They’re everywhere this time of year. Christmas cookies. Pie. Hot cocoa. Gift boxes of chocolates. Stockings full of sweets.
And one of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight.
Irony? Coincidence? Or cause and effect? Regardless, it’s a good thing we have that week between Christmas and New Year’s to get everything eaten.
Some of us (naming no names, but you know who I am) don’t do any holiday baking. We have two options: to rely on the kindness of more culinarily ambitious friends and family members, or to buy our own goodies.
Theoretically, I suppose, there is a third choice—to go without—but that’s merely an absurd technicality.
Fortunately, when one has a reputation as a chocolate addict, friends and family can generally be counted on for gifts of one’s substance of choice. Being seen as a chocoholic is especially useful this time of year.
However, in my case, that reputation is totally undeserved.
Oh, I love chocolate. Dark chocolate, especially. I eat some almost every day. I make sure to keep a stash of the stuff. But I am not an addict.
Here’s my supporting evidence:
• This Christmas, freely and with a glad heart, I sent a bag of dark chocolate M&M’s to a family member even though I originally bought it for myself. (Yes, I bought myself another bag the next day; why would you ask?)
• A few years ago I spent several weeks in a foreign country at a geology field camp. I hardly had any chocolate the whole time, and I didn’t suffer a single pang of withdrawal. In fact, I barely noticed. By now I’ve practically forgotten all about it.
• Not all chocolate is created equal; I have standards. A Tootsie Roll (it’s a texture thing) could stay uneaten on my kitchen counter for years. S’mores are way too sweet and gooey. Chocolate ice cream is too much chocolate; vanilla with chocolate syrup is much better. Chocolate Nutella is simply disgusting. And there are some places chocolate simply does not belong, such as pecan pie, animal crackers, and baklava.
• I don’t snitch other people’s chocolate. Your stash is perfectly safe with me.
• Nor do I eat chocolate chips that are in the cupboard for the purpose of making chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I did figure out several years ago that, if one buys chocolate chips for the express purpose of eating them, that’s perfectly acceptable.
• Nearly every day, after lunch, I eat a small amount of chocolate. Then I’m done. No going back for more, no emptying the bag, no sneaking just one more piece. Enough is enough. Really.
When you look objectively at the evidence, it’s obvious. I am not an addict. I could quit eating chocolate any time I wanted to.
I’ve just never seen any reason to want to.