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Christmas Parties
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I am about two weeks into a gluten-free diet. I am dreading Christmas parties coming up. I assume it would be safest to bring my own food, but what should I bring. Should I still contribute and bring a community dish? I considered skipping the parties all together, but they are usually a lot of fun.

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I wouldn't skip the parties. I would eat first so you aren't hungry, then get something in your hand like a drink of water, or whatever you like, and enjoy the party. it shouldn't be about the food, you are there to enjoy yourself. if you want to bring something, that is a good idea, so you know there will be somethere to munch on if you want it.

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Always bring something, be it something you bring just for yourself or something to share with everyone. I would agree-eating a big dinner beforehand is always a good idae to make sure you aren't hungry at the start of the event, but have fun and don't worry about the food if you don't have to-make sure you have options and a most time fruit and veggies can be safe and those are usually staples at parties, just be careful about the dip (I would advise against using it).

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Definitely go anyway and enjoy yourself! I bring a snack for myself and talk openly about my celiac when people ask why I'm not eating. It can be a great opportunity to get the word out since so many are undiagnosed. Several times I've had people say that they or someone they know has unexplained symptoms and will now get tested after talking with me.

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Eat first, bring something, and have a drink.

Then go for what is likely the whole point of the party - to socialize and be with friends/family.

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Bring your own snack or meal, and keep it separate because otherwise it will get contaminated. But also, at potlucks, bring a gluten free dish to share, but make sure your serving of it is already out before it is displayed on the table. Might mean you have to make yours in a little separate casserole at home at the same time. For example, I've made cookies and labeled them, (cookies, gluten free, "almonds, butter, rice, sugar," etc) the cookies disappear quickly, but of course somebody plops normal cookies on the same plate next to them on the serving table... stuff like that happens all the time. People know why I'm keeping my food separate, ("I have allergies" will do as a starter excuse) so it's no big deal. It's a party, I doubt anyone wants the whole multi- year saga about why I don't eat something, and the neuro symptoms sound fantastical unless you've heard the longer version.

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For cocktail-type parties I always take some gluten-free crackers in a little pouch in my purse. The small zipper bags from make-up give aways are perfect. That way I can nibble the crackers plain or get some cheese from the undisturbed end of a chunk of cheese. Fruit and vegetables are usually available because so many people are weight conscious. Just watch out for stray crackers on the veggie plate. Also, so many chip-type things are safe... plain potato chips and Fritos come to mind.

Mainly, relax and have fun. After all, wine and distilled spirits are gluten free!!!!

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Thank you so much for the tips. You guys shared some great ideas. Even if I eat ahead of time, I can't sit and watch everyone around me eat, so I think I will bring some with me. I have a cheese dip I make that I think is still safe. Maybe I will bring that, after I confirm that it is gluten free of course.

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Thank you so much for the tips. You guys shared some great ideas. Even if I eat ahead of time, I can't sit and watch everyone around me eat, so I think I will bring some with me. I have a cheese dip I make that I think is still safe. Maybe I will bring that, after I confirm that it is gluten free of course.

I make a hot cheese dip that I take to parties. However, once its set out, you can't keep track of what people dip in it. I bake a liitle custard bowl of it and take that & a baggie of chips for myself.

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