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Going Gluten-FreeNovember 30, 2011

All I Want For Christmas …

… is more consideration of special dietary needs.

I love Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah but, honestly, sometimes the holiday season can feel overwhelming. Demands and expectations can take over our lives and make everything seem a bit more difficult. Little things suddenly become bigger. Like stopping by on a regular visit to see an elderly aunt but now you think you should bring a gift. Do you need to buy something for the neighbors? For work colleagues? For the kids’ teachers and coaches? Should you take part in that gift exchange even when you’re pinching pennies this year? Go out for that expensive group lunch? And what is it that people really want, anyway? I’d like to forgo the shopping mall marathon and opt for homemade gifts instead. I love the sentiment but what will people say?

And speaking of sentiment, I like to take a breath after Thanksgiving and look back over the year to count my blessings. I make a mental list of the people who were there when I really needed them. A friend who said a thoughtful word. A medical person who took extra time to explain. A reader who offered a kind tip. Even the utility guys who worked so hard to bring my power back. It always turns into a long list. There are a lot of blessings out there if you take the time to count them.

Here’s my Christmas wish – not for a “thing” or more stuff, not even for “peace on earth and goodwill to men.” My Christmas wish is for all of us. I wish for one person who’ll bring an allergy-friendly dish to this year’s company holiday potluck. I wish for a family member who will fully understand how challenging it can be to take care of a child with special dietary needs. I wish for a friend—someone who “gets it”—to walk with and talk with just an hour or so each week.

Share your wishes. If someone were to ask you what you want from Santa this year, what would you tell them?

 

Comments (4)

I've learned to just smile, talk with people, and avoid eating their stuff if it's not GF. I try to take something to the gathering, maybe some boiled shrimp and homemade cocktail sauce. It would be so difficult to have a young child who can't eat what's all around him, but then again...my son gained weight when he went to school (and I was going through divorce) and there came a time when he had to avoid a lot of fattening things at school and parties. You know how people bring cake to school birthday parties? He had to decline. ::::shaking head and pouting:::: You idiots just HURT. MY. SON.

He's at his dad's now, has been for 6-7 years, and has slimmed down some because he got older. If I could get in touch with him (yes, I have rights, but they won't let it happen without going back to court...again...and again...and again...I've already spent $40K and won, but if they don't cooperate it means MORE court....auuuuuggghhhh) I'd tell him he could possibly be GS. It could be the reason we tried so hard to manage his weight, even with medical tests that said his metabolism was high, and didn't know he might be GI.

I do agree with the OP about people needing to have more consideration, dammit. I wear hearing aids and deal with inconsiderate people allllll the time.

Sometimes you just have to stand your ground. Eventually, with some diligence and not thinking too much about their little *feelings*, we can usually manage to put them in their place. Seriously, would you insist an alcoholic share cocktails with you? Would you insist a diabetic eat a piece of birthday cake? Would you make someone with a peanut allergy (who would go into shock and possibly die) eat your homemade peanut brittle? Of course not! So why can't they comprehend where we're coming from, and accept our choice to be healthier?

Posted by: AmyV | December 3, 2011 11:04 PM    Report this comment

I completely understand. A couple of years ago we were once invited to a birthday lunch for a niece at my in-laws house. I, of course, brought a GF, DF dessert for my son so he could participate in the festivities. Lunch was going to be something my son could eat so we did not bring him anything for lunch. When we arrived however, I was informed we were having quesadillas. (Hello, wheat and dairy!!) My niece had decided that they were her favorite and she wanted them for lunch. Now far from it that I stop a child from having her favorite thing for her birthday lunch, but how about a phone call to let us know. Thankfully, my mother-in-law had a few slices of GF bread in the freezer. We were able to make him a jelly sandwich. My husband and I did not participate in the quesadillas as well, because we did not want our then 3 1/2 year old to feel left out.

So many times I hear people say it will be nice when he grows out of it. Well, he is almost 6 and has not grown out of it. He has Ulcerative Colitis and the wheat and dairy allergies make it worse. It would be nice if people would just accept that this is the diagnosis. We are GF and DF.

On the positive side - At our church fellowship between services, some of the ladies have been bringing crackers and other items that are GF so that our son can partake in the spread of food. I am so thankful for their concerns. I still bring him a muffin, but, boy does his face light up when he can choose something other than fruit off of the table to eat! Thank you, ladies!!

Posted by: lovetocook | December 1, 2011 3:26 PM    Report this comment

I certainly count my blessings. No. 1 is my extremely supportive husband who speaks up for me in restaurants when I just can't do it one more time. He even advocates for gluten free baked goods at our farmers' markets.

Last year, due to tight finances, I had to make homemade gifts (jewelery) but I received no thanks except from my mom. When you don't have the money for "standard" gifts, you should certainly give of yourself, whether it's homemade jam, a necklace, stationery, or services you can provide. As far as "...what will people say?," if they have love in their hearts they will appreciate handmade/homemade items even more than those purchased on credit, made of plastic, made in China, and made with questionable ingredients (i.e., body lotion, perfume).

I also wish for people in my family who "get it" but I'm not holding my breath. Thank goodness for all the GF cake mixes, brownie mixes, packaged cookies in stores and the prevalence of gluten free items in so many outlets. These make providing GF desserts easy for the non-GF. The more people buy them, for whatever reason, the faster the prices will become more affordable for all of us who need them.

Posted by: PATRICIA T | December 1, 2011 1:53 PM    Report this comment

As I told my mom the other day when she said that she wished she could solve all my allergy problems, I just need you to be here to listen to me vent every once and awhile. So, I agree with what you said above, I wish for those things also. I was at my inlaws over Thanksgiving and she was having stew. I asked if she thickened with flour and she said yes, but it was only a tablespoon. So, I also wish that she would "get it" and know that even that would be too much.

Posted by: Loralee P | December 1, 2011 12:00 PM    Report this comment

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