Sweet enough

By Dan Dunkle | Dec 29, 2016

Every year the holidays remind us of one very important thing.

You can only eat so many sweets.

Fudge, cookies, pie, chocolates, Nerds candies, Swedish Fish. My favorite is a yeast ring that my mother-in-law makes every Christmas, with raisins, cherries and a sugar glaze.

But at some point after the last present has been opened and the last relative has gone home and you find yourself wandering the aisles of your local grocery store where the shelves look like they were pillaged by a horde of attacking Vikings, you realize that you are absolutely sick of sweets.

Not just sweets, but food... rich food, fatty food, meaty food, foody food.

The couple of weeks leading up to the holidays is a virtual cruise-ship buffet of heavy, wintery foods.

Why egg nog? How can that be a thing? Why are there no other nogs?

Four days later, I find myself pondering options... Cheerios? Neither sweet nor salty, not heavy nor rich. Shredded wheat? No need for the frosted side.

Other things I am thoroughly tired of... movies with sentimental themes. Bring on the grimy gunslingers, the ax-wielding barbarians, the burned-out cops, the shell-shocked tank commanders. I cannot bear one more speech about the vaguely defined, yet somehow true spirit of the season delivered as a message of anti-commercialism from a character who happens to be the subject of numerous merchandising items ranging from stuffed animals to fast food soda cups. Please, no more singalongs to save Santa.

I did get into the spirit there at the end. I watched my beloved Grinch and Elf and bought a new DVD that we forgot to watch of “It's a Wonderful Life Once You Give Up Your Youthful Dreams and Realize You're Married to Donna Reed.”

I still like all this stuff on some level, but I'm ready to stuff those movies, those earnest, irony-free wholesome DVDs, the tree and all the sugar you can digest up the chimney to the Grinch's waiting sleigh. Take it all away to the top of Mount Crumpit until next November.

A few days before Christmas I stopped at the local drug store and up on the top shelf above the Christmas candy, the Valentine's Day hearts were already perched, waiting like vultures to feed on the carcass of the season. Could we really want candy again so soon? I suppose we will.

The cats, Nemo and his sister Luna, have come through the season well. Still frisky kittens and yet they did not manage to pull down the tree or digest enough ribbon to cause a medical emergency. They sleep now curled on the uppermost platforms of their habitat, dreaming I suppose that they are mighty hunters snoozing in jungle branches. They have slept away much of the season, as have I.

They care not that a new year is upon us. I question whether they will notice the disappearance of the nativity scene, the Christmas tree, etc.

I look at them, content to sleep most of their lives away and feel certain they know some secret I do not, something given up with a bite of the apple many years ago. They are unbothered even by such questions as why humans keep themselves awake and so busy all the time.

They save their energy for prey they shall never have to chase.

And they eat no sweets.



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