With holiday festivities in full swing, visions of sugarplums should be dancing in our heads. Unfortunately at this time of year we’re rocking out to the flu bug blues. The sweet scents of cinnamon, peppermint and pine commingle with the not so sweet aroma of Vicks Vapor Rub.
Newspaper columns abound with helpful medical advice. Steer clear from people who cough, sneeze or just look weird. Wash your hands. And don’t eat food that’s been out on public display.
What? After hours spent trolling through Costco for bargains, I can’t partake of those mini quiches that smell so delicious? That’s the best part of shopping. What about those delightful chocolate truffles? Chocolate is full of antioxidants. Doesn’t that automatically make them germproof?
How about my neighborhood holiday potluck? If Mr. Smith from down the block, appears with red-rimmed eyes, does that mean I have to beat him to the punchbowl before he gives the gift that just keeps on giving — the flu? Should I add more rum to the eggnog? If alcohol can destroy your liver, can it also destroy flu germs?
I’ve already decided that noshing on cashews is a no-no, but what about my favorite guacamole dip? Ms. Manners has informed us that double dipping is just not done. But did you see that big bowl of Tostitos? I could swear Mr. Smith’s pinky grazed the top of my tortilla chip.
Rather than allow the holidays to make me even more neurotic than usual, I’ve decided to go with the flow. I will hug but not shake. I will savor but not slobber. And I will stock up on my favorite holiday brew. A gallon of chicken soup. With a chaser of chocolate chips. It’s time to rock around the Christmas tree.
I’d love to know about your holiday traditions or favorite holiday pick-me-ups. Leave a comment by midnight PST Monday, December 20, and you could win a copy of KILLER RECIPES, a compilation of recipes from your favorite mystery authors.
[UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER! Congratulations to Judy Alter who’s getting her very own copy of Killer Recipes.]