Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Stocking Up For The Holidays

It's two days after Christmas. I've eaten more in 3 days' time than I usually do in a week. The fridge is still bursting with food, and I ponder all this overconsumption wondering, "What was I thinking?"

What is it about the mania leading up to Christmas that is so attractive to me?

I have to admit that I love it all: stocking up for a big feast, buying and wrapping the last presents, prepping firewood, festooning the house with decorations. And especially wandering amongst gaggles of people sharing the same pursuits.

This year, it all led up to a great Christmas Eve with family and friends around the bonfire, eating eggplant casserole and homemade caramels, performing songs by the firelight, laughing and joking. It was perfect!

However, this magical evening could have been accomplished with half the prep. I overstocked, to be honest. The cooler in my shed is still swimming with high-gravity beer. I still can't see the back of the refrigerator.

I wonder if I'm holding onto some centuries-old past-life memory - from a time when preparing for harsh winters was serious business? A time when adequate harvests and and a cellar full of root vegetables and preserved meat were necessary for survival? 

There is something I love about seeing cords and cords of firewood neatly stacked, a larder full of food, a refrigerator bursting at the seams. These elements served people well in past centuries, but they aren’t necessary now. Still, I cling to the practice of stocking up, prepping for a long stretch of time when I can’t replenish my supplies. 

Why do I do it, even though I know the stores barely close for holidays?

Yes, the marketeers still inundate us with holiday messages reminding us to buy the feast, stuff those stockings, to make triply sure we have everything we need – and then some. Because if we forget one critical item, Christmas won't be as perfect as it could be. I'm too smart to fall for that ploy, aren't I? Yet somehow, these advertising tricks tickle my primordial urges to stock up so effectively that I abandon reason and go on a spree almost every year.

I need to remember that “enough” is a much smaller quantity than it used to be. Hopefully in this case, awareness is the first step toward change. 

I think I'll take a few photos of all the extra provisions I still have laying around the house today, so I'll prepare a little less next time. And hey, around mid-December next year, would someone please remind me of this post?

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