A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Holiday expenses don’t have to be overbearing

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It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Christmas holiday season is nearing. Yes — I know we still have Thanksgiving to get through and if you are like me, every penny counts with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The strategic marketing of the upcoming holidays has begun to make an appearance in the stores as some of us begin to do a bit of strategizing of our own with financial planning to support the expenses of both holidays.

For many, the Thanksgiving holiday is an event that takes much planning and — certainly it goes without saying — much expense all by itself. Regardless if you plan on attending a traditional celebration with friends and family or plan to participate in what is becoming more common for many families such as going out to dinner, one true fact remains the same. There is cost in whatever you choose to do. Just don’t let the cost become overbearing and make you decide not to celebrate or give thanks.

You don’t need turkey and dressing and all the fixings to have a good Thanksgiving. Many times, simply spending quality time with someone is satisfaction enough. While others are stressing over what temperature and for how long the turkey has to be cooked, there are people near you who do not have relatives to visit with during these holiday seasons. Stop in and say hello to these friends. I am sure it will mean the world to them.

For my wife and I, we haven’t decided yet if we will be cooking a feast for our family or making the choice to venture out to one of our favorite eateries. The whole food prep and cooking part isn’t the dreaded part for us, it’s the aftermath where you are exhausted and only want to take a nap when all that post-meal cleaning up and such is needed.

Then, of course, as my bride made the point to me this morning, if we did decide to go out for Thanksgiving, we — meaning I — will miss out on the turkey sandwiches and other Thanksgiving leftovers that I love. Those who know me well know I normally dislike leftovers with the exception of Thanksgiving dinner.

The Christmas season certainly has no sympathy when it comes to those being selective in what they eat. Chocolates, candies, cookies, cakes and more are on the shopping list for the culinary enthusiast. My mother went all-out when she was alive with her culinary skills for our little family.

Each year, Mom and Dad would throw a Christmas party on Dec. 24 and family and closest friends would come from miles to celebrate the holiday with us. I used to think it was because that was what you were supposed to do. To be, well, for lack of a better term, together. I have come to realize that it was my mother’s self-taught talents in the kitchen that brought everyone together. With her homemade cheese balls and chocolate-covered everything to peanut butter balls, crunch ‘n’ munch and rocky road, she certainly knew how to please our taste buds. Mom would spare no expense to make sure her Christmas party had at least one thing of what everyone enjoyed.

This holiday season, I will be posting some of my favorites of my mother’s holiday special treat recipes online. You can find them at www.thedailytrim.weebly.com on the “Cooking With Mama” page.

I hope you enjoy making your family happy with the blessings of the stove the just as much as we do each year. Remember this, my friends — New Year’s will be here soon and you can make a resolution to lose all that weight we gained during this season.

Rodney O’Neal is a resident of southern Nash County.