December 24, 2009

Holiday Party Survival Guide: The Grinch Edition

There's no shortage of advice this time of year in terms of maintaining our sanity around food and drink during the party season. Of course, that's what we strive to do each and every day of our grown-up lives. But aren't holiday parties supposed to be the time we let go a little and remind ourselves of how we used to live our daily lives: full of debauchery and excess? So in the spirit of true Crankiness, I've provided a little cranky commentary when it comes to suggestions found in articles like this one and this one - not that there's anything wrong with behaving yourself. But it's always best to consider both sides of an issue.

#1 Conventional holiday survival guide wisdom: Eat some protein before attending a party. Never arrive hungry.

The Grinch Edition: Protein? As in seafood? Clams count, right? As in clam dip. As in chips 'n dip. As in Fish 'n Chips. As in Fry-o-lator Helper. And how about that oh-so-clever suggestion of eating peanut butter on an apple before you go to a party? Everybody knows you can't have peanut butter without jelly/without bread/without ice cold milk/ without cookies to soak up the leftover milk. And apples/as in apple dumplings/as in Peking dumplings/as in all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant buffet/as in Jimmy Buffett/as in Margaritas/as in salted rims and a side of nachos.

Your success here also depends on what your interpretation of "hungry" is. It's all relative. There is nibbling hungry - in which case rabbit food will do quite nicely (provided you filled up at home with something more substantial than peanut butter on an apple slice). And then there is HON-GRY hungry wherein open hands are a suitable replacement for utensils and a cotton tablecloth can provide up to a week's worth of fiber per dining table covered.

#2Conventional holiday survival guide wisdom: Avoid hanging out where the food is so you won't be tempted to overindulge. Move away from the table.

Grinch Edition: Hanging out where the food is is also where the people are/where the fun is/where the entire "party" concept derives its meaning. A "party" involves people socializing with other people - usually at the food or booze table. Move away from the table? Moving away from the table is an anti-social, lone wolf behavior. If my hosts had wanted that kind of party they would've invited the Unabomber.

#3 Conventional holiday survival guide wisdom: Drink One-For-One. For every serving of booze you have, follow it up with a like amount of water. Wine is dehydrating. Oh, and make it sparkling water to keep it festive.

Grinch Edition: Sparkling water shooters - oooh, how very festive. Exercise is dehydrating too but they're not advocating giving that up. And if I start pounding down water all night I'll be spending most of it in the bathroom. Hardly the best party atmosphere.

#4 Conventional holiday survival guide wisdom: Keep moving. If there's music, dance. Play charades. Anything to burn off calories.

Grinch edition: Have you ever tried dancing to a Kenny G. recording of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" or Dean Martin's boozy rendition of "Jingle Bells"? Or maybe you consider yourself the Mickey Rooney of the group by always suggesting, "Hey gang, let's play a game!" Moving is what we're trying to take a break from (as is thinking, behaving appropriately, and worrying about our reputations). Hopefully, the flop sweat you break into from watching your social status plummet counts as a calorie-burning activity. If you had any friends before coming to this party, you won't by the time you leave.

#5 Conventional holiday survival guide wisdom: If you want to really keep yourself honest by not overindulging, wear your most form-fitting jeans. Another trick is to tie a string or ribbon around your waist that will not budge with the bulge.

Grinch edition: Hmmmm....wear my most form-fitting clothes. They have names for women who dress like that at parties and "wife" or "Reverend Mother" isn't one of them. Plus, wearing skin tight clothes while dancing and playing charades from the above suggestion has the seam-splitting potential for turning into the lead headline on the 11:00 news - especially if anyone in the crowd is going commando.

And tying myself around the waist with a string? What am I? A pork tenderloin? Ever hear of a belt or something without an elasticized waistband that could provide the same effect without having your friends worry about you having sprouted a tail should it break loose during the evening?

Grinch Conclusion: It seems that common sense goes a long way in determining whether or not you enjoy yourself during the holiday parties. Trust your instincts. If you're wiping your mouth with the hem of your dress, are just a bit too tempted by your boss's mistletoe belt buckle or find food in any of your pockets, it's probably time to call a cab and call it a night.

What will you be doing to keep yourself in holiday survival mode?


  1. Oh Gigi, you've made my morning!

    I'm here as the sole survivor in a freezing cold, deserted office (where is everyone - you'd think it was Christmas or something!), falling off my chair with laughter after reading the Grinch versions. Love it!

