The trouble with the holidays is twofold. (Understand that I plan to blame all of this weight problem on the season and none of it on my own lack of self control. The holidays are absolutely not about taking responsibility for one's actions.)
The first problem with the holidays is that there is always food available. More importantly, good food. It starts with Thanksgiving - an entire evening dedicated to stuffing our faces with meat, starch, fat and sugar until the tryptophan kicks in and we're too tired to lift our forks the foot and a half from plate to mouth. Follow that up with the beginning of December - I no longer consider Christmas to be the 25th of December. I firmly believe that Christmas has turned into the entire month of December. Office holiday parties, family Christmas parties, friends finding any excuse to throw a party, and always with cookies and tarts and hor d'oeuvres as far as the eye can see.
The second problem - and the real problem if you ask me - is the stress. No matter how carefully we coordinate our parties and plan our shopping, the holidays are stressful. Thousands of people risk their lives on Black Friday, sales are everywhere, relatives and friends are shipping off presents right and left, and it makes it impossible for anybody to be cool as a cucumber. Thus our poor brains are infused with stress hormones which in turn trigger a nearly insatiable desire to inhale sweets, salts and fats like they're the air we need to breathe.
So while I may dream of a thin Christmas, I will just have to be one of the masses flocking to the gym once the holidays are over. We will trudge into the fitness centers with determination and just a hint of shame, and with the help of some sincerely judgmental fitness professionals we will return to our pre-holiday shapes. Then next year, we'll do it all again. It's nice to have tradition.