Sunday, December 25, 2016

Mistake in Christmas Planning ~ my column from Sunday's Paper

I made a Christmas planning faux pas this past week. It was a grievous error that will be hard to forget. Scheduling oral surgery during the Christmas holidays seemed smart. Insurance deductibles and the fact that the college is out for Christmas figured into the decision. I’d have time to recover without missing any work, I thought. The surgery on Thursday, and by Saturday things would be hunky-dory. But I was wrong.

Just after surgery as I drifted back into consciousness, I heard the nurse talking with Jilda in hushed tones. She was going over all the things I could expect over the coming days and weeks. There was something about soft foods until after the first of the year.

Trying to wrap my addled mind around the conversation proved too difficult, so I took a nap instead. I’d barely stopped drooling from the anesthesia when they wheeled me toward the car in a chair. “Do you want me to drive?” I asked helpfully. Jilda and the nurse snorted with laughter, but I didn’t get it.

I had not eaten since the night before, and although the surgery was early, I was starved. We’d pass many fast-food places on the way home, and I wondered if we’d be stopping at Arby’s or Mickey D’s for some breakfast. But thoughts moved through my brain like snails on pain meds and the words would not come, so I took a nap.

It wasn’t until I got home and Jilda warmed up a bowl of oatmeal that I realized she had not picked up a Big Mac and fries for me.

The weight of my planning error didn’t hit me full force until the next day when Jilda went over the routine I’d be following for the next two weeks. No solid food. This meant no roasted peanuts, no pecan pie, no cornbread and no turkey and dressing unless it was first pureed in the Vita-Mix turning it into a kind of warm salty Jell-O. Yum.

Apparently, the four extractions, two bone grafts, and two implants meant it would be weeks before I could munch on chips and salsa. I’m pretty sure corn nuts were on the list of forbidden foods too.

Christmas for me is not about gifts. With no children of our own, Jilda and I pretty much save our money and buy the things we want all year long. We don’t have to wait for the holidays to gift ourselves. Christmas for me is about the get-togethers with families and friends. And it’s also about the food.

Typically, during the holidays, I’ll gain about five pounds. Losing the Christmas weight is always near the top of my New Year’s resolutions. But five days after surgery, and four days before Christmas, I’ve lost eight pounds.

Who knew that foregoing fatty foods, adult beverages, and desserts would make the weight fall off your frame effortlessly?

I took courses on planning and time management while working for MaBell. I carry a daily planner around like a preacher with a Bible. In the planner are events scheduled into the first quarter of next year with dates, times, and things I’ll need to take with me. But sitting here this evening while Jilda whips up a batch of scrambled cheese eggs for supper, I realized I still have a lot to learn about planning. One thing I did learn is: It will be a long time before I schedule elective surgery during the holidays.

To my readers, please be kind and don’t post your Christmas food pictures on Facebook.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.


  1. The best laid plans of mice and men...
    I hope that Christmas is wonderful despite the food deprivation.

  2. I can tell you about the pumpkin pies. You could safely eat the filling. Even with whipped cream on it.

  3. I would hate ot miss out on Christmas food...the weight loss might be a good thing.

  4. Cool photo. Methinks they should make those 'footie' pajamas available in adult sizes!

  5. Well, there's one resolution you don't have to plan for! Hope you're feeling better each day and had a good Christmas day today!

  6. I hope you did manage to enjoy Christmas with out all the holiday food. 8 pounds is a lot to loose in a short time...maybe you need some milk shakes! Take care and hope it won't be long now till you can enjoy your sweet treats1

  7. One can kick oneself only so much. LOL you done done it! But Oh next year will be planned much better, planning will be more thorough, huh? Hope you ae recovering well, with a nurse like Jilda you must. Now try to enjoy the coming New Year!

  8. I'm the kind who like to put things into perspective to make things easier to bear... I'm sorry that you felt cheated from the Christmas Feast but Christmas will come again next year. You will grow in greater appreciation for what you've missed this year.

    It was worth all the weight that you loss, and that's a gain. There must be some envious folks who gained 8 pounds this Christmas and the festivities aren't over yet.

    Happy New Year,

  9. Yeah you didn't think it through, did you at eat you will not gain weight over the holidays but it really sucks

  10. I hope you had a Merry Christmas even if you couldn't eat the food you want too... very soon you will be able to have all those treats xox

  11. Sorry about your missing out on the Christmas food. Hope you have a speedy recovery.


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