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The "holidays Are Coming"
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It is strange for me to be asking this: I try to esteem each day alike. However, my extended family is very in to traditional holiday traditions.

At first I thought I will just have Thanksgiving here and that will solve my problem. I could invite them all here. I have ample room to cook the needed food. However, My children think nobody could stand my food. It is also tradition for everyone to bring something. I have been reacting to airborne stuff. One jar of pickles or a salad with vinegar is possibly going to send me reeling. I also react to the smell of yeast bread and up until this year I ate my once yearly bread binge. Now enter celiac.

My mother is absolutely irritated with me even before celiac. I ask what is in something and then I won't eat it. I have not attempted to explain it to my mother since I know better than to talk about my health. She would not trust what my professional help tells me anyway. My sister thinks that I am obsessed with food and is hoping that I will get over it. That is pre- Celiac dignosis. She hopes that I will consider peoples feeling in the future more important than food.

Ok, so maybe I should bring my own food to someone elses party? I know what is for dinner and can match it. But I havent' been staying at the table when my family has gluten, yeast, or catsup. Can I get by with it that day? :huh:

Well, if anyone has ideas how to politely, but firmly deal with this situation please list them. I am going to take care of myself, but I don't want to be a "snooty hermit" either. I did notify the family of my celiac diagnosis and also shared the papers which told what I could and couldn't eat.

Well, I am probably dealing with a family of untreated celiacs. What to do?

Diana

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I've done it both ways. We have huge family meals here whenever possible -- When I was first gluten-free everyone brought dishes to share. We had a buffet table ready to for full meal of items we were serving and then a card table set up for their gluten filled items so that they were completely separate (kinda reverse of the norm of separating the gluten-free foods). Eventually everyone learned how important it was for me and later on my children to be completely gluten free and that we have completely yummy traditional meals at both Thanksgiving and Christmas ready for them without their items so the amount of gluten filled items has gotten very small. I have one SIL hold out that insists she has to bring both her sweet potato casserole AND her pumpkin pie even though our gluten-free pumpkin pies are fantastic -- just a funny she uses frozen pie crusts -- um the rest of the pie is gluten free -- you HAVE to have a frozen pie crust on Thanksgiving - I just giggle to myself now, but in the early days I was near tears.

Okay...the flip side same SIL hosts Christmas brunch last year - I brought food for myself and two sons. Now usually I eat out of my own dish/bowl/utensils that I bring the food in but thought she broke out the wedding china so I thought I'd transfer our food. I will never know what got me - I suspect it was it was either passing a casserole (my husband tried to do all the passing for me, but one got by him) or the china salt and pepper shakers - I had a bad feeling as soon as I realized I probably shouldn't have used them, but I'll never know for sure what got me - end result was a rotten Christmas Day for me.

Given the scenario you wrote of - I'd say that going to their home bring your own food might be the best choice for this holiday season and evaluate as time passes and your family gains understanding of Celiac Disease. Just put your food at your place and if asked simply state that food that contains gluten is harmful to you. You are not asking them to eat your food, simply respect that you are trying to gain health. There was a time that it seemed everyone was focusing on my diet -- I try to balance informing folks without focus getting stuck there. Simple statements like this is the way I have to eat, are you enjoying x,y, or z of your meal? Comments that redirect the conversation/change the subject get easier with time.

If they do come to your home and really just don't want to arrive empty handed - ask them to bring drinks - always nice to stock the wine selection or fancy non-alcoholic drinks for the holidays.

In the end we can be thankful for knowing we have to live gluten free. We don't need approval from others. And give a little extra thanks once they gain knowledge of why there has to be a "fuss" regarding our food. Holidays do get easier with time - like all things Celiac :)

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It is strange for me to be asking this: I try to esteem each day alike. However, my extended family is very in to traditional holiday traditions.

At first I thought I will just have Thanksgiving here and that will solve my problem. I could invite them all here. I have ample room to cook the needed food. However, My children think nobody could stand my food. It is also tradition for everyone to bring something. I have been reacting to airborne stuff. One jar of pickles or a salad with vinegar is possibly going to send me reeling. I also react to the smell of yeast bread and up until this year I ate my once yearly bread binge. Now enter celiac.

My mother is absolutely irritated with me even before celiac. I ask what is in something and then I won't eat it. I have not attempted to explain it to my mother since I know better than to talk about my health. She would not trust what my professional help tells me anyway. My sister thinks that I am obsessed with food and is hoping that I will get over it. That is pre- Celiac dignosis. She hopes that I will consider peoples feeling in the future more important than food.

