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15 Worst Holiday Party Fouls

15 Worst Holiday Party Fouls


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Mistakes that are sure to ruin any holiday gathering

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Play Favorites

It’s OK to love your nephew’s girlfriend more than your sons’ wives, just don’t let the others in on the secret.

Play Favorites

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When the girlfriend mentions how she helped her mom clean house, finish up the holiday shopping, and cook the big meal, don’t remark in front of everyone, “Oh I wish I could call you my daughter. I can’t believe what I got stuck with.” A great way to burn bridges.

Let a Guest Go Empty-Handed

istock/sjlocke

Whether your child is bringing their new boyfriend or girlfriend home for the first time, or there is an unexpected drop-in guest on Christmas day, sometimes there will be an extra body around watching everyone open presents.

Let a Guest Go Empty-Handed

As nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting around opening gifts while one person is empty-handed, it never hurts to have a couple of extra wrapped gifts on hand.

Leave the Pet Loose and the Food Within Reach

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It happens all too often — the family cat hops up on the coffee table, lured by the intoxicating aroma of smoked salmon and caviar. The dog, catching the scent of chocolate wafting off the yule log sitting on the sideboard table, jumps up with two paws and devours half of the dessert just as guests are arriving.

Leave the Pet Loose and the Food Within Reach

Take More Than Your Fair Share

istock/wakila

Just because you’re first in the buffet line doesn’t mean you get to dig into large portions of all your favorites without regard for anyone else.

Take More Than Your Fair Share

Dining with kids or elderly guests? Help fix a plate for grandparents, and let parents make plates for the kids and get them settled before the adults serve themselves. And don’t even think about going back for seconds before everyone else has gotten firsts.

Pay Attention to Who Sits Where

Be careful of who you seat at the kids table and who gets to sit at the adult table. Don’t stick the two oldest cousins who are over 23 with the adults, and then the 19-year-old with the rest of the cousins who are 14 and under.

Pay Attention to Who Sits Where

And don’t ever mix one preteen with the nine-and-unders — unless you want a sulky guest putting a damper on the night.

Drink While Frying Up Latkes

OK, it’s probably wise to have one drink before you pile potatoes into a pan of hot oil, just to loosen you up a bit.

Drink While Frying Up Latkes

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But holding a glass of whiskey on the rocks in one hand while tending the hot oil in the other? Not recommended. Liquor, fat, and open flames don’t mix well.

Let the Carving Master Carve

In most families, there is a designated carver. While it’s often the host or the person who cooked the dinner, sometimes it’s a senior family member.

Let the Carving Master Carve

Should a conflict arise when the roasted dinner comes out of the oven, be the bigger person and cede responsibility to the person who is most capable of carving. But while Uncle Joe might have wielded the electric carving knife for the past couple of years, it’s not wise to have him carve if he’s already had too much to drink come dinner time.

Catch Yourself on Fire

There is a reason you ask for things to be passed to you when sitting around the dinner table. Don’t go reaching for that salt and pepper across the table or you might wake up the next day with a bit more than a hangover — a burned shirt or singed hair.

Undercook the Meal

Whether your oven thermometer is to blame or not, no one wants to serve raw meet to their family on Christmas.

Undercook the Meal

iStock / Thinkstock

This is where a knife and a broiler or microwave come in handy. Slice ‘er up thin, place the meat on a platter, and zap or broil it until just cooked.Santa just might give you a gold star for saving the day.

Charge Guests

Sure, throwing a big New Year’s party with fabulous music and free-flowing champagne is expensive, but promising a band and booze and then asking guests to bring platters of food, skimping on the live music in exchange for an iPod, and charging guests for their share of booze is just plain wrong.

Loiter Under the Mistletoe

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Just because you’re single and have no date for New Year’s doesn’t mean the neighbor's holiday open house is the place to linger under the sprig of green all evening long to solve your holiday date dilemma. If anything, you just look desperate.

Loiter Under the Mistletoe

Be social and don’t try too hard! If you’re friendly and play your cards right, you could end up under the mistletoe after all.

Be Argumentative

Along with holiday meals comes family tension, stress, and a difference of opinion.

Be Argumentative

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Don’t be the person who ruined the meal by arguing over every little disagreement. And don’t awaken the sleeping giant by pushing your cousin’s buttons — you don’t want to be an instigator, either.

Gift Fruitcake

Just because you love that age-old, booze-filled holiday treat doesn’t mean everyone else does, too. Why not something more universally appealing, like hot cocoa mix? If you're going to gift fruitcake, don’t ever buy fruitcake from the store, dress it up to look like it’s homemade, and then say you made it.

Show Up in Jeans for the Family Holiday Party

Unless the invitation says explicitly so, jeans do not qualify as “festive attire.” Not sure what to wear? Call the host and ask what they’re wearing, or play it safe with black pants, a white shirt, and a holiday tie/sweater/jewelry.

Drive Home Drunk

Do we really need to explain why? (That's why it never hurts to have a blanket, better yet a sleeping bag, casually stashed in the trunk.)


15 Holiday Appetizers with 5 Ingredients or Less

Holiday entertaining is made easy with these 15 festive appetizers that have just 5 ingredients or less!

The holiday season is in full swing, which means all month-long we’ll be toasting and hosting–a–plenty as we walk out of the room to adjust our waistbands to make more room for more. More. MORE!

