Monday 21 December 2015

The 2015 Christmas Post

It's time for my Christmas post. A lot of people think that my Christmas posts don't have enough to do with having Celiacs because I don't usually mention it as much.

Shockingly, I disagree.

I firmly believe that what ever powers that be, gave me Celiacs for a reason. Before being diagnosed, I was on a long and exhausting path of spending my life entrenched only in the contentment and approval, of others. I used to lay awake at night, worried and fretful that Christmas (or any other major or minor event in my life) wouldn't turn 'out'. That it wouldn't be perfect and therefore, be a complete and utter fail and THAT made ME a complete and utter fail. It was fucking exhausting. You see, too many of us are far too wrapped up in the fact that what we produce, is who we are, and how people will judge us, as people, as mothers, as fathers. It's a horrible way to live. 

Celiacs changed that.

Celiacs forced me to think about myself. Not every day, not all the time, but certainly, far more than I was before the diagnosis. I am forced to consider myself and my happiness to be more important than the other crap that floats around my life. I have to come first sometimes. And that, dear reader, was my biggest lesson of all. 

From that lesson I have learned what is important, and vital for a Christmas season to not leave me resentful and exhausted. 

Here is what IS NOT important at Christmas:

1) Matching glassware - if it holds booze, use it. Including any 'sippy-cups' that you can wrestle away from your toddlers.  Fill them with Jagermeister.

2) Symmetrical decorations that are re-purchased in the newest fashion each year - the more crap that your kids made on the tree is a barometer to your inner peace

3) What the neighbors are doing with their lights or what ever bullshit inflatables that litter their lawns - suck it Jones' ....suuuuuuck it.

4) Spending more than anyone else on gifts for your kids - stop competing, Trump will always win. 

5) Your children looking and acting perfectly - they aren't supposed to....they are CHILDREN. Let them wear their jammies to Christmas dinner or a fish hat or nothing at all. It's the ONE day they set the schedule...give them that.

6) Anything on Pintrest involving a speed set camera - it's the seventh circle of Hell. Avoid. 

7) Anything else you don't want to do - stop doing things you don't want to do. Stop. Now. The world will keep spinning.

My tree currently has no less than two strings of burnt out lights. There are entire black holes on the fucking thing. You know what? I looked at it, I took a deep breath, and I thought of Mary. 

Mary, as I say every year, gave birth in a barn. A fucking barn, with cows and pigs and goats nibbling at her toes while she is trying to push out a baby. The most iconic mother in modern history, didn't have perfection, far from it, and she was happy. She pushed out a baby in the dead of night, with no one around, surrounded by stinky cattle, and she was happy. 

So, you see, the lights aren't supposed to matter. The money you spend is worthless, the fretting and the ironing and the fussing, doesn't all. 

You matter...

Mary put herself first. She knew it was her time, hopped a squat and took care of business and she never once, cared what anyone thought of her outfit or whether or not the baby cried too much or shit up the back of his diaper. 

So don't, just don't. Don't fret, don't panic and worry and stay up all night making anything 'perfect'. Because it won't be perfect, it will never be perfect. Let it go. Relax, breathe, enjoy your children and your spouse and your friends. Enjoy Christmas. 

Put yourself first and have the Christmas you want to have. Because at the end of the day, that's what Mary did, and that's what I am going to do. 

From My Heart to Yours,

Have a drunken, laughing, belly filled, hug exhaustive, holiday. May it be as imperfect as mine and just as happy.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Do's and Don'ts of Hosting a Celiac

This is an artistic rendition of my colon after last Christmas Season.

'Tis the season for entertaining. Brace yourself for the onslaught of family and friends piling through your doorway. Some of those people might have Celiacs. Remain calm. There is no reason to not invite someone because they have a pain the ass disease. See what I did there? I'm funny. I have also not been invited to things because the host didn't want to have to feed me. It kind of hurt my feelings, so I lit their house on fire. 

My Grandma Theresa always said that if she came to see your house and eat your food, she would have come when you weren't home. 

That's the way it is with Celiacs. We come to your home to see YOU, not to eat. Maybe we come to drink, that's true but mainly we come to hang out with you so don't get too hung up on feeding us. Chances are, we have already eaten. However, if you want to feed us, here are some DO's and DON'Ts of hosting a Celiac in your home.

Do - Clean everything that will touch their food. A dishwashing sanitizing cycle works well. 

Don't - Assume that your drying towels or dish cloths are clean enough. Remember that sandwich you made yesterday? Remember you wiped your counter with that cloth? That cloth you are about the wash a Celiac's dish with? See where I'm going? Yeah. Paper towel. Wasteful? Yes. Clean? Indeed.

Do - check the ingredients of every single thing you are putting together. 

Don't - Call the Celiac with every single ingredient. This will make them feel like they are causing too much trouble. Just Google it, that's what your friend with Celiac's will do anyway.

Do - Keep it simple. A plate of gluten free crackers and cheese is just fine. Don't get all fancy and try to make a gluten free angel food cake when you have never made a cake in your life. It will look and taste like shit and your poor Celiac friend will have to eat it anyway. Thanks for nothing.

Don't - Put their food on the same table as the glutened food. Put it to the side. Don't make a big deal, just make it less likely that some drunk asshole will sprinkle bread crumbs all over the cheese while yelling, 'PIXIE DUST TIME'. This has literally happened to me.

Do - Make their food first and have them eat first. This cuts down on cross contamination. 

Don't - Make a big production of any steps you are taking for your guest. There is nothing more uncomfortable than someone doing something nice for you and then repeatedly telling you how nice they are. It takes away a lot of the niceness. Do it to be kind, don't do it for a pat on the back. Remember, Celiacs live like this so you making one meal with the precautions they take all the time, and expecting a trophy, is kind of an asshole move. 

Do - Know that your Celiac friend does not expect anything from you, except to enjoy your company. They didn't come for the food. Celiac's have learned to not go anywhere for the food. They came to laugh and drink and have fun with you. 

Don't - Assume that they will tell you if they get sick. Here's a secret, I have gotten sick at lots of friends homes. Friends who have taken precautions. They will never, ever, know. Why? Because it's fucking rude to tell them that's why! Jesus, you are such an asshole sometimes. I know I could get sick anywhere, I know I sometimes make myself sick. It's a risk all Celiac's take. If a Celiac tells you that they got sick at your house, tell them I say they are a douchebag and then punch them.

Just like my Grandma, I don't go to your house for your food. I go to see you and laugh with you and hug your children. I go because I love you.

And to drink your wine, I mainly come to your house to drink your wine.