I'm the family baker. It's a tradition (expected) that I bring desserts to every gathering. Mostly because I love baking and cooking, but also because no one else in my family likes to bake.
As a kid, I remember sitting at my parent's kitchen table and frosting cookies at Christmas time. It was a rule that if you wanted to eat them, you had to help make them. As I got older, my Mom, sister and I would get together one Saturday and make cookies all day. We'd split them up and enjoy them all season. Somehow we stopped doing that and it was just me making cookies.
The first year I did this, I make up dough on Friday and spent literally all day Saturday and Sunday baking and decorating. Then I gave them away to my family. In the last few years I've spent a dedicated day baking and some evenings here and there with other recipes.
This year? I haven't done it yet.
Part of my reasoning is that I didn't want them sitting, all baked and ready to go calling out to me and Pete to eat them. Part of it is that I haven't had time. The other day I was having a conversation with my coworker, the one who had the full bypass surgery. He challenged me to just change my traditions. To not make all those cookies that I normally make.
So I've been thinking about this. Do I really need to make the cookies? No. But I feel guilty that my eating habits are no impacting others. Strange this guilt. I call it Catholic Guilt, but really it's Michelle Guilt.
So for this year, I am going to go through with the cookies and desserts and all the stuff that I've made throughout the years. But next year, I'm going to challenge myself and my family to think differently about desserts. Maybe all those cookies aren't it. Maybe it's just me making a cake or cupcakes or a yule log? Changing traditions.