Christmas Only Comes Once a Year

by Meg on December 27, 2011

Call me “Captain Obvious”, but it truly is important to remember that Christmas does only come once a year…

As we approached the holidays this year I felt overwhelmed and slightly upset with the abundance of articles focusing on how to have a “stress-free holiday” or a “healthy holiday”.
Personally, I found these articles to create much more hype over the holidays and all of the eating that comes along with them than necessary. Seeing article after article talking about how to stay “on track” with healthy eating over the holidays can really create anxiety for some people. The articles almost make it seem as though Christmas and unhealthy eating go hand in hand which, in my past experiences, can cause some people to stress even more about the holidays than they originally would.
Sure, these types of articles can help some of us in a way, but this year I figured out how to truly enjoy my holidays and not stress about anything all on my own…

I remembered that Christmas only comes once a year and to enjoy it while it is here.

Simple as that and it worked Smile

My granny bedtimes were no longer, sleeping in wasn’t a big deal, I enjoyed the foods of Christmas, ate until I was full, and I took time off from the gym. A whole four days off from the gym in a row and it was the best decision ever.
Yes, we all know I love my sweat sessions, but I was finding myself stressing about finding the time to fit in an hour to sneak off to the gym, so why do it?
Why do something I am stressing over?
So, I eliminated my stress by not going to the gym. And instead I spent that precious time with my family. Like I said, a wonderful decision.
A couple years ago, this would have been unheard of. I needed to exercise every day, but this year I was able to be stronger and much more clear minded.
The gym will be there tomorrow and the next day and the next, but many of my family will only be here for the day.
Christmas is only one day.
The “feeling” of Christmas only lasts so long.
I spent my Christmas exactly how I wanted to and it was the best Christmas ever Smile It was much different than any other Christmas though…

Christmas Eve dinner was just my parents and I (usually Christmas Eve is celebrated with my Mom’s side of the family)

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We had a simple, but delicious dinner together and then went to church.

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After church, we spent the rest of the evening (until 2:00 am!) with my Mom’s side of the family

Christmas morning was my parents and I again which was wonderful. I can’t complain about spending my favourite holiday with my two best friends Smile
I got way too much it’s ridiculous, so I won’t even list it all, but just know I got a good haul Winking smile

iPad 2 (with a keyboard stand!)

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Cuddles was pretty adorable opening her stocking…

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The rest of our day was spent with family. It was huge change for us this year because we hosted Christmas day dinner! So my Mom and I were busy bees all day getting the house and all of the wonderful food ready for our special guests Smile

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14 guests to be exact

I was in charge of the appetizer table and the quinoa salad

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For dinner we had our traditional feast of crab (I think I won for the biggest “wad” this year)

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Christmas day was another late night. We played Guesstures and Catch Phrase until the wee hours of the morning Smile

Boxing day brought another celebration. We hosted another dinner at our house for my Mom’s brother and his family (my Auntie and three cousins)

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I made my infamous Oven Roasted Garlic and Herb Potatoes (my Dad’s favourite dish. I have to make these every time I come home)

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Oven Roasted Garlic and Herb Potatoes

1 lb. baby potatoes

3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBSP herbes de Provence

2 TBSP olive oil

freshly ground pepper

salt (just a pinch!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and scrub potatoes. You can leave them whole if they are small enough, but halve or quarter any of the bigger ones to make all of them the same size.

Transfer clean potatoes into roaster. Toss with herbes, garlic, olive oil, pepper, and salt.
(I add a lot of garlic. I also use herbes de Provence plus any other fresh herbes that we have on hand; this year we had fresh rosemary, but I also always try to add in fresh thyme).

Once all ingredients are tossed together and all potatoes are lightly coated with oil, bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until potatoes are tender.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Smile I missed you all, so I am thoroughly looking forward to having a quiet evening at home tonight and catching up on all of my favourite blogs. I can’t wait to see how all of you celebrate Christmas!

Lots of love,

Meg
xoxoxoxo

Was your Christmas everything you hoped it would be?
How many Christmas dinners did you attend?
I guess we had three?
Share one family Christmas tradition you look forward to every single year! Obviously, I look forward to our annual crab feast Smile But I also look forward to the family gift exchange. It’s not about the gifts, but my Dad has such a huge family (he comes from a family of nine), so I have a ton of cousins and the family gift exchange is one of the many ways we all keep in touch Smile

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin December 27, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I’m so glad you had such a great Christmas girl! I completely agree with what you said about those articles – I hate how the make people stress out over the holidays instead of just enjoying the time with family. One or two days of indulging and skipping the gym will not completely thwart someone’s efforts to be healthy! :P

All your food looks so yummy – especially those potatoes. I’m obsessed with roasted potatoes! We had two Christmas dinners… although we ate turkey leftovers last night, so I guess that makes it three!

My favourite family tradition is playing board games on Christmas Eve! :D

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Emma December 27, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Yay! you guys had crowns too…love it.

I totally agree that overthinking holiday eating just ends up making it worse. One day out of the year is not terrible for indulgence. Gotta just live in the moment, or else you will go crazy!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 27, 2011 at 12:33 PM

aww looks like a great Christmas!! Love the recipe :D

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Felicia (Natural + Balanced) December 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM

what a beautiful christmas you had! mine was amazing and couldn’t have asked for more :) my favorite is our Polish style Christmas eve dinner at my house, followed by church, and Christmas morning traditions with my brothers! Things will probably change soon as we’re all older now and in serious relationships, but I will always cherish those memories with them

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janetha December 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

um, cuddles face first into her stocking is basically the best thing ever.

