Holidays with Food Sensitivities

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The holiday dinners, the gifts, and the food that comes along with it, is all very thoughtful, but too much when it comes to food sensitivities. A few years ago, I would’ve been all over delicious sweets, but now, I stay away. There’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and Birthdays all around the same time, all of which involve food. The Holiday season can be too much to handle when you struggle with food sensitivities. 

Luckily, I have holiday meals at my house and my mom cooks all the food, so I know there is something I can eat because my mom knows what I can and can’t have. We may have to make an extra dish just for me whether that is a different stuffing, replacement side, or my own special dessert, but at least there will be food I can eat compared to going over to someone else’s house. At a different house, who knows what kind of food would be available and if there will be anything I can enjoy. I would have to go through the hassle of finding out all the ingredients in every little dish and possibly run into the problem that there is nothing I can eat. So, I guess with holiday meals, it’s better to host them at your house, so you know for a fact that you can safely eat the meals.

After the meals comes the gifts. I work at a school where the children bring in gifts to the staff to say thanks for all that you do, most of which are food related. While the gifts are sweet and very thoughtful plus people don’t know that I have food sensitivities, it can be frustrating and disappointing to be surrounded by delicious food I would have been able to eat and enjoy 3 years ago. I received a whole water bottle filled with Hershey kisses, which I would’ve loved in the past, but now it just awkwardly sits in my house waiting to be eaten. There were baskets among baskets filled with food like chocolate, cupcakes, cookies, chips….etc, none of which I can eat, but brought some home to family members so it would’t go to waste. Something like that can be hard to deal with sometimes, especially when a few years ago, I would’ve been able to bring all of it home for myself. I try not to make a big deal about it, especially because people don’t know, in fact I didn’t say anything, besides thanks, and then awkwardly stood there starring at the food and watching everyone else enjoy. Luckily there were people who brought non-food items like scratch tickets, gift cards, lotions, plants, so I didn’t go home completely empty handed with a waste of food, so I was extra grateful for those gifts. 

Being grateful is key when it comes to receiving gifts whether you can enjoy it or not. Grateful that they thought of you. Grateful that they thought to get something for you. Grateful that they have given you something because it’s all better than nothing. At least I can feel loved when I receive a gift, even if it’s food I can’t eat. It’s the thought and effort that counts the most. I feel so blessed with everything I have, I can’t let a little gift of food that isn’t safe for me bring me down during the holiday season.

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