run for the restaurant, and a Toys R Us run for Toys for Tots.  We also gifted a server at one of our favorite restaurants with a Visa gift card for taking such good care of us all year long whenever she waited on us.

The response we got was fantastic.  And we had fun doing it.  Best of all, we felt GOOD doing it.  So we decided to do it again this year.  Unfortunately because there was a nasty ice storm a couple weeks back, we didn’t get to do it earlier in the month, and last week was grading hell, so we did some heavy-duty shopping today.  We went to Costco again, this time for a local food pantry called Seven Loaves.  We made quick work of our trip, and I’m pretty sure we loaded over a hundred pounds of food into the back of my husband’s car.

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Hoping this will make meals a little easier for some folks in our community.

We tried to choose things that were healthy and that were also on the pantry’s needs list.  Tomorrow, we’re planning to head to Wal-Mart to take care of some layaways for a couple of families.  We talked about doing that last year, but didn’t get around to doing it, but this year, we’re doing it.  I think we are also going to have a meal catered in for the nurses who took such good care of us when both of us had our surgery this summer.  They made it so much easier for us to recover as quickly as we both did, and without their critical help in those first 24 hours post-op, we would not have been able to go home as quickly as we did.

This is a holiday tradition we will continue to engage in for as long as we are able.  To share with those who are less fortunate, or who are unsung–to give unselfishly is what this holiday should be about.  Not about family drama, not about who can buy the biggest and best and newest gadgets or who can get the most stuff, and certainly not about food.  It’s about sharing what you have with those who have none, and feeling glad in your heart that you are fortunate enough to be able to do so.

I will write about mindful eating soon, I promise.  I still need to gather my thoughts and find my notes from our group meeting the other night to help me! 🙂

Today’s eating was pretty okay.  I hit my minimum protein goal of 80 grams, and got in nearly a gallon of water.  My food was a little fattier than I like, but most of the fat I ate today was from salmon and pecans, so at least it was good fat, right?   I hit the upper part of my carb range squarely at 50 grams, but I am heading to the gym first thing in the morning to ride the recumbent bike and walk the treadmill since I will be largely inactive most of the day doing stuff with family–playing cards and dominoes and all that stuff.  Then it’s off to the grocery store to pick up a few last minute things to take to my mom’s, and then Christmas Eve there.  We’ll decorate the tree here at home tomorrow night, watch “A Christmas Story,” sip on diet hot cocoa and enjoy the greatest gifts we could ever hope to receive:  the company of loved ones and the gift of good health.

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Today’s food choices, from upper right: multivitamin and calcium supplements x2, iron supplement; roast chicken breast, mashed potatoes, green beans almondine, part of a slice of cornbread; Rudy’s pinto beans; Rudy’s smoked ham; part of a dinner salad; part of a salmon Oscar entree (crabmeat in lemon butter sauce over fried asparagus) with mixed veggies; Killer Pecans (ate half a serving); turkey breast slices.  Lots of leftovers today!

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