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Dealing With The Holidays - Presents
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How do you deal graciously with presents you can't eat? At my office, we all give each other little things to celebrate the holidays, and this year a co-worker in my department gave me the same tin of cookies as everyone else. I'm really torn on how to react to this - I know the holidays are a busy time but my department has been aware (and even supportive) of my celiac for the two years I've been working here. Should I just assume she forgot and that her gift was just part of a checklist (and therefore not really meaningful)? Should I believe that she was just trying to be equal in her gift-giving so no one would feel left out? Should I offer for her to have it back so she can give it to someone else? I don't know why I'm so bothered by this, but I'm really having trouble letting it go.

Any suggestions on how to best deal with this situation would be welcome. My first instinct (because I'm an uber-practical person) is to offer it back to her so she can give it to someone else, but that might be misconstrued as insulting. (Then my small, mean side says "Well, it's insulting that she gave you a gift that she knows you can't enjoy!") Or am I just being ego-centric? I have been really lucky and have not had to deal with this in the almost 3 years of being diagnosed, but now it's happened, I'm not really sure how to deal with it.

Thanks for any help you can give!

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How do you deal graciously with presents you can't eat? At my office, we all give each other little things to celebrate the holidays, and this year a co-worker in my department gave me the same tin of cookies as everyone else. I'm really torn on how to react to this - I know the holidays are a busy time but my department has been aware (and even supportive) of my celiac for the two years I've been working here. Should I just assume she forgot and that her gift was just part of a checklist (and therefore not really meaningful)? Should I believe that she was just trying to be equal in her gift-giving so no one would feel left out? Should I offer for her to have it back so she can give it to someone else? I don't know why I'm so bothered by this, but I'm really having trouble letting it go.

Any suggestions on how to best deal with this situation would be welcome. My first instinct (because I'm an uber-practical person) is to offer it back to her so she can give it to someone else, but that might be misconstrued as insulting. (Then my small, mean side says "Well, it's insulting that she gave you a gift that she knows you can't enjoy!") Or am I just being ego-centric? I have been really lucky and have not had to deal with this in the almost 3 years of being diagnosed, but now it's happened, I'm not really sure how to deal with it.

Thanks for any help you can give!

Don't over-analyze it...sometimes people are just forgetful. If you think they'd be really offended, then smile and say thanks, and then pass it on to a gluten-eater later. It doesn't have to be a big deal.

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We were just given a gift card for a restaurant that claims to have a gluten-free menu but it sucks. Plus, they aren't really reliable about not putting the croutons in the boring gluten-free salad. We are re- gifting it.

We have gotten food gifts we didn't like and just throw them out, give to the food pantry or feed the squirrels.

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You can also open the tin for everyone at work to "enjoy." That would make you look generous while getting rid of the nasty molecules. People are basically clueless, even if they are supportive. I have a friend that was going to bring alcohol-free wine to Xmas, thinking that regular wine had gluten. She is actually quite smart and does cook, but can't quite grasp the diet restrictions. Best wishes for a happy and gluten-free holiday season. :)

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Be thankful for the thought (even if it was fleeting and not fully formed) and pass it on to someone who will enjoy it. Then, you get to be a part of making two people happy!

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I don't deal with it at all--I just thank the sender and either my husband, or someone else can enjoy it if it's a food gift. If it's a gift certificate, I'll just give it away.

Although, the one I'll never figure out was the box full of nice, gourmet-type munchies that we received from my SIL and BIL the first Christmas I was gluten-free...... <_< I'm sure there was a lot of room for analyzing there but--eh. :P

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I would just say thanks and pass it on to someone else. If it really was an oversight (and I'm pretty sure it probably was) then she'd probably be really embarrassed if you gave it back. I know I would be mortified if I realized I gave someone something they couldn't eat. Christmas shopping is stressful and it's easy to forgot who likes what and who can and cannot have this or that.

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I would just deal with it the same way you would deal with a gift that doesn't match your personal tastes (i.e. something ugly or some food you dislike regardless of celiac): Say thank you and then discreetly re-gift or dispose of it. I doubt they gave it to you to be rude or to rub it in that you can't eat it. Unless this is a really close friend or family member I don't think you can expect them to remember what you can or can't have. It seems easy to us to see that cookies are not gluten free, but many people are clueless. When I think about all the people I have met that think that white bread is not made with wheat it makes my head spin.

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Like others, I say or send a thank you and pass it on to others who can enjoy the gift. It's the thought that counts. Also, regifting is a great way to save $$$.

