Trim Your Seasonal To-Do List

The holidays are truly a time when less is more.

DeannaBy Deanna Glick

Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!

November 2008 — The holiday season is here in my house. We leave IN A FEW DAYS to fly across the country to be with most of our family for Thanksgiving. So that means laundry and packing for me, my toddler and my husband — NOW. Never mind my kid is sick with her first cold of the season. So we'll get her healthy and then get on a plane and then adjust to time change with a toddler. Then we'll come home and do it again before hosting family as houseguests for Christmas. What can I say? I'm already throwing down the eggnog with the anticipation of it all. Lowfat, 22 carbs for a half cup. Yum!

Honesty, it's all enjoyable in the end because I have found a way amid the typical stress inducers of the season to simplify the experience so that it doesn't wreak horrible havoc on my health. Streamlining appears to be a talent of mine that comes in handy, especially this time of year. We celebrate in typical fashion with turkeys, trees, treats, and of course presents. But we do less of all of it.

We decorate some form of pine, but we stop there. We don't need candy-striped candles and bejeweled hand towels in the bathroom or inflated characters on the lawn or the roof. We bake cookies, but just one kind, with frosting and sprinkles and everyone gets in on the action. Who needs a dozen different forms of flour, sugar, and butter to nosh on? We gather in celebration, but we don't buy special dishes or send out invitations. We exchange gifts, but we keep it to stocking stuffers and one or two boxes.

I watch people go mad with more than that, all the while complaining about it. I'm here to say you don't have to give it all up in order to gain a whole lot of sanity - just a little. Be reasonable. Stay out of the stores. It's a must for me, because each year I have to put my energy into dealing with the increased attention to detail required by edible indulgences amid the distractions. During the rest of the year, I am in control of my schedule most days. Although it's hectic with juggling work and family, I'm my own boss and I work from home. So I decide when I eat, rest, attend to deadlines, play with my daughter (well, she decides that, but you get the idea). When you add several relatives to the mix this time of year, it gets harder to do your own thing. Mealtimes become blurred or nonexistent, supplanted by endless chip and salsa sessions or spontaneous hikes without snacks. I love my pump. But for the little contraption to keep up with all of this requires a lot of brainpower. And that can be challenging for me when I get caught up enjoying time with the family members I see twice a year and whom I actually like.

So I continue to simplify, making room in those clutter free pockets of my mind for calculating carbs in pumpkin pie and remembering extra boluses as well as throwing snacks in my bag along with a diaper and sippy cup before each frolic with the family in California. For me, the holidays are truly a time when less is more. More time. More health. More happiness.

dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: June 05, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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