Single & Celiac

Twenty-something. Gluten-free everything.

Holidays: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Also known as: not getting glutened, flying the family freak flag, and being interrogated by Grams about the eternal absence of a "special someone." Hear ye, hear ye! I do declare the holidays are over and we do not have to deal with this sh!t for at least seven months (excluding 4th of July. Just gimme watermelon, amiright?).

However you'd like to consider your calendar year (I am forever on "school" time, because I still think I'm 19), let's just take this moment to acknowledge that another large family/social gathering has passed and we have (hopefully) survived in strides. And, since it's unlikely that 100% of your family members are also celiac (although some might be thanks to DNA) we deserve a cheers as the resident family food freaks.

This past Easter was the last of my "gluten free firsts," and hot damn, what firsts they were. I think I tried every form of celiac social coping methods I've read about, and honestly I'm not really sure which was the most effective.

Lemme give you the run down:

Thanksgiving:

The holy grail of holiday eating calls for the holy grail of personal plates.

Yep. I brought my own plate. (Okay, my mom brought my own plate).

Thanksgiving certainly challenged my thankfulness for this disease. My mother and I spent at least a month discussing how to handle this one, as this is my favorite holiday and I am irrationally uncomfortable with change.

But, given my whole new stupid world of gluten free eating we decided the best way for me to safely gorge was to bring my own plate. Here's how it went:

The Good:

  • I did not get glutened
  • I did not have to eat instant mashed potatoes like the others (don't tell my aunt that this is a pro)

The Bad:

  • Slight insecurity about my doggy bag dinner
  • No corn casserole (beggars celiacs can't be choosers, I know)

The Ugly:

  • I could not go back for seconds
  • My mom had to make double the food; for the g-eaters and for me. Although she did this on her own volition and I relentlessly offered to help at no avail, I still felt bad.
  • I was offered my favorite cookies and had to decline, not to mention they put the platter right in front of me
  • The pity. Overflowing. Just like the wine.

Christmas:

The greatest gift of all is the gift of indiscretion.

Which I did not receive.

For our Christmas Eve family celebration I went bold. I went brave.

I brought Chipotle.

The Good:

  • I brought Chipotle
  • It was delicious

The Bad:

  • I brought Chipotle. And people noticed.

The Ugly:

  • An elder laughed at me, and said disgustingly, "Chipotle? …Really? You can't eat anything here?" In which I pulled back up my pride and confidence which was momentarily curled in a tiny bawl hiding under a cabinet and politely explained the severity of my insides. "Crumbs," I said. "I can't eat crumbs. So no. I can't eat anything here."
  • I pretty much ate alone. I didn't want 20 questions so I waited to dig in until everyone was already eating. I made sure to seclude my bowl and my being around those who were used to me.
  • The pity.

Christmas Day:

Everything was gluten free. Just for me.

Oh the horror.

The Good:

  • I ate the exact same meal as everyone else.
  • I was not worried at all about anything on my plate, or anything touching my plate, or anyone eating off my plate
  • I did not get glutened

The Bad:

  • My mom basically had to cook everything as I'm not comfortable eating from anyone else's kitchens

The Ugly:

  • Our entire dinner discussion was about how the meal was gluten free
  • I think my disease got a sunburn from the spotlight blaring on it
  • I could hear my cousins mocking the amount of times we said "gluten free" underneath their breath
  • The unspoken annoyance from each g-eating relative
  • No one listening to my insisting requests that we do not need to do this Iamtotallyfine

Was it nice of everyone to have a g-free Christmas for me? Yes. EXTREMELY. Was it completely enjoyable? No. Not really.

Easter:

He has risen, and I don't want to try.

I just didn't eat at our Easter brunch. I ate before, had some vino, and called it a day.

The Good:

  • I did not get glutened
  • There was no formal eating arrangement, so no one put any attention on the absence of my plate

The Bad:

  • I was kind of hungry

The Ugly:

  • I was ever vigilant for those pitying looks
  • I couldn't eat my favorite cookies

So, I don't know, guys. I guess the point of this outline was just to point out that there are endless options of how to deal with celiac holidays, but none are perfect. Or at least I haven't figured it out yet.

The reality is that the only thing that would really make our favorite holiday traditions perfect in a post-g world is if we didn't have this disease at all. But I'm not sure that's an option that Santa can bring in his sleigh, or the E-bunny can hide behind the couch.

Old traditions will stay old, and someday, what's still new to me will be what I look forward to.

Until then, what do you guys do for the holidays? Tried anything I haven't?

Stay strong, my single celiacs.

CELIAC AWARENESS MONTH, YA'LLLLLL

Cupcakes even gluten eaters will love