With the holidays comes food. Navigating your way through the appealing, and sometimes, not-so-tempting, delicacies can be a minefield.
1. Great-Aunt Ida brings her favorite lime jello marshmallow, banana and beet salad for dinner. You would prefer to have an “accident” in the kitchen but know she would be terribly hurt if it is not served. What do you do?
- Serve it! At the very least, the colors are cheerful, you will make G-A Ida happy, someone else may enjoy it, and someday, you will look back and laugh about how that salad always made its appearance at the holidays.
2. You are hosting a dinner party and a guest brings you a gift of a bottle of wine. Are you obligated to serve it with your dinner?
- It is a gift for you, to be enjoyed at a later date. When hosting a dinner party, you typically plan your beverages just as you plan your food. It is appropriate to stay with your plans, unless you feel inclined to open and share with your guests.
3. Neighbors, friends and colleagues gift you with various and assorted high calorie treats just when you are working very hard to stick with your structured eating habits. Do you give up and give in?
- Not if you don’t want to! Graciously thank the givers, keeping in mind it IS the thought that counts. Then just as quickly, “re-gift” these items. If they didn’t come from co-workers, feel free to share at the office. Do you have a neighborhood family with teenagers? They will inhale, err, eat them happily. Try not to sound off at length about your diet struggles, food preferences, etc. as you will find little sympathy at this time of year.
4. At a party, as you are helping yourself to some food you encounter a dip (no, not a person) — the kind that typically accompanies chips, crudités, shrimp, dumplings, etc. However, there is no serving spoon. Does this mean that it is ok for you to hover over the main serving bowl for your personal use?
- No. If possible, use a chip or other item as a scoop to place some of the dip on your plate, ask a server or the host for a utensil or go without. Above all, don’t double dip; that is like having a stranger take a bite out of your food and then place it back on your plate.
Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season but also mind your manners! With a little thought, a bit of tact, and pinch of consideration, it is possible to navigate this time without hurting anyone’s’ feelings.