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Alexandra December 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

I LOVE these pics Meg!! Your Christmas weekend looked like it was absolutely amazing :) Congrats on the ipad, too!
oh and Cuddles in the stocking just exploded my cute-o-meter :D

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Tara December 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Your Christmas looks like heaps of fun! I’m posting about ours later tonight, but we had a bit of a Christmas disaster when it came to food!! Haha but we were well-fed in the end ;) My gym closed for three days, so I had no choice but to take time off!

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Allison (Allison's Delicious Life) December 27, 2011 at 3:39 PM

This may sond dumb, but what exactly is “boxing day”? Haha.

I love Christmas traditions in my family. We always spend Christmas Eve with my mom’s side and Christmas day with my dad’s. Christmas morning is just for my nuclear family, which I love. We took our time this Christmas and opened gifts at a leisurely pace so that it wouldn’t go by too quickly. I enjoyed it!

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Meg (A Dash of Meg) December 27, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Boxing day? It’s the name for the 26th of December? :p I don’t know hehe. Usually stores have sales, but December 26th is just called “Boxing Day” haha

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Julia (http://girlswithastethoscope.blogspot.com) December 27, 2011 at 5:12 PM

Man oh man Santa was a really generous guy this Christmas for you..Ipaid 2..how awesome! :) Enjoy it girl!

Looks like you have such a beautiful family and it sounds like you have such an awesome Christmas. I really like how you mentioned that you got to actually relax and truly enjoy the holidays without thinking too much about all the food, the stress, and going to the gym. Kudos to you you’ve come a long way! :)

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Life's a Bowl December 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Family, friends, food, fun, and festivities- looks like you had it all! Sounds like you had a fabulous Christmas, yay!

P.S. I TOTALLY agree about all of the holiday weight gain hype, too much!

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Errign December 27, 2011 at 6:08 PM

I didn’t really celebrate this year since I had to work so it was sort of a let down. I was okay all day, but then I got home and there was no tree and no presents to unwrap and I felt a little blah – it was all good though!

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Kate @ Chasing It December 27, 2011 at 7:10 PM

It looks like you had such an incredible Christmas!!! You’re so right, it only comes once a year – make the most of it while its here! And you’re definitely right about all those stress-free stay-on-track healthy-holiday articles…they stress me out big time. our Christmas involves like every single one of my fear foods, so I was a big ball of stress that NEEDED to work out, ugh – next year I will be taking a leaf out of your book for sure! :-) All of your dishes look fantastic too, I love the potatoes! my dad loves taters, I should test these out on him! :-D

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Tara December 27, 2011 at 7:17 PM

I’m glad you took advantage of the season and didn’t let the stress ruin the good times with friends and family. Your potato dish sounds delicious!! I LOVE potatoes… screw anyone who calls them a “bad carb” because I think they’re so filling and tasty!
My favorite tradition is having everyone over to our house on christmas day. I love prepping the party for people!

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GOtheXtraMile December 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

I’m so glad you had a wonderful Christmas! You look so pretty and happy in all the pictures :D
My Christmas was low-key, but I loved it. Spending time with my loved ones!
I had two formal dinners, and then a tooooonnnn of leftovers.

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Matt @ The Athlete's Plate December 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

So jealous of that iPad!

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Lyn @ FueledBySalad December 27, 2011 at 8:45 PM

I think it’s so great that you let yourself go and really enjoyed Christmas. :D Seems like you had lots of fun!

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Anna @ Food Fitness Frolicking December 27, 2011 at 9:04 PM

MEG, You have such a great approach to the holidays! Christmas really does come just once a year, and I have found too, that the holidays often create more stress than necessary if you focus too much on staying super healthy and working out rather than just enjoying the few days off!

How exciting that you got an IPAD! Hoooooray! I’m uber jealous!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean December 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM

loooks like you had a good xmas!

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Cheryl Madliger December 27, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Ohhh I love this post and your insight into what’s important — family vs. working out, and finding a balance between what you love and who you love!

I have to admit I had a rougher Christmas BUT I did find two dinners. Christmas day itself was not my best, but we all have them. Luckily I got a chance on Boxing Day to see lots of friends, have a ham dinner, and find some holiday happiness! YAY!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Next year is a leap year, which means we’re 364 days away…

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abznoats December 27, 2011 at 11:11 PM

An iPad 2?! Heck ya girly! That’s awesome! My Christmas was pretty good! :) I still have one more dinner to go to tomorrow night at my Grandma’s house and I have already gone to three others. Having divorced parents makes the holidays awfully hectic. lol.

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Emily December 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM

I’m so glad that you had such an amazing Christmas! I took 4 days off from working out too and it actually felt amazing! Focusing on spending time with my family and friends was sooo nice. :)
That’s so exciting that you got an iPad 2! How fun! And Cuddles is the cutest thing ever. I’m in love. <3

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Haley @ Health Freak College Girl December 28, 2011 at 12:16 AM

aww it looks like so much fun!! this time of year can be so hard. but it looks like you handled it well :)

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Miranda @ Miranda's Munchies December 28, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Yayyy Merry Christmas Sweetie! It looks like you had a great time and got some great gifts :)
I really appreciated your message in the beginning. I think you hit it dead on!

My Christmas was really wonderful also! We had 2 big dinners and a breakfast and a lunch! Busy, busy but of course it goes by too fast! The Christmas tradition I look forward to each year is probably mushroom pierogi’s that my mother-in-law makes. SO good but so heavy! Definitely perfect for once/yr!

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Heidi December 28, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Merry Christmas!! Looks like you had a great one!!

You are going to loveeeee your iPad I got mine last month and I barely use a laptop anymore. You can download the Wordpress app for blogging and instagram takes great pics!

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Oats n' Bows December 28, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Ah you got an iPad! Awesome! I love anything apple. So reliable ;)

Your Christmas looks like so much fun! I’m glad you enjoyed it

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