1. Avoid carrot sticks. 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 they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can, quickly. It’s rare. You cannot find it any other time of year except 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 eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!
3. You can never have enough gravy. If you have gravy or if someone brings gravy USE IT! Gravy should not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes or stuffing, fill with gravy; eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. Never eat instant mashed potatoes, always ask if they were made from “scratch”. If you or your host did not spend hours the night before toiling away, peeling and slicing whole real potatoes get up and leave! You should also check to see if they were made with skim milk or whole milk. For goodness sake, why make instant potatoes, or use skim milk in ANY holiday meal? 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. Eat lots and lots of it. Hello?
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 a 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 fantastic find at the department store. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.
8. Have more than one dessert, especially when it comes to pies. It doesn’t matter if it’s Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat or anything else. Have a slice of each! Have two apples and one pumpkin if you don’t like mincemeat. Always have one of everything. When else do you get to have more than one dessert?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? It is MANDATORY that you hunt down at least ONE slice of fruitcake before the holidays are over. You need to keep reminding yourself why these things carry such a holiday stigma. If you don’t have some EVERY holiday then you might forget that they taste like hardwood floor shellac and have the same consistency as leather or old sneaker rubber. You may slip and give someone a fruitcake only to find out they broke a tooth or passed a kidney stone oddly shaped like a cordial cherry afterwards. NEVER FORGET!
10. 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. Re-read these tips and start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.