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Create A Christmas Memory Book
by Chris Malone,posted Dec 11 2012 5:37AM
The average weight gain is 9 pounds during the holidays, so if you want to keep the weight off you've worked so hard in losing this year, give these tips a try.
Have The Celebration In Your Home
When you are in control of the menu, the portions and the ingredients, you are in control of your health. Guests always love the holiday classics, but try spicing it up a bit. Being creative and offering healthier choices can spark healthy conversations -- and impress your friends around the table.
Share Edible Gifts
Roasted edamame, curried chickpeas, spiced nuts and warm breads can all be prepared quickly. Wrap it up in pretty cloth and tie a recipe on it; it's always accepted with gratitude. These edible gifts will introduce the recipient to possibly a whole new world of healthy options.
Be a Rebel
Try a new recipe; something outside of your comfort zone. If you have never worked with a pomegranate before, then pick out a few recipes to try. If you are unsure about serving fish at a traditional meal, try it out. It shows creativity and offers your guests a new perspective.
Serve and carry "no packaging needed" whole foods. This way you avoid clean up and you're sticking to the recommended plant based diet. Many studies have found that a diet abundant in whole, real foods is associated with a reduced risk of diseases such as, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
Traditional dishes can pack in a tremendous amount of fat and calories, but lightening them up may even improve their flavor. Try using organic, cold pressed, canola oil, which has nearly half the saturated fat of traditional butter and it includes heart healthy omega 3's. Or, try substituting fat-free evaporated milk or, unsweetened coconut milk in place of heavy cream. Another option is to top entrees with warm fruit or vinaigrette in place of creamy sauces. Maybe try a vegetable puree that's made with water as a soup base. The smooth, creamy texture feels indulgent, and the pureed veggies provide a nutritional boost.
Stay in Control
Holiday weight gain is not as extreme as you may think. According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine people may actually put on less than a pound from October to January. This doesn't give you any free passes. If holiday weight gain becomes a yearly tradition, the years can pack on many pounds and lead to trouble.
Thinking back on Christmases past it's a shame we don't do a better job in documenting them. So this year, break the cycle and create a Christmas memory book. A neat new tradition to preserve the memories of the past.
Who, What And Where?
Even the most mundane of details take on greater significance when shared years later. Write down special visitors who stopped by, whose house you visited while delivering cookies, holiday celebrations you attended and who else was there. Lots of things change over the years — favorite neighbors move away, children just keep getting older and beloved family members pass away. Documenting these interactions with family and friends helps us remember and reflect on the holidays.
One fun thing to capture each year is a favorite holiday season memory from each family member. It doesn't have to be important to anyone else, just memorable to them. Maybe your husband loved seeing your expression when the tree fell over or your son couldn't get enough of watching holiday movies as a family. As your children get older, their favorite things will change — and looking back will bring a smile.
So many Christmas cards wind up being thrown away when the holidays end. Each year, there are always a few from friends or relatives that really take the prize. Whether it's the hysterical family picture or just a beautiful message, keep a few of your favorites each year to add to your book — and one of yours, of course.
This isn't about the most expensive thing or the craziest, but those gifts that you always want to remember. Maybe it's the year your son received his first bicycle, or your daughter was given the stuffed rabbit she still sleeps with. Remembering who gave your family cherished items at Christmas is a great way to keep them in your hearts.
Visits to Santa
If you have a tradition of visiting Santa — at the local mall or elsewhere — including a memory and a photo of your annual visit in your Christmas memory book is crucial. In future years when your little kids are teens, these photos will make them groan — and make you grin.
Your Memory Book
You can make your own scrapbook and use your imagination, or you can order one that is intended to be a Christmas memory book. Most of these have enough pages to last for 20 to 25 years, plenty of time for your little family to make lasting memories.
Mystic Seaport Christmas Memories: This beautiful memory book from Mystic Seaport ($38) has old-fashioned designs and gorgeous artwork on each page inside — and room for 20 years of memories.
Our Family Christmas Legacy Journal: This Christmas journal available at Amazon ($10) will hold 25 years of your family's cherished holidays, with beautiful pages of artwork in a spiral bound book.
Christmas, the Holiday Journal: Available in red or kraft brown hardcover from Journals Unlimited ($18), this spiral bound holiday journal has room for photographs, favorite cards and memories for 25 years.