Friday 26 December 2008

Christmas and the sin of gluttony

As it is probably the case for everyone, this Christmas has been for me the time for eating excesses. It has been so far anyway. I have been overindulgent from my first day back in Québec. The word I used in that entry is gluttonous. It is appropriate. The sin of gluttony is called in French gourmandise, which is not exact, as it can also describe the pleasure taken eating. Gluttony, or the French equivalent gloutonnerie is more proper, as it implies eating excessively. People might think only puritans and overzealous Christians would consider that wrong, but this is, I think, a false perception. Gluttony is still harshly condemned, but it is now devoid of religious connotation: diet books get sold fighting the sin gluttony every day. A sin is an action you take that hurts you or the others, and overindulgence is certainly sinful by this definition.

So I revel in my own little bit of gastronomical debauchery these days. Christmas is the time of turkey, stuffing, meat pies, cranberry sauce, donuts, yule logs, beers, wines and, in my particular case, peanut butter toasts. Because of this, I go to bed, wake up and spend the day slightly nauseous and tired, sometimes with a headache to boot. Yet I always end up hungry for more. I guess the Pagan spirit of Christmas was never totally erased from our minds: it is not as much a time of prayers as a time of indulgence. Still, it hurts.

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