Archive for December, 2010

The Cure for the Uncommon Cold

Posted on December 13, 2010. Filed under: Food and Beverage, Holiday | Tags: , |

I never thought that I’d be much of a tea drinker, but then again, coffee used to be disgusting and now a giant cup is a crucial morning ritual – after hitting the snooze at least 5 times. (My husband hates this. My alarm clock habits are a recurring conflict.) I digress. This Southern girl (yes, capital Southern) from Atlanta is freezing her tush off this winter. Temperatures the past ten days exceeded the 30s once and factoring in wind chill, this morning’s temperature felt like 3 degrees. That’s right: 3. It snowed this weekend too. I only remember seeing snow before Christmas once. Those weather people who are seldom accurate are warning us Atlantans that we better “double-sweater” it for the next few weeks. Great.

In my opinion, the best parts about cold weather in Georgia are Christmas, fires, and hot beverages. Once Christmas has passed in a few weeks, all I will have left are my fires and hot beverages.  Coffee is great before noon. After that, I will be shaking too much to type. And I refuse to drink decaf. That’s worse for you than the regular stuff. I am also a recovering regular Coca-Cola addict. In college, I used to drink 2 or 3 a day. My teeth hurt just thinking about it. When I was toning up for my wedding, I cut down to a few sodas a week and really started drinking the water. It was tough. I’m pretty sure my body went into withdrawal for a few weeks. Good thing I’m not addicted to anything worse. When you drink the recommended 64 ounces of water a day you feel so much better! You have more energy, your body functions properly, you don’t feel bloated (sorry if that’s too much information), your skin looks great, and you have an excuse to get up from your desk since you will be going to the bathroom about 5 or 6 times  a day. I used to share the same dislike for water that I do with tea: it’s just too boring. But when all you drink from 10:00am on is water, tea becomes much more appealing. Some people claim that tea has more caffeine than coffee, but that is not true. A 5 oz. cup of coffee (which is not enough for me and my morning self) has 80 milligrams of caffeine. Black tea, the most caffeinated tea, has 40 milligrams of caffeine per tea bag – half as much. (Caffeine amounts in tea vary somewhat depending on brew time.) Tea is so healthy for you too! Studies have shown that habitual tea drinkers benefit from a decreased risk of obesity (no calories in tea!), heart attack, or stroke, stronger bones, healthier teeth and gums (unless you add a ton of sugar), a better immune system, and an increased metabolism. Plus, there is something therapeutic about a warm, aromatic cup of tea gripped between your cold hands on a chilly day. And in Atlanta, we have a lot of chilly days ahead of us. The low tonight is 15 degrees, wind chill 4. Brrr!

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Men and Christmas

Posted on December 3, 2010. Filed under: Holiday, Newlywed |

I cannot write a post that neglects to mention Christmas: the magic of twinkling lights and pretty presents, the rigors of shopping and the giddy smell of pine, the tasty treats and the hot apple cider. I love Christmas; probably because I am a traditionalist and Christmas is chock full of tradition. So, naturally, I was surprised to learn that my husband does not share the same intense feelings about Christmas that I do.

The other night as we were drifting off to sleep, I sat up and said, “Honey, we need to decide on a Christmas budget… And that includes décor.”

“Décor?” Adam says.

“Yes, décor. All we have is a wreath and a cookie jar,” I reason. I throw a dollar amount out there for him to ponder. (Believe me, it was practical.)

“That’s the budget for décor?!” Adam exclaims.

“Well, I guess it can include the tree,” I say.

“Fine, but it’s coming out of your Christmas gifts.”

Bah humbug!

And that my friends, is the extent of my husband’s Christmas spirit. Granted, he does want an Advent calendar. I am happy to oblige him. But Adam could really care less about decorating the tree. (I have to lure him with spiked cider or hot toddies.) He doesn’t seem to mind if we have stockings or not, but he did help me pick them out. And without a doubt, he cannot comprehend why the table has to look pretty at all times during the holidays with Christmas-themed linens.

As I reflect on these differences that are coming to light, I feel all right that Adam does not connect with me on this level. If he did, I would be worried. I cannot picture us arguing over napkin rings or the Christmas tree’s color scheme. What I appreciate is the fact that he’s trying. If I need help deciding on stockings or what kind of tinsel to buy, Adam helps me make the decision. When I force him to go holiday shopping, he groans but he jumps right in and is an enormous help. Tonight, he’ll bear the main burden of the tree: on top of his car and carrying it up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment. He’ll clean up the kitchen after I have a holiday baking extravaganza. And I do hope he’ll help me wrap all those Christmas presents.

What I’ve learned is that he may not tear up like I do when the holiday Publix commercials come on the TV; and he may not agonize over our Christmas mantel. That wreath that’s propped up against the wall still waiting to be hung – he’s probably reading this going, “What wreath?” But he does care about making me happy. If lugging an eight foot tree up three flights of stairs in 40-degree weather will make me happy (and it will), Adam will do it. That is a Merry Christmas to me, even if all my presents this year are wreaths, garlands, and stockings.

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