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Holiday Tips

I hate some things about this time of year. Not the crass
commercialism and forced frivolity, but because it's 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

You can't pick up a magazine without finding a list of holiday
eating do's and don'ts...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 didn't think so. Isn't mine, either. A carrot
is something you leave for Rudolph.

I have my own list of tips for holiday eating. I assure you, if
you follow them, you'll be fat and happy. So what if you don't
make it to New Year's? Your pants won't fit anymore, anyway.

1. 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 they're serving rum balls.

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

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's 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 they're made with skim
milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's
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 people's food for free...lots of it.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and
New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing
else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll 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 don't budge. Have as many as
you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like
a beautiful pair of shoes. You can't leave them behind.
You're not going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of
each. Or, if you don't 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, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I
mean, have some standards, woman! (Unless it was my Mom's
fruitcake, then you have to have two thin slices. Must've
been the rum she soaked it in for 2 months.)

10. And one final tip If you don't feel terrible when you leave
the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying
attention. Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless
January is just around the corner.
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