Here’s what you might expect from a wellness newsletter with that subject line: Crudité not canapés.

Another jog instead of the nog.

Fill your plate with 80% vegetables and skip all the yummy holiday fare.

Would I dare to bore you with the same old advice on how not to gain weight as we stare down a month of holiday festivities?

Where’s the rebellious in that?!

Instead, I invite you to join me in living the “excess in moderation” concept and age in good health while you do.

You’re smart enough to know that too much holiday goodness isn’t going to kill you, but it will shrink your jeans while you sleep.

(That bit about gaining weight while you sleep is a thing. Hit reply and let me know if you want to hear about that.)

Over-indulging could kill you, but it’s more likely to be from choking on that extra crab puff than exploding.

Speaking of exploding, by now your head may be close to that so I’ll get to the subject of this email: Let the reindeer dash and the sirens of shopping do what they must. You? Do what you love, what you must, and nothing more.

Plan what’s most important and make sure you get to enjoy those things.

Ask yourself this, what is/are the most important things for me to experience this season?

Those become the things you intentionally find the time for.

Is there a holiday concert, a ritual, a food that you look forward to all year? Put them on your calendar.

For me, baking my signature Christmas treat, Pecan Diamonds, from my alma mater The Culinary Institute of America, and shipping them to friends near and far feeds my soul. So does sharing food with family and friends, handwriting cards, and decorating the tree with my husband, English rocking carols playing, and bubbly wine in hand.

Imagine how you want to feel throughout the final few weeks of the year and make decisions from there about what you will or won’t do.

  • Be present.
  • Give yourself the gift of experiencing the next few weeks fully.
  • Savor the sounds and smells.
  • Share a meal, a glass of bubbles, or your last crab puff, and savor your time together as well as the treats.

Listen deeply.

Why? Because the holidays can mean more get-togethers but less time to connect. And women need connection to thrive. A month-long drive-by type of human interaction can starve the soul. (Introverts excepted. I see you.)

We’ve had another year of divisiveness. Variants seek to sabotage our rituals yet again. And the future of our planet seems uncertain.

To boot, at this time of year emotional energies run high whether it’s elation and excitement, love and joy, or sadness and resentment that your holiday doesn’t look the way you think it should.

Remember that at any time you can go inside and find peace and the truth. The truth is if you choose (as much as possible) what you want to do and to feel at this time of year, you are more likely to arrive on the doorstep of 2022 with a grateful heart and mind full of good memories.

PS: Excess in moderation doesn’t mean throwing the whole age better thing out the window. If there are two lifestyle pieces I’d say are critical throughout this time of excess, they are exercise and sleep. Make them your non-negotiables.