    Have a great one.

  2. I'm totally with the Grinch on this one. *googles sparkling water shooters*

  3. You have hit on one of my favorite topics.

    On the rare occasion when I do go to a party/ball game/movie theater/fancy restaurant, what is wrong with me indulging just that once, CSPI calorie police?!!!

    Thanks for the laugh, and have a blessed and Merry Christmas.

  4. Holiday survival mode? I haz it! Five whole days when I don't have to go anywhere! Ahhhh.

    There's Grinch Mode for you.

    Mary Anne the hermit, in Kentucky

  5. I put my 'diet' as it were, away for yesterday, today and tomorrow. That doesn't mean I'll be hip deep in gravy, dressing and nanaimo bars, it just means having a rational portion of things that I truly enjoy without guilt. Christmas is a FEAST DAY. So feast I shall, within reason.

    A girl has to have a little bit of fun every now and then. A girl has to have a few goodies every now and then too!


  6. As long as I keep away from the graze I mean buffet table once I've eaten I think I'll be OK.
    Luckily this year my husband and I can be hermits most of the time and relax together. Only 1 say left...
    I can't wait :)

  7. Great advice Gigi! I've been wearing my virtually painted on jeans for 3 weeks now in hopes they'd be a deterrent...

  8. I'd say the Grinch knows how to par-tay!

    Thanks for that!

    Merry Christmas!

  9. I'm with you--so tired of these endless articles portraying holiday celebrations as dreaded trials we must "get through."

    The problem is not what we eat on Christmas, or New Year's eve, or Halloween or Thanksgiving--it's those other 361 days of the year.

    If you want to celebrate, I say enjoy!

  10. Ho ho ho... or better still, just ho ho. Gimme the chocolate and nobody gets hurt.

    I liked your version of a holiday survival guide much better than any silly, glib magazine article on the subject!

  11. So that means I can stop shooting sparkling water and untie the string and stop making the hex symbol with my fingers at the buffet table? THANK YOU! :) Hilarious, btw.

    Seriously, after 3 years of this, I've realized that my real keys are to make sure to at least maintain if not step up the exercise, and keep most of my meals healthy/sane when I'm at home, and I don't have to agonize over that brownie or 3 at a party. No regrets, no guilt.

    Happy holidays to you and yours! :)

  12. REALLY FUN to read! I loved this though: It seems that common sense goes a long way in determining whether or not you enjoy yourself during the holiday parties. Trust your instincts.

    I do my own thing no matter what others say & I don't go with the pressure from others. Works for me!

  13. My feeling is: it's two weeks out of the year. I have fifty other weeks to up my weight on good-mornings and consume Boca Burgers at a rate that would scare any normal person.

    Christmastime and New Year's are my one totally guilt-free, silly, goofy, do-anything time of the year. That's partly because of the holiday spirit, and partly because it's the only time it's not blazing hot and humid where I live. When I'm done with my eggnog-with-brandy-induced nap, I'll take the dog for a run, but don't tell me to eat an apple with peanut butter before Xmas dinner tomorrow.

    I'll cut you.

    Merry Christmas, everybody!

  14. You had me at "boss's mistletoe belt buckle."


    I have attended two holiday functions this year. I don't drink and I put on my food blinders. I did just fine.

  15. This was great :)

    I am going to endulge guilt free! But, as one of my good bloggie friends said in her post this week, I'm not going to endulge for the sake of endulging. I'm going to enjoy the food and what I want without stuffing my face!
    Happy hoidays!

  16. Ha Ha great post!

    For me I just go in knowing that I will enjoy myself and not stress about food too much. If I go in thinking I have to limit myself I got overboard. When I go in with the attitude that nothing is off limits I actually stay away from going overboard. (Yeah I was one of those pain in the butt teens that always pushed the limits...drove my poor parents crazy)

    Happy holidays everyone!

  17. I'm sooo with the Grinch! Parties are for fun and over too soon. I won't do anything a week or two of hard work won't take care year! : )

  18. I try not to think about the food and booze during Christmas. I just try to enjoy myself.


  19. Merry Christmas buddy ! I am pleasing that We have started a weight loss program on the occasion of Christmas the program name is "Living Lite Weight loss program" which contains three week. In that we provide guidance of weight loss hypnosis technique.


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