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ARTICLES > THRIVE

FOUR WAYS TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS AND THE FESTIVE SEASON, GLUTEN FREE

From having to explain coeliac disease again, to getting glutened at Xmas lunch, it’s that time of year. Here’s how to ace the festive season.

A group of friends gathered around a table enjoying a feast: tips on surviving Christmas and festive season when you're gluten free

Here we go again: the invitations to drinks, Christmas parties, family traditions and end-of-year get-togethers are in full swing. If you live with coeliac disease and need to stick to a strict gluten-free diet, the festive season can feel more stressful than fun – but if you’re strategic, it doesn’t need to be this way. Here are four ways you can reclaim the holidays and join in the festivities.

1. ASSIGN A GLUTEN BUDDY

Ask a trusted friend, your partner or family member to be your back-up brain during party season. They can call ahead to check menus at restaurants, ask wait-staff questions when you’re out, and simply be a good support to you at all these holiday events. The mental load of being gluten-vigilant is especially high at this time of year, and having a good gluten buddy frees up some of your headspace so that you can just have a good time. You don’t have to do this alone. 

2. STOP BEING SHY ABOUT YOUR NEEDS

If the host of the party asks what they can make for you, this is not the time to pretend they don’t have to do anything special because you don’t want to be an inconvenience. If someone has asked to be guided in the right direction, but you’re not ready to make direct suggestions, sharing options is a gentle approach. We might be biased, but you can start by sharing a link to the recipe section of Gluten-Free Living, or our go-to gluten-free party food ideas. We know it can also be exhausting having to explain coeliac disease and cross contamination over and over again, so don’t forget we have a great guide to catering for someone with coeliac disease you can share too.

3. SHARE THE LOVE

Chances are you’re already used to bringing along some gluten-free food for yourself in case of emergency. This festive season, make it a show-stopper (we’re thinking of this decadent Yule log trifle) and blow everyone’s minds with how great gluten-free food really is.  

4. KNOW WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET GLUTENED

Despite your best efforts, people are human and mistakes can be made with cross contamination – if you do get glutened, understand your symptoms well and how to manage them. If you don’t already have this bookmarked, check out our guide to what to do when you accidentally consume gluten. 

 

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