It's funny how often we receive food or gift cards to food-places. I think it's an easy gift to give. It's so hard to buy tangible gifts for others because you don't know their taste. Before I found out that I had Celiac, I always gave those kinds of gifts. Now that I know so much about food allergies, I give very different gifts. I think that most people just don't think about food issues and think that food is a universally safe gift to give.

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I would just say thanks. Some people are just oblivious to the obvious!

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There's an easy way to deal with this that doesn't offend anyone and yet keeps everyone informed about what's going on.

As soon as someone gives you something containing gluten, just say: Oh, I can't eat/use these because they contain gluten and I can't eat gluten, but thank you for thinking of me. I will make sure these go to someone who LOVES these things!

And then put the package away.

Hope that helps!

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You're overthinking it and sorry to say I think you're overreacting. A gift is a gift and you should be grateful they gave you a gift at all, especially if it's just a coworker and not a good friend. You graciously smile and say thank you and then give it to someone who can eat it. It's rude to say anything but thank you in this instance and it won't make you popular.

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I agree with what most said about just being gracious. I just wanted to add that if she suddenly realizes and apologizes, please do your best not to make her feel bad. Maybe something like, "Oh, don't give it a 2nd thought. I shared it with my kids/neighbors. They loved it. It was so nice of you to think of me and I couldn't possibly expect everyone remember the details of my diet, especially this busy time of year." Your celiac disease may just suddenly hit her.

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I'm sorry this happened to you - stinks that you can't eat her goodies. But I immediately thought of her situation, too. What in the world could she have done differently and yet, keep all the gifts equal? Would you really want her to bake a batch of gluten-free things for you? And I'm sure there are others who receive her baked goods and can't eat them - a person with diabetes, a peanut allergy, hey - someone who just hates cookies.

I know it struck you the wrong way this year and that is o.kay. But I wouldn't dwell on it - we all have situations to deal with. I think it is sweet of her to do this huge job every year. Unless she is a real biddy the rest of the year! ;)

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I hate food gifts in general. I'm always watching what I eat and I don't need more junk in my house. I have a funny story about this. When I was a teacher I always got tons of candy from the kids. One year I was given TEN pounds of chocolate from different student, an entire sheet cake and myriad other candies. I filled my trunk with all the junk my students gave me. So everyone in my family got chocolate from me in addition to their regular gifts that year. LOL

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Smile, say thank you and regift it. : ) Or give it to your family who can eat it.

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People do that to us all the time. Often they just aren't thinking. Or they don't realize that what they are giving you is something you can't have. We just got home baked cookies. We just put them aside for my husband. If you don't have a friend or family member to pass them on to, then just donate to the food bank...assuming they are not home baked. If so I guess you'll just have to throw them out.

Years ago I had a neighbor who always gave me these "mints" that she made. To me they were like eating lumps of toothpaste. They were just horrible! I couldn't pass them on because they were so horrible. I couldn't throw them out because we shared the same garbage can. I didn't have a garbage disposal. I would just flush them down the toilet, one every day. By the time they were all flushed, I'd get a new batch.

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Years ago I had a neighbor who always gave me these "mints" that she made. To me they were like eating lumps of toothpaste. They were just horrible! I couldn't pass them on because they were so horrible. I couldn't throw them out because we shared the same garbage can. I didn't have a garbage disposal. I would just flush them down the toilet, one every day. By the time they were all flushed, I'd get a new batch.

That is too funny! Hope the toliet didn't clog!

We have a squirrel feeding platform. Some of this stuff the squirrels won't eat but usually a couple of crows will.

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I take stuff in to work, or give it to the homeless guys on the way to work.

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I have the same problem at my work place.....everyone hands out cookies, pretzels, and gluten filled goodies over the holidays, i sit here in my cubby and try not to cry :( When i read your story i was totally like...go give it back to her..tell her thanks, but i can't eat this you know.....make her feel bad (so unholiday of me!!) I am an uber-grinch this year all spoiled by my work holiday party...where they provided me a "gluten free meal' this year of cooked carrots!! ergh...cooked carrots in a crock pot that has had gluten in it before does not a "gluten free meal' make....so work and work people are off the holiday cheer list for me!! Of course my super poor attitude as of late has caused my co-workers to avoid handing me any gifts so it's not been too much of a problem.

This is easy to say.....not so easy to do....i liked the food pantry idea the best, and i am going to remember it incase i get any gluten filled goodies this year....

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I just say thank you and then re-gift it.

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This info helps alotsa this will be my first xmas being celiac. now ill be better prepared for when this happens to me ^^ lol

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