Holiday Eating Tips

I hate this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism and forced
frivolity, but because its the season when the food police come out with
their wagging fingers and annual tip on how to get through the holidays
without gaining 10 pounds. You cant pick up a magazine without finding a
list of holiday eating dos and donts. Eliminate second helpings,
high-calorie sauces and cookies made with butter, they say. Fill up on
vegetable sticks, they say.

Good grief.

Is your favorite childhood memory of Christmas a carrot stick? I didnt
think so. Isnt mine, either. A carrot was something you left for Rudolph. I
have my own list of tips for holiday eating. I assure you, if you follow
them, youll be fat and happy. So what if you dont make it to New Years?
Your pants wont fit anymore, anyway.

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a
holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you
see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where theyre serving rum

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt
scotch, its rare. In fact, its even rarer than single-malt scotch. You
cant find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it
has 10,000 calories in every sip? Its not as if youre going to turn into
an eggnogaholic or something. Its a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have
two. Its later than you think. Its Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. Thats the whole point of gravy.
Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed
potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if theyre made with skim milk or
whole milk. If its skim, pass. Why bother? Its like buying a sports car
with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your
eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other
peoples food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Years.
You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the
time for long naps, which youll need after circling the buffet table while
carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted
Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near
them and dont budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of
attention. Theyre like a beautiful pair of shoes. You cant leave them
behind. Youre not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or, if
you dont like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have
three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, its loaded with the mandatory
celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards,

10. And one final tip: If you dont feel terrible when you leave the party
or get up from the table, you havent been paying attention.

11. Reread the tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just around the

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