Ok, so maybe I should bring my own food to someone elses party? I know what is for dinner and can match it. But I havent' been staying at the table when my family has gluten, yeast, or catsup. Can I get by with it that day? :huh:

Well, if anyone has ideas how to politely, but firmly deal with this situation please list them. I am going to take care of myself, but I don't want to be a "snooty hermit" either. I did notify the family of my celiac diagnosis and also shared the papers which told what I could and couldn't eat.

Well, I am probably dealing with a family of untreated celiacs. What to do?

Diana

Sometimes it's a fine line we have to walk. Have you offered to share a dish that you consider safe, with others, at family gatherings? That's what I do. And there is no reason to leave your family dinner table. You don't always have to share what they eat, but share the gathering.

I also don't think that others should conform to me. I, rather, try to fit in, in a good way so others are not put out too much because of my diet. It's not their fault and I'm in charge of my food safely. I prefer the subtle approach. :) It works well for me.

You mentioned that you react to the smell of vinegar, ketchup and yeast. You may have allergies, in addition to Celiac. Generally inhaling smells will not generate a gluten reaction. But then I don't know "how" you react.

I, personally, hate the smell of donuts, but I have no physical reaction....they just smell bad to me. :rolleyes:

Maybe you should sit down with your mother and explain your feelings.It might open some avenues for you. :)

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Sometimes it's a fine line we have to walk. Have you offered to share a dish that you consider safe, with others, at family gatherings? That's what I do. And there is no reason to leave your family dinner table. You don't always have to share what they eat, but share the gathering.

I also don't think that others should conform to me. I, rather, try to fit in, in a good way so others are not put out too much because of my diet. It's not their fault and I'm in charge of my food safely. I prefer the subtle approach. :) It works well for me.

You mentioned that you react to the smell of vinegar, ketchup and yeast. You may have allergies, in addition to Celiac. Generally inhaling smells will not generate a gluten reaction. But then I don't know "how" you react.

I, personally, hate the smell of donuts, but I have no physical reaction....they just smell bad to me. :rolleyes:

Maybe you should sit down with your mother and explain your feelings.It might open some avenues for you. :)

Yeah, quite possibly I do have allergies. I am working on finding out. I don't know if my reactions are bad or could get bad. Not being at the same table might be warranted. It isn't just a personal preference thing, though.

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Personalty I would invite them to my house and I would cook. They can come or not their choice .The holidays are about family and being together and giving thanks ,,,,, But that is me ;)

Eating gluten/soy/dairy/ect. free does not , nor should it be, tasteless. Now that I am gluten/soy/ mostly grain free /ect. food, real food tastes so much better.

There were several "post your best gluten/soy/whatever free Holiday recipes" threads over the past few years maybe it is time to start a new one for this year :D

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Traditional Thanksgiving dinner is mostly gluten free. The only thing we had to replace was stuffing - I replaced traditional stuffing with two choices: cornbread stuffing and wild rice cranberry stuffing - no complaints. Oh and we changed pie crust to rice flour crust and the gluten-free flour in the gravy. Not much changed at all - my gluten eating parents prefer the new pie crust - they think it's lighter that the gluten filled version.

Our first Thanksgiving was a real treat when we realized that the meal was already gluten-free!

Last year I had found many more intolerances so was unable to have all the dishes, but there was enough for me to fill my plate nicely from the gluten-free choices we make.

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I agree with "Gotta Ski" and Chill. If it's at your house, serve what you feel is best for you.

I made Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter dinner every year (except when I was very ill in 2009 & 2010 and I went to my sister's or stayed home) and I resumed it all again last year. No one questions what I serve at my house. They happily eat everything put in front of them. :D

We are just grateful to be together. I served an entire meal complete with gluten-free apple pie and other goodies at Thanksgiving and we enjoyed "the encore" the next day.

You can make stuffing, rolls, pie, gravy--easily-- without gluten in them. And they will taste great!

If you are going to someone's home instead, just bring your own food and heat it in the microwave. I have done this, too at family gatherings and no one makes a big deal out of it because they understand what happened to me.

Hon, I do not think it's about the food, but more about the fact that your family is not taking your diagnosis seriously enough. I have read many of your posts where this is the case. You do not deserve to be made fun of or treated with disrespect.

Saying "my children think no one could stand my food"--shows a lack of respect for you that I imagine hurts your feelings deeply.

Maybe it's time for you to sit down with all of them --before the holidays get here---and tell them how this is making you feel? Just a suggestion.

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At first I thought I will just have Thanksgiving here and that will solve my problem. I could invite them all here. I have ample room to cook the needed food. However, My children think nobody could stand my food. It is also tradition for everyone to bring something. I have been reacting to airborne stuff. One jar of pickles or a salad with vinegar is possibly going to send me reeling. I also react to the smell of yeast bread and up until this year I ate my once yearly bread binge. Now enter celiac.

