This is an opportunity to offload my rant about what constitutes a treat without being interrupted by a chorus of children chiming in to go to McDonalds. They enjoy watching my blood pressure rise.
But seriously, how do we convince ourselves, let alone our children, what a treat really is? We have been lead to believe through crazy consumerism over the last numerous decades that treats come in wrappers and are loaded with sugar. They are highly processed and usually bad for your health. We donâ€™t have the time to stop and think about the fact that all this is is bad news for you, your health, your pocket and probably your mind.
I stopped to think about true treats and indulgences and what they mean to me. Massages. Facials. Afternoon tea in a fancy hotel. Spending time with loved ones. Making things for other people. Creating things. Time to do something you love for yourself. These are all good for me and my health (apart from extra clotted cream, which is sheer indulgence, 80:20 rule applies here!). So now when I make a loaf of brown bread to go with a homemade soup, I recognize this as a treat. This is how to show love to those sharing it with you and to yourself. You deserve it. Your body deserves it. It is a treat for your body and soul. As is the cake you might bake for a random occasion outside of birthdays. As are ice pops you make from fresh fruit. As are slices of watermelon from the fridge on a hot summerâ€™s day.
Now Iâ€™m not trying to lay the guilt on for buying that magnum, or cooling down with a soft drink, or eating in McDonalds because it gives you a night off cooking and the kids get a cheap horrendous toy that keeps them happy for 20 minutes. But Iâ€™m just saying, to me thatâ€™s not a treat. Iâ€™m just challenging the use of that word and instead assigning it to things that to me feel like a treat and not to something else entirely undeserving of that word. I know we say junk food for some of these things, but a childâ€™s perception still sees it as a treat. So, when my kids ask to go to McDonalds, I say so you want a toy from â€˜insert film name hereâ€™ and happen to get some â€˜foodâ€™. Well thatâ€™s different. Just remember, itâ€™s not a treat. Itâ€™s not a good thing. This is what Iâ€™m constantly challenging in my home. Maybe we need to stop buying so much â€˜stuffâ€™ and appreciate the simple things in life as the treat, not the plastic that comes all the way from China. Itâ€™s not something Leonard Cohen would sing about. Tea and oranges on the other hand. Now thereâ€™s a treat! And itâ€™s nice that you took the time to hear me out. In fact, writing this was a treat!