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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

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Christmas Goodies... Aiaiaiaiai
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So I work in a law office in the copyroom/mail room. We may be the runts of the firm but we sure get one heck of a lot of presents when Christmas comes around. Only one problem.... All the presents come in the form of food. And even if I could eat the things I am intolerant too, its way too much... Oh and did I mention... SWEET Choco9lated covered pretzels, chocolate cover nuts, sugared nuts, cookies, chocolate this, chocolate that. I am pretty sure we ha have a mountain of junk food for a counter...

Frustrating part... Can't eat most of the goodies... though some people did know I can't eat wheat or chocolate, so they gave me funny presents.

One person said I can have the box that all the goodies were in... (Its a pretty box so I don't mind...)

One person, knowing I can't use most lotions for one reason or another gave me craisins... (YUM!)

My visiting teachers (church thing) gave me a bag of pamelas baking mix.... (I thought that was funny)

One person comes up to me and hands me a box of chocolates, and says, give these to your husband... (I thought that was funny beause she's only seen my husband in passing)

Another person hands me a cute purple stocking ornament (Same person who told me I could have the box) and somehow managed to know my favorite color... I swear the woman stalks me! *chuckle*

MY RA (Resident assistant) gave us all packs of tissues...

And then of course there are all the presents that annoy me....

Chocolate covered pretzels...

Cookies...

Mints...

More chocolate covered pretzels...

Cookies...

Nuts coated in odd things...

More cookies...

*stares at the pile of goodies taunting her*

Anyone else getting odd or "annoying" presents from the good hearted community around them? (By the way, I love the people for giving me things and thinking of me even if I can't eat what they give me... in case ye were questioning.... its the thought that counts.)

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Same thing happening here. I think some people give food gifts b/c they are quick, inexpensive and easy. Just try to remember it's the thought that counts and re-gift them or give them away.

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My squirrels and blue jays really enjoy the nut gifts. :P

I think the ornament gift is a good idea. My hub has given hand blown glass ones to employees a few times. Even if you don't celebrate Xmas, they are pretty in your window. Also, my Jewish friends have Xmas ornaments all year round that people give them that are not Christmasy. - a football or cheeseburger or dog.

Keep up a sense of humor, Ro! :)

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Yes, I'm sympathetic. You're right to appreciate everyone's thoughtfulness, at least!

I got a handmade packet of amaretto hot cocoa and asked the person what ingredients were in it because I have food allergies. She told me ingredients like "milk powder, creamer, almond flavoring, cocoa poweder, etc". I realized after I asked her that I would have needed to ask her the ingredients of each "ingredient" she used in order to know for sure it was safe. I thanked her and hope my husband will be able to enjoy it ;) . Sounds delicious but it's not worth the risk of contamination. I think I'll go buy some cocoa powder so I can make my own hot cocoa. (By the way, anyone have recommendations? I need dairy free, so I plan to mix whatever powder with almond milk).

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I got some lotion and lip balm from someone...no clue whether it's safe or not so I'm re-gifting it to my 12 year-old granddaughter, who loves all things smelly and lotiony.

Also got a little bag of candy (either questionable or not safe) when I had my nails done yesterday. She knows I have celiac so it's the thought that counts. It will become a package tie-on to the same granddaughter.

I also received a bottle Bath & Body Works foamy hand soap, which I just put in the guest bathroom.

If I got a lot of candy or other things I couldn't eat, I'd either re-gift them or donate them.

I love Pamela's baking mix so it would not go to waste...makes great muffins, banana and pumpkin bread. That would defintely be a keeper (providing there were no ingredients in it that you couldn't have).

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I'm not sure almond milk would be your best choice, it's a bit grainy...

I'd try coconut milk, maybe thinned with a bit of almond milk.

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Yes, I'm sympathetic. You're right to appreciate everyone's thoughtfulness, at least!

I got a handmade packet of amaretto hot cocoa and asked the person what ingredients were in it because I have food allergies. She told me ingredients like "milk powder, creamer, almond flavoring, cocoa poweder, etc". I realized after I asked her that I would have needed to ask her the ingredients of each "ingredient" she used in order to know for sure it was safe. I thanked her and hope my husband will be able to enjoy it wink.gif . Sounds delicious but it's not worth the risk of contamination. I think I'll go buy some cocoa powder so I can make my own hot cocoa. (By the way, anyone have recommendations? I need dairy free, so I plan to mix whatever powder with almond milk).

Hershey's Cocoa Powder is gluten free. It does sound good but the powdered milk would get me, too. How about using Vance's Dari-Free if you want to make instant hot chocolate?

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PLEASE tell me that chocolate is not one of the things we can't eat.

Chocolate itself is gluten free (although some types of chocolate candy have malt and are out). Rowena just cannot eat chocolate in addition to the gluten I believe. If you need a gluten free chocolate fix, Snickers are safe. Yum! And welcome to the community, BTW.

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I'm donating a bunch of stuff to the local women's shelter this year. I think I will do this from now on. I'm given those fragranced gift sets of lotions etc. from time to time and I am sensitive to them.