My mother is absolutely irritated with me even before celiac. I ask what is in something and then I won't eat it.

Ok, so maybe I should bring my own food to someone elses party? I know what is for dinner and can match it. But I havent' been staying at the table when my family has gluten, yeast, or catsup. Can I get by with it that day? :huh:

Well, if anyone has ideas how to politely, but firmly deal with this situation please list them. I am going to take care of myself, but I don't want to be a "snooty hermit" either. I did notify the family of my celiac diagnosis and also shared the papers which told what I could and couldn't eat.

Well, I am probably dealing with a family of untreated celiacs. What to do?

Diana

I'm going to address several issues here and I'm going to be blunt. Not because I want to hurt anyones' feelings but because I think you need to hear it.

1. "Nobody can stand my food". - Make a big pot of chili or beef stew or roast chicken and potatoes and carrots. IN the crockpot so it smells good for hours if possible. When its time for dinner "Sorry. This is gluten free and you can't stand "my food". Hand them a loaf of gluten bread and PB. Something like this.

2. There is no reason seeing or smelling a gluten food should make you have a gluten reaction. Vinegar is usually gluten-free. When I first went gluten-free, I was so scared and worried that walking thru the bread isle it made me a bit naueseous and anxious. I realized it was just a psychological thing. Maybe you are worrying about this too much?

3. Is your mom one of those people that will find something about you to annoy her? If it wasn't Celiac it would be your hair style or how many kids you did or did not have? How much you spent? If that's the case, You can't worry about what she thinks of your food. Don't ask her whats in the food she makes, it just starts a fight. It doesn't matter, really, because you will always provide your own food.

If she is normally a reasonable person, go to http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/living-with-celiac/guide/treatment and print this. Maybe highlight a couple of key sentances she should see.

4. I invite my family to my house and they no longer bring dishes like we used to. We all get along great on the food thing, so that makes it easier for me. Usually my sister will make a couple of gluten pie crust pies and I make one with a gluten-free crust. Dessert is easy to keep the crumbs separate. My Dad might buy the smoked turkey and bring it over to cut & warm at my house. But, I do the main cooking.

5. When I go to someone else's house, I eat first, or bring my own food. If we are sharing a dish, I'll bring something I can eat butI keep a separate portion for myself in my own covered container. I think this is very important in a situation where the others don't understand Celiac and might use the gravy spoon to scoop up your gluten-free mashed potato dish. Trying to get to the food first doesn't always work in a big gathering (more than 4 people cause that's about all you can keep track of at once)

Hope this helps and I didn't make you too mad. I don't mind if I made the kids and Hub get mad. :D

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I have found that my family (and other people) mostly won't eat what I make if I tell them it is gluten free. Now this could even be a dish that is naturally gluten free. They just assume that it isn't going to taste good and they are afraid of it.

I had the peewaddins annoyed out of me last year when I bought some boxed gluten-free gravy. It's very good gravy and it meant for it to be served so that everyone could eat it and there didn't have to be two kinds of gravy on the table. That always presents a problem. But no. My mom made her own gravy and told me to make mine. She ran out of hers and then asked if my nephew (an adult) could have some of ours? She even apologized to him for having to serve it to him. There was a lot of drama as he poured the gravy on his potaotes and everyone watched as he took that first bite. He said it was "okay". Gah! No. It tastes just as good as the other gravy! It's fine! But.... No.

One year I asked around to see if people liked wild rice? They that they did. We have a lot of diabetics in our family so we technically should be eating less carbs anyway. I said to my mom that I would make that and we could have it instead of potatoes and stuffing. But... No! She made potatoes and stuffing anyway and everyone (but us) ate all three.

I could keep going on and on like this.

The easiest years have been the ones that for whatever reason, my mom decided not to have us over. So I just made a small meal for us at home.

A couple of times I did bring food for just my daughter and me and wouldn't you know, those were the times that everyone else wanted to try the food. So there wasn't enough for us to eat. Sometimes I feel like I just can't win.

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This year it's just us for the holidays. I think I'm going to try to adopt someone who needs to eat gluten-free and take them a meal or invite them over.

Seriously.

I think about how hard a gluten-free meal must be to get if you don't cook or can't cook in your own kitchen - such as a nursing home or food kitchen or someone who lives alone and just doesnt feel up to it. Breaks my heart, really.

As far to the OP - take your own food and keep it seperate from what you share, or have the holiday at your house and use your judgement as to what gluten you'll allow in. I like the idea of asking people to being drinks, etc.

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