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Standing Up to the Christmas Board

My conscience would compel me to suicide if I didn’t pass on this vitally important advice; which would be a shame, as I would not yet have been able to follow it. :(

Etiquette and Common Sense at Christmas

1. Avoid carrot sticks. 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. It’s rare… You cannot 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 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. 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 Holiday party is to eat other people’s food for free. 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 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. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. PECAN*, Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat.  Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two pecans 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.

[This is the one bad piece of advice.  Good fruitcake is very good.  Choose "blonde" if you truly can't stand the dark, but if you do, you will be missing out on all that rum- or brandy-soaked rich goodness, bursting with pecans and candied orange peel and other delicacies.  And I will not be responsible!  --J.]

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 tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.


*Author left out all mention of the best Christmas treat of all (the goose and the eggnog trail by a hair):  Pecan Pie.  Your editrix has fixed this inexcusable oversight.


  1. CountingCats says:

    Check your image. It seems to be linked to your email account.

  2. Julie near Chicago says:

    Oh, nuts. Thanks, Cats, I never thought of that. Yes, it was in an e-mail, so I’ll have to take out the fruitcake and his fruitcake. Would you please take out the link in your comment? Thanks. :)

    Merry Christmas!

  3. CountingCats says:

    Download the image to your machine, upload it to Cats, link to it, and there you are.

  4. Julie near Chicago says:

    Thank you, kind sir. :)

  5. Julie near Chicago says:

    Cats — The first time I read this — “Check your image” — My instinct was to run to the mirror. “Why? Is my lipstick crooked?” ROFLOL!

  6. Bod says:

    That’s similar reaction to mine whenever I have Objectivists telling me to “Check my Premises”. My first thought is to confirm that I locked the front door.

  7. RAB says:

    Nowt wrong with Fruitcake. My Mum used to make them that I took up to Nottingham in our student days. They kept the entire flat alive. Packed with fruit and nuts and stuff, we even used to butter it. One slice of my mum’s fruitcake and you were fit to climb Everest… Bugger the Kendal Mint Cake!

  8. Julie near Chicago says:

    Well, RAB, your mother was obviously the mistress of nutrients to promote stamina, fats to keep your brain cells in good order, and (I hope!) high spirits to keep the spirits high. I never heard of this Kendal Mint Cake. Merry Christmas! ;)

  9. Mr Ed says:

    Julie, Kendal Mint Cake is a sugar bar flavoured with mint oil used by walkers etc. in the English Lake District (Kendal being a major town) as a portablensource of quick energy, andnoften chocolate coated. It is sold now as ‘candŷ’ as you might call it.

  10. Julie near Chicago says:

    Ah! Well, Mr. Ed, the next time I visit the Lake District (which will also be the first time), I’ll be sure to forage for some. Chocolate-covered mint is always a good thing. Of course, if it’s Walker’s, there’s some chance I won’t have to go all the way to England for it. Though I’d be glad enough of the excuse!

    Thanks for the intel. :>)

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