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Holiday Traditions / Holiday Temptations

by Jeff Cordeiro

Coca-Cola and Santa is an advertised "tradition". Itís time for cookies, brownies, fudge, pie and a myriad of other sweet treats. Thereís no avoiding them. They appear at work, the bowling ally, the karaoke bar and parties. Itís impolite to say no but it is okay to show a little restraint.

The holiday tradition of sugar plums dancing in our heads isnít really that much of a tradition. It was only two hundred years ago or so that sugar was too expensive for the masses and sweets were truly a treat.

Unfortunately, most of us have grown up with TV and Madison Avenue. Companies like Coca-Cola and Pillsbury have been attaching themselves to Christmas our entire lives but, when you think about it, these ďtraditionsĒ have really only been around for a few generations. 

There are other traditions built around food, however, that have been around much longer. I would guess the healthiest food-related traditions are Jewish. As I understand it, their traditions were born out of practicality. Kosher food was clean food and, being their traditional dishes are based on foods that were available in the old country, these dishes are probably the healthiest foods for most people of Jewish ancestry.

Unfortunately, the holiday traditions that most Americans celebrate are not native to North America. Fortunately, turkey (a very healthy meat for most of us) does star in many American holiday meals.

So, eat, drink and be merry. Just donít overdo it. A glass or two of red wine may help you live longer (it's the French Paradox) and social activities definitely improve the quality of life. 

Just remember, itís not the goodies that make this the most wonderful time of the year. Traditions are created while celebrating with friends and family. Long after the presents are opened and the meals are finished, the memories of times spent with loved ones will remain.

Peace on Earth. Good Will Toward Men. Have a Healthy Holiday and a Happy New Year.

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