(Submitted without a check for authenticity. So much fun, I couldn't resist!)THOU SHALT NOT SKIM FLAVOR FROM THE HOLIDAYSBy Craig Wilson, USA TODAYI hate this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism andforced frivolity, but because it's the season when the food police comeout with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to get throughthe holidays without gaining 10 pounds. You can't pick up a magazinewithout finding a list of holiday eating do's and don'ts. Eliminatesecond helpings, high-calorie sauces and cookies made with butter,they say. Fill up on vegetable sticks, they say. Good grief. Isyour favorite childhood memory of Christmas a carrot stick? I didn'tthink so. Isn't mine, either. A carrot was something you left forRudolph. I have my own list of tips for holiday eating. I assureyou, if you follow them, you'll be fat and happy. So what if you don'tmake it to New Year's? Your pants won't fit anymore, anyway.1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrotson a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year butnow. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as ifyou're going to turn into an egg- nogaholic or something. It's atreat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It'sChristmas!3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point ofgravy. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes.Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skimmilk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying asports car with an automatic transmission.5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort tocontrol your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas partyis to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and NewYear's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else todo. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circlingthe buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vatof eggnog.7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, likefrosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, positionyourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can beforebecoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair ofshoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see themagain.8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice ofeach. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and onepumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than onedessert? Labor Day?9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with themandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean,have some standards, mate.10. And one final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leavethe party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is justaround the corner.
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