Perhaps the secret to our food problem lies in our schizophrenic attitude toward the things we eat. And who wouldn’t feel a little schizo about food when he’s bombarded by conflicting messages 24 hours a day? On the one hand, there are holiday dining guides tricked out with the most delicious calories imaginable. Open a different piece of media and you find the obligatory “How not to gain 20 pounds this holiday season.” Heck, even the kids are under siege over something as seemingly benign as cupcakes.

Karen von Hahn at Toronto’s Globe and Mail beseeches us to stop fearing our food and start enjoying it. In “Oh, go ahead: Eat, drink and, yes, be merry,” she asks us to consider the fact that food may not be our enemy, but our savior, and that by sharing food, cooking food, and, yes, enjoying food, we may be giving ourselves a very healing gift.

Hahn’s not giving us permission to scarf Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s all alone in front of the TV; instead, she’s calling for us to build family and community ties through food. Not a bad holiday dream.

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