This is the last in my season of posts on the topic of simplifying Christmas. I hope that you have been influenced to think differently about gift giving, gathering, and menus, particularly if these have been a source of stress for you.
Today, I’m making a disclosure that some will already know about. I have SAS – Supermarket Avoidance Syndrome – especially during the holiday season. I was going to call it SCAS – Shopping Centre Avoidance Syndrome. But saying ‘I have SAS’ sounds more appealing than saying ‘I have SCAS’! Unlike most syndromes, I won’t say I ‘suffer’ from SAS, because there is absolutely no suffering involved in spending as little time in supermarkets and shopping centres as possible.
What has this got to do with simplifying Christmas? The final step for me in simplifying Christmas is to do a big grocery shop, well before the holidays. My goal is to avoid setting foot in a supermarket until after New Year’s Day. There’ll still be a need for a weekly visit to the markets for fruit and veg. My garden is just not abundant enough to avoid them too. But competing for car spaces, battling crowds and checkout queues is generally not synonymous with the market experience.
My big grocery shop happened last week, nearly 2 weeks before Christmas. I wasn’t overly strategic in approaching this task. A rough list was made, but going up and down every aisle is what ensures that all staples are included. I was happy to come across some food rescue items, including a half price boned shoulder of lamb that went straight into the freezer. This will be roasted on one of those welcome cooler days that we sometimes get during summer in the subtropics. Leftovers will make beautiful fresh or toasted sandwiches, and finally a curry. I made a list of all of the meals I could produce with my bounty after I’d shopped. This sounds back to front, as most would say menu planning should come first. But it seems to be working for me.
It’s quite ambitious to avoid the need to go to the supermarket for 3 weeks. In our small household it’s achievable, even with some entertaining over the holiday season. For larger households, perhaps a week or 10 days is a more realistic goal. However many people you prepare meals for, I encourage you to try it. You deserve to spend the few days or weeks break you may have doing the things you love to do. And my guess is that visiting the supermarket because you’ve run out of food is probably not one of those things!
Have you been working toward simplifying Christmas this year? How has it gone? If you have made one of my edible gift ideas I would love to hear how it was received. Do leave a comment and tell me!
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!