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(Submitted without a check for authenticity. So much fun, I couldn't resist!)

By Craig Wilson, USA TODAY
I hate this time of year. Not for its crass commercialism and
forced frivolity, but because it's the season when the food police come
out with their wagging fingers and annual tips on how to get through
the holidays without gaining 10 pounds. You can't pick up a magazine
without finding a list of holiday eating do's and don'ts. Eliminate
second helpings, high-calorie sauces and cookies made with butter,
they say. Fill up on vegetable sticks, they say. Good grief. Is
your favorite childhood memory of Christmas a carrot stick? I didn't
think so. Isn't mine, either. A carrot was something you left for
Rudolph. I have my own list of tips for holiday eating. I assure
you, if you follow them, you'll be fat and happy. So what if you don't
make it to New Year's? Your pants won't fit anymore, anyway.

1. About those carrot sticks. Avoid them. Anyone who puts carrots
on 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 but
now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if
you're going to turn into an egg- nogaholic or something. It's a
treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. 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 skim
milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a
sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party
is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? Remember college?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to
do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling
the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat
of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. You can't leave them behind. You're not going to see them
8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of
each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one
pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one
dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory 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 leave
the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips. Start over. But hurry! Cookieless January is just
around the corner.
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