I hate some things about this time of year

I hate some things about this time of year. Not the crass commercialism and forced frivolity, but because its the season when the food police come out with their wagging fingers and annual tips 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.

About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where theyre serving rum balls.
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 Holiday Time!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, its loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards, woman! (Unless it was my Moms fruitcake, then you have to have two thin slices. Mustve been the rum she soaked it in for 2 months.)
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. Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just around the corner.

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