Only during the holiday season does my kitchen fill up with candy, cookies, and chocolate. The remainder of the year, it’s well stocked with beer, cereal, oranges, pasta, and maybe some spring mix salad. None of these items, of course, are in any particular order. I don’t go out of my way to purchase cookies or chocolate in the snack aisle of the supermarket. Yet, once the holiday season is officially finished, I have these chocolate urges that are insanely intense! Again, during the months between February and November, these chocolate urges are less likely to happen, or are easily quenched with a low-calorie hot chocolate drink.

Where does this “I must have chocolate” sensation come from? Through gifts I receive from collegues, friends, or left over candy I purchased as gifts to acquaintances. The money I save on making home made gifts where chocolate is used, may have repercussions later on down the road. I’m not over weight, so it’s not necessarily the cost of health care I’m concerned about, it’s more the cost of replacing pants that no longer snap. Or perhaps it’s the additional time I must now spend losing those extra chocolate pounds that are hanging around my mid-section to my derriere. My time is worth money, and my time is limited!

So while trying to save money on edible gifts, I might instead have to resort to making gifts like bath salts. This would be a safe option since I can’t see myself gobbling up this particular item. And it would no longer require me to purchase the additional dark chocolate chips, or Hershey’s Kisses needed to make my hot mocha mix or small gift bags. I could sail through the holidays without a chocolate chip passing over my lips.

I would only have to resolve the problem of what to do with the candy I receive. I could re-gift my chocolates to others and save money. The only problem I foresee with this is many of the gifts I receive and give hover within a small group of friends, they would easily know I re-gifted! I could donate my chocolate items before I ever cracked open a box of Chukar Cherries, my most recent craving. I could let my husband eat it all. He normally grazes and picks through the good stuff, then tosses the rest when he’s finished. If my will-power was stronger, I could accept this option. Or, I could accidentally forget to take my gifts home and leave them behind. By the time I came back after a 3-week break, they’d be stale and completely undesirable.

In the mean time, I have to work my butt off (literally). I’ve dedicated myself to Well Heeled Blog’s 30-Day challenge. If my Jillian Michael’s DVD comes in the mail  soon, I’ll be able to catch-up and get back into shape. So the true cost of chocolate may be more than the $15 I spent on edible treats for others!

My chocolate equation:   $15 for chocolate + (30 hours of exercise x $40 per hour for my time spent exercising) = $1,215 the actual cost of my chocolate consumption