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Happy-Gourmand

Bring more people to the table this holiday season

Holiday socializing

Can you believe it? We are entering the holiday season.

I don’t know where the time goes. It’s like socks in the dryer. I wonder, does it seem to go faster when we are older or younger? I have almost always wanted to pack more into a day. As I get older, I have learned to pause and enjoy the moments as they come instead of rushing to be ready for the next one.

Since the holiday season generally means there are more opportunities to gather, I thought a good theme this week might be to get the most out of those opportunities. So, here are my humble suggestions, and a bit of research to back you up if anyone wants to argue with your idea of trying them out.

The concept of longevity is a hot topic these days as living longer becomes more common. Everyone also wants to be happier and more fulfilled for their long lives. If you have heard of the Blue Zones research (the study of those places on Earth where people have made it a habit to live this way) then you know about eating healthy and being active by moving and being social. (If you’re curious to know more, just ask Google about Blue Zones.)

The latest aspect I learned of in this realm is what they call “The Grandmother Effect.” It is the benefit that comes from families who are able to live together with multiple generations all helping to run the household. With the knowledge and connection that is shared amongst family members, everyone has a much better chance to be happier, more fulfilled and less stressed.

This same principle could be applied to a chosen family as well. Your inner circle of people can help support you and keep you accountable, and your shared experiences help everyone avoid feeling isolated or out of touch.

Meal time is a fantastic opportunity, not just for making healthy eating choices but it can also contribute to healthy conversation and connection, which has shown to help young people form healthy living habits that they carry through life. (Yes, I did just give you one more reason to sit down at the dinner table together.)

If you are afraid you won’t be able to start a conversation, try adding something to get things started, like everyone sharing a funny moment, something they learned or you could print out the conversation dice that the Blue Zones team created. I love these prompts as an icebreaker. You could easily substitute other ideas, too. (link: https://www.bluezones.com/blue-zones-conversation-cubes/ )

If you’re really feeling adventurous, go around the table and have different people cook different meals. Or you could work the potluck idea – everyone contributes a dish. In some households, that might require some creative scheduling in the kitchen (batch cooking helps), but it could also allow even little kids a chance to participate by helping with “accessories” like condiments, salad dressing, etc.

It seems everything can be summed up in a meme in today’s world. Often, we employ sarcasm to showcase our dissatisfaction with the status quo, and we joke about being obsessed with junk foods.

This holiday season why not focus on the company first and then enjoy the meals and the treats, each for their own merits? It really can be a time of “the more, the merrier”.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.



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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."

 

E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com

 



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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