Confessions of a Christmas cookie craver


            I used to scoff at people when they would talk about putting on 10 pounds over the holidays. That is 350,000 calories of chocolate, booze, flavored popcorn, cheese, nuts and – most definitely – Christmas cookies. That is some serious eating, people.

            But now, I totally get it. I’ve been cooking and baking and cooking and baking and I can’t stop shoveling holiday food into my mouth. The other day, I ate Christmas cookies as I did my chores around the house. I brought them with me as I cleaned so I wouldn’t have to walk all the way back to the kitchen for more when I was done.

            I’ve been sneaking cookies past my kids. I don’t want them to eat too much sugar, so when I get a craving (about every 15 minutes), I put cookies in my pocket and walk to my room to hide and hoard them all to myself. That is sad, especially when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

            Two days ago, I made our famous Christmas cookie, the Ting-A-Ling, and hid three dozen in my freezer. I didn’t even tell my husband about my secret stash. That’s not the Christmas spirit. Christmas is supposed to be about family, friends, sharing, being thankful, giving and appreciating our blessings, and now I’m hiding in cold, dark places to eat cookies alone.

            Honestly, I can’t help myself. It is Christmas cookie season and I’m right in the throes of my yearly addiction. I can’t stop. I’m storing them in my cheeks like a squirrel. And when not consuming them, I’m planning ways to make more.

            So six pounds have crept up on me – or into me – in the form of a thick spare tire. It’s not sexy to look three months pregnant when I’m not, or to have to unbutton my pants so that my flab doesn’t hang over and create unsightly mounds of flesh around my waist area. I’m on a slow boat to filling out my Christmas sweater.

            I have got to slow down, take a deep breath, relax and not eat on the go. I’m sure if I actually sat down and put all the cookies I was consuming on a plate, I would realize that I could sell them instead of eating them and make a decent living. What constitutes a Christmas cookie, you might ask? Well, in my book, a Christmas cookie has to be homemade. It has to be so rich that you need to chase it with a glass of milk. And you can only bake it once a year, building desire and longing for its exquisite taste all year long.

            This addiction to the Christmas cookie started when I was very young. Every Christmas, my mom would take my sisters and me to a “Christmas Cookie Party.” We would bring three dozen homemade Christmas cookies and place them on Mrs. Collins’ dining room table. Each family would bring their three dozen and set them on the table as well. There were hundreds of cookies to exchange. It was intoxicating.

            Once we laid ours down, I would do the walk-around to scope out which ones I wanted. I would play around with the other kids, pretending I was having fun, just biding time until I could sneak into the cookie room and grab my favorites. Anything with chocolate or frosting always got me. The chocolate kiss on top of the peanut butter cookie was my Achilles heel.

            I guess I’ll just have to face it: Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without gorging myself on Christmas cookies. If I have to carry a few extra pounds to get my fill, that’s the price I’ll have to pay. I’ll just start my after-holiday diet a little earlier this year and set my New Year’s resolution to sharing a little more.

Confessions of a Christmas cookie craver