Sugar and the holidays are two words that double dip into the same milky glass of connotation. For me, the holidays are simply not complete without a confectioner’s selection of sugar-sprinkled cookies, spicy gingerbread, and buttery sablés. Sugar can come without the holidays, but the holidays can’t come without sugar.
So why, why, I plead, did I agree to a challenge for a week-long sugar detox the week leading up to Christmas?
Would this guarantee me a spot on Santa’s nice list? Would the reindeer giddy-up a wee bit faster to reach my little Parisian rooftop? I came to the conclusion sugar detoxing before the holidays was a dose of… not smart decisions.
Then I found myself at DOSE.
May I introduce DOSE as a cup of good decisions, making themselves at home cozily along Rue Mouffetard in the 5ème, catering to patrons with appetites for sugary and savory delectables alike. I sat on the cushioned bench lining the exterior of the establishment in a cavern-like passage. Chouette was meeting me for our weekly coffee rendezvous. I ordered a scone to accompany my allongé. I felt such reached a happy medium of not-too-sweet and sweet.
The scone served as a cop-out to full fledge cheating on the sugar detox.
“A sugar detox, yeah?” Chouette mused curiously upon her arrival. “I’m terribly sorry to say, but I’ve made you a sweet little something for Christmas…”
Yes, yes Chouette did. A gourmet stack of dark chocolate hazelnut cookies with orange zest.
At that moment, detox be damned.
“I know we meet every Wednesday,” Chouette started as I oogled over the perfumes of sugar sweetness pluming out of my red and white striped jar of delight. “But it was important for me to see you today before Christmas next week.”
Looking up from my new jar, I felt touched with sweetness. #puns
With the spirit of Christmas flavoring my mind, I leaned into conversation with Chouette of what is Christmas to all of us now? Because the day stems from the religious celebration, but those religious and not come together to be merry. Not too merely be merry, but to cherish the spirit of the season amongst loved ones. By cherishing the holiday together, people come together to eat and drink together, to share a meal.
Christmas gives us the chance to recognize those who are special in our lives. By pausing, by breaking, by feasting together, family and friends alike salute one another’s company and how meaningful they are to one another.
And as I looked at the coffee shop, with its collection of comic strip writers, techy staff members, vagabond travelers, and coffee breakers, I realized coffee shops are their own mini-communities too. Bringing people together, rich or for poor, religiously devote (to coffee) and not, to come and share a small meal and conversation together. Meal as in pastry and coffee, but who’s to say that’s not a meal in itself?
Dare I reckon it’s the best meal of all?
So like Christmas, coffee shops are like little enclaves celebrating the warm spirit of coming together, no matter what the season. Everyone gathered under one roof, to share, to care, and spare their sugar detox to enjoy something sweet.
A double DOSE of sweetness, the whole way through the year.
DOSE, 73 rue Mouffetard 75005 – Wifi
*Chouette is a nickname intended for the anonymity of this blog