Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Dealing With The Holidays - Presents
0

22 posts in this topic

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!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

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.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. :)

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




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

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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! ;)

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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....

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,334
    • Total Posts
      920,437
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Thank you cyclinglady! We'll just keep pushing forward and we'll get things figured out one way or another. You have been most helpful and informative and given me some great resources and things to consider. I really appreciate it! I definitely feel better as I've felt like a crazy mom lately thinking through the test results and everything. Even if it turns out to not be celiac or gluten related, at least I can say we did our due diligence and looked under every rock to find the source of his troubles. Thanks again!  Take care! 
    • Anxiety is quite a common symptom with undiagnosed celiacs. It should improve if not disappear when you go gluten free. Be sure to CONTINUE eating gluten until the endoscopy!   Welcome to the club!
    • Although serological tests are useful for identifying celiac disease, it is well known that a small minority of celiacs are seronegative, and show no blood markers for celiac disease. A team of researchers wanted to define the prevalence and features of seronegative compared to seropositive celiac disease, and to establish whether celiac disease is a common cause of seronegative villous atrophy. View the full article
    • This was absolutely me before diagnosis.  The worst of all of my Celiac symptoms occurred in the morning.  The anxiety was terrible in the mornings, I had horrible nausea, no appetite, felt light headed, dizzy and shaky, diarrhea, stomach cramps... the works.  Honestly, I don't know if it was the symptoms causing the anxiety, the anxiety making my symptoms worse, or a combination.  I almost dropped out of school because I felt so terrible every morning I didn't want to leave the house to go to class.  The first few doctors I saw insisted all of my symptoms were psychological and tried to give me anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds, but I knew there was something else wrong with me.  I had always been a bit "high-strung," but for the year I was really sick before diagnosis, the anxiety got out of control. I was diagnosed with celiac disease 6 months ago and have been gluten free ever since.  It took time, but everything is gradually improving.  The morning anxiety is much improved and some mornings, is completely gone.  I realized a month or two ago that I no longer spend the first hour after waking up gagging and dry-heaving, something I had done for so many years that I just thought it was normal for me.  I can brush my teeth and my tongue without feeling like I'm going to puke.  I eat breakfast now, which I have never done, because I was always too anxious and nauseous in the mornings to be hungry.  I am not "all better."  I still have bad days and even bad weeks.  If I get glutened the anxiety comes back full force.  If I'm super-stressed out or letting my health slide (not eating well, not sleeping enough) the AM anxiety seems to return.  But, it has been slowly improving over the last 6 months and has become so much more manageable.   Your anxiety could be a separate disorder from the celiac disease, but for me, it seems it was absolutely related and continues to get better.  Don't get discouraged if you don't see an immediate improvement or experience relapses after improving.  Often, I feel like it's a two-step-forward, one-step-back kind of thing, but it is getting better.
    • I have suffered with GERD for 20 years and accidently found out it was a gluten intolerance. I had gone on Atkins years ago and noticed that I had no GERD symptoms while on the diet. I didn't make the connection at that time. Then I went on the Mayo Diet back in the winter and once again, the constant was having no bread primarily. I had also noticed that I would have major attacks anytime I ate Italian food. I blamed it on the onions, the tomatoes, herbs...but I could tolerate all those foods separately. Then, like a lightning bolt...it hit me...the culprit was the "innocent" pasta. BINGO!!  I went gluten-free in March 2016 and I have had no GERD now in 5 months. I feel as if it is a gift to me.   
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,389
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    EJ653
    Joined