HOLIDAY SURVIVAL TIPS FOR PARTY-GOERS
1. Avoid carrot and celery sticks. Anyone who puts these wretched veggies on a holiday buffet table is horribly ignorant of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots or celery at a party, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're certain to be serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can as quickly as you can. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's precious. You can't find it eggnog at any other time of year so drink up! Who cares that there are 8 bazillion calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something because soon enough it won't be available until this time next year.
3. If something is served with gravy as an accompaniment, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat. Burp. Repeat.
4. Speaking of 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. Your host should be nominated for sainthood if they use cream or sour cream in their mashed potatoes.
5. Never snack before going to a party! The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. It's a scientific fact that food tastes better when someone else has paid for it and cooked it, too.
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's Day. There's plenty of time for that in January when you have nothing better to do. This is the time for long restorative 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. Abandon the best goodies at your own risk because they won't be there when you go back for seconds.
8. Rule #7 also applies to 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? Fruitcake contains huge quantities of empty calories. They're empty for the simple reason that nobody likes fruitcake!
10. One last tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Now get back in there and party 'til you're green!