Rowena, interesting list. Funny how people think sometimes but as you said at least some thought. Kinda sad picture of where our society is though because food intolerances or not, people just shouldn't be eating all that junk. And then there's the attitude that people in work places give each other for not indulging.

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I just appreciate the thought and find someone else to give it to. The people who really know me would never give me that stuff. I'm sure I've given my share of misguided gifts throughout life.

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My co-worker gave the office chocolate oranges. Just as he was getting to me, I was preparing to smile and say "I'm sure my husband will love this!" when instead he handed me a Smith's gift card. It was SO thoughtful, and he's only worked here six months.

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I just appreciate the thought and find someone else to give it to. The people who really know me would never give me that stuff. I'm sure I've given my share of misguided gifts throughout life.

I do too. Plus, they'll never realise but in giving me a box of chocolates with "may contain" warnings that I won't eat they have (a) expressed kind appreciation to me through their gift and (B) saved me going out to buy similar gifts for other people since I've just been passing them on. Anything to keep me away from having to go christmas shopping is highly appreciated, more so than any happiness I'd have gotten from actually eating those chocolates :-)

(and these gifts are all from people who really don't know me - mostly my brownie guides' parents. I'd be annoyed if they were friends or family)

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I am new to the gluten free world but in general...

Those "office gifts" that people share...yes I have gotten my share of those and I am sure given them too, LOL. And yes it's annoying when it appears the gift has no thought in it whatsoever...but please remember they didn't have to get you anything.

I just thank them and smile and remember it's the thought that counts. Then I save the item to regift possibly or I donate it. Or bring it home for my family to have.

If someone is giving out candy to the whole office or even loaves of bread (it could happen, LOL)I would never say "well I can't eat this but my family can". Just smile and say thank you. I most certainly would never expect them to get me something different than everyone else got.

Well, except my husband better not get me a food gift unless it's gluten free, he should know better! : )

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I think the only food gifts I received were a holiday lunch from my boss (at a restaurant where I could get a safe fish and rice meal- he was kind enough to ask before making the reservations for our group) and a fancy box of Penzey's baking spices from my sister- and brother-in-law. Oh, and a bottle of wine in a gift exchange. My parents and in-laws cooked dinners for us, but they were both very careful and kept the meals simple on purpose (and they apparently did well since I didn't get sick).

I admit to giving (gluten-free) goodies as gifts this year. Family and co-workers got homemade candy boxes from us- although I specifically only gave candy to people who I know would like to receive it. It's tricky to give it to acquaintances since I don't always know dietary habits. And on that note, I like the idea of regifting sealed packages of candy. I'll have to remember that in future if it comes up.

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Love the idea of donating to a women's shelter!!!! Will have to do that next time. Got a bunch of food stuff gifts from professional contacts and family. I don't expect them to get on board with this, but Mom? That's a different story.

Of all people - Mom just isn't able to get with the program. Gave her a book months ago to explain Celiac/gluten-free - she didn't read it (mind you, she is an avid reader). I tried reading the book to her - she fell asleep. She keeps saying this is something I'll out grow and that a little cake here or there is ok.

I can't have gluten, casein (dairy) or soy & totally get that I'm a pain in the neck to cook for... so I offered to do the holiday dinner at my house. That turned into a power struggle over hostessing rights. So I took all the veggies for xmas eve dinner. Mom transfered them in serving dishes... and topped them all with butter. I loaned her a roasting pan so that the meat would be safe, she prepped the pan & roast with butter and then made gravy in the pan with flour.

And holiday gifts? Oh yeah - seems mom misread the "Can't have this" list as every gift was edible or other gluten laden consumable.

There's just no prying the stick of butter and canister of flour out of mom's grips!

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This year I only got two food items. Bulk dried beans and bulk popcorn kernels. I don't really like to buy bulk items because they are not necessarily fresh. I can get really fresh popcorn from my health food store. It pops up nicely with little to no old maids. Last year I got the popcorn and I did pop it but it wasn't as good as what I can get at the health food store.

I did say last year when I got the beans that we don't eat them. I do love dried beans. But nobody else in the family does. And I really don't have the time to cook them from scratch. So chances are I will never use them. I did have dried beans in jars for a while because I thought they looked nice. But they took up counter space and I never used them. I finally just threw them all out. I'm sure they were very old.

At least I didn't get nuts this year. Last year I got macadamias with cashews. A mix. I hate cashews unless they are raw and unsalted. These weren't.

Then for my birthday I got waaaaay more peanut butter filled pretzels (Not gluten-free but I don't need the gluten-free diet. Daughter does.) before they expired. In fact I got sick of the things and quit eating them. But then I needed a quick snack and grabbed some to eat. They had the most horrible smell to them. That should have stopped me but stupidly I put one in my mouth. Ack! That's when I realized they were rancid. I then checked the date and discovered they were badly expired. If I am going to give food as a gift, I always make sure it isn't going to expire soon.

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