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The Festive Meal Before Christmas

Wash your hands, grab your plate. This festive poem is going to be great.

Note: this was written before 2020 with a buffet theme. Updated 11/2020 to better reflect current times.

‘Twas the festive meal for Christmas, and all through the house,

Every fork and spoon were lifting, from every child and spouse.

The utensils were placed by the dishes with care,

In hopes that replenished vittles soon would be there;

The children were ready to eat all they could before bed,

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads,

Dressed in our stretchy dresses and pants,

Had just settled our bellies – and this not by chance –

When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,

We sprang from the table to see what was the matter.

Away from the table we flew like a flash,

Ran through the house and to the fridge we did dash.

The shelves were empty, our bellies were full,

Giving the calorie counts for all quite a pull;

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a driverless car filled with more edible cheer!

With a little more thought, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment our health goals must stick.

More rapid than eagles these extra pounds came,

And we whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now treat foods! Now overeating! Now sedentary lifestyles, you’re vexin’!

“Over choices that are better for us, we shouldn’t be perplexin’.

“To the top of our list! To the heart of our plan!

“Now dash away! dash away! Unnecessary calories yes we can.”

As one year ends before the next year comes by,

When we meet with an obstacle, we know, you and I;

That no matter how challenging changing choices can be,

The goal for better health can belong to every she and he:

So, in a twinkling, how can this be?

Through goal setting, thinking, and new choices for thee.

As you think about what you want life to be,

Choosing your foods and exercising with glee:

No need to wait ‘til next year to know change is afoot,

Your clothes can be fitted and feeling so good;

What to do first, you are wondering now?

Instead of first filling your plate without considering how:

Without plate in hand, take a view of the full spread,

Scope out your choices and make a plan in your head;

Choose the once-a-year treats and the special dishes you love,

And the pants you love this year can still fit like a glove;

The table(s) might be filled with abundance to spare,

This doesn’t mean you need to consume it all, even on a dare.

Make a plan to enjoy every morsel you CHOOSE

And don’t fill up so full that it is hard to snooze:

Next on your list? Some activity, too,

So you burn off some extra calories you chew.

Practice good food safety and put food away quickly;

Freeze some of those treats for a portioned treat later so slickly.

Bake those favorite goodies with nothing to dread.

This abundance of food doesn’t guarantee new middle age spread,

And don’t concern yourself with peer pressure, guilt, or bad choices

You’re the captain of your own ship and you know what the goal is.

Don’t eat what you don’t want to, don’t miss what you want.

Holiday treats, they come once a year.

Make a decision to choose them and enjoy them with cheer.

Once the party is over, the party foods can stop.

Then outside you go for a walk or a hop.

Remember to balance your food and your groove,

Your body will thank you for every choice and each move.

Don’t forget to take time to care for your heart.

We only get one and it wants you to be smart.

Remember we’re human, we like to have fun.

But just like the new toys under the tree,

We need our “batteries charged” to efficiently run.

So, drink water, move more, eat better and get laughter,

Because isn’t good health something we’re really all after?

As the year winds down and comes to an end,

Remember you’re human and basic needs don’t bend.

Food is more than nutrition, and at holidays you’ll see,

That’s the time to enjoy special treats under the tree.

Every day foods can be fun, too.

Especially when you know that it means good health for you.

You’ll hear me exclaim as I drive out of sight,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Wishing you good health and happiness in the new year!

Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before making big changes to your routine.

Kim

Inspired by the lyrics as noted here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/25/twas-the-night-before-christmas_n_801194.html

By Kim Kirchherr

Dietitian and ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with farm to table expertise.

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