In between decorating and shopping, we’ll be scurrying off to holiday dinners and parties of all sorts, as well as throwing our own. Since December brings such a flurry of activity, and our time is limited and precious, we’ve gathered up 15 simple but amazing holiday appetizer recipes using five ingredients or less.

Simple to make? Yes! Short on flavor? NO WAY!

From the usual suspects, like baked brie and crostini, to a made-over version of the nostalgic party fave—the cheeseball—these festive 5-ingredient appetizers are the perfect way to spread the cheer with the ones you love, and give you more time to mingle!


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Nut Mixes

Confused? While nuts are filled with healthy fats and a boatload of essential nutrients, they're high in calories and perhaps the easiest snack to overeat. But if you end up standing in front of a salty bowl of mixed nuts, you may find yourself downing thousands of unwanted calories. Just one ounce of dry-roasted peanuts or almonds (about 23 nuts) contains 170 and 162 calories, respectively, and 14 grams of fat.

Instead: Take a small handful (about 1/4 cup) of mixed nuts (preferrably unsalted), and walk away. (Or make one of these 10 Healthy Nut Recipes and bring it to share!)


11 Party-Ready Recipes for All Your Holiday Get-Togethers

Stick with Food Network's best bets for crowd-pleasing fare, from simple sausage balls and shrimp cocktail to hearty ham and sweet, buttery cookies.

Related To:

ITALIAN SAUSAGE BALLS Food Network Kitchen Food Network Sweet Italian Sausage, Mozzarella, Selfrising Flour, Olive Oil, Basil, Pickled Cherry Peppers

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Whether your holiday plans include an elegant cocktail party, a traditional seated feast, a seasonal open house or some combination of these events, the key to easy, enjoyable entertaining at any party is a go-to menu of eats and drinks. This holiday season, stick with Food Network's best bets for crowd-pleasing fare, from simple sausage balls and shrimp cocktail to hearty ham and sweet, buttery cookies.

Reinvent the usual Southern appetizer with Italian flair by opting for sweet Italian sausage instead of the plain variety and pairing each baked sausage ball with classic Italian ingredients like creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil. Since these appetizers are served on toothpicks, guests will be able to easily snack with their hands.


Cranberry Orange Relish

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Nothing screams Christmas like cranberry relish. At a party, you can use the relish to put on top of crackers with thin slices of cheese such as white cheddar. This appetizer will take you 30 minutes tops to prepare from start to finish, and for most of the cooking time, the ingredients are just simmering on the stove!

Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish.


The 5 most over-the-top office holiday party stories

In theory, the holidays are a wonderfully romantic time. The tree at Rockefeller Center is twinkling with lights, the corner bodegas and their surrounding blocks smell of pine needles, and kiss-me-now mistletoe is abundant. But the reality is that when it comes to December festivities, all that glitters is not always gold. The chestnuts roasting on Ninth Avenue get doused in filthy plow snow, walking into any overcrowded gift boutique in Brooklyn is basically like starring in your own episode of “The Hunger Games” — and, perhaps worst of all, those office holiday bashes can quickly turn into epic holiday busts.

In fact, a recent survey from BizBash, a trade publication for the event industry, found that company-party planners get pretty stressed out about their annual holiday extravaganza. About 40 percent of them are scared that their merry mixer won’t be cool enough, 19 percent fear people simply won’t show up, and 17 percent are worried their employees will get drunk and disorderly at the event. So we checked in with New Yorkers to find out their biggest office jingle-bell busts. Read on to hear the biggest party fouls they’ve witnessed — and, in some cases, have committed themselves.

The undershirt overshare

“For my first job out of college, I worked in the business department of a big banking company. As part of the job, all of the newbies had to go through an intensive two-month training program from November through December, after which we were officially on the payroll. Our training ended on the Friday of the big office holiday party, which was at a downtown bar, and we were to start our real jobs on Monday — so the party kind of morphed into an end-of-training celebration, too.

“I took it easy on the drinks, since this was our first real corporate party and we hadn’t even started our actual jobs yet, but one of my co-trainees did just the opposite. He started slinging back rum and Cokes, and ended up getting so drunk that he did one of those ‘I’m too sexy for my shirt’ strip dances in front of the entire crowd. By the end of his dance, he’d ripped off his professional button-down and was standing on a table in the middle of the bar in only his nice pants and ratty wife-beater undershirt. A couple minutes later, one of the bartenders dragged him outside, where four cops were waiting for him. He didn’t get arrested, but they talked to him for quite a while, and he wasn’t allowed back in the bar. Shockingly, he didn’t lose his job — only his dignity. He actually still works at the bank to this day — and still gets made fun of for his seasonal striptease.”

— Eric from the Upper East Side, a financial analyst

The boob tube blunder

“I used to work at a big television company owned by a cable network. We had our office holiday party in a private back room at a corporate bar in Midtown, and my company didn’t allow us to bring plus-ones, so the party was employees only. After we’d all had a couple of drinks, everyone moved to the dance floor, and one of the older cable guys, whom I’d seen around the office but never actually talked to, came up to me from behind and attempted to grind with me. It was so gross, because a) I saw that he had a ring on his finger, b) I had a boyfriend at the time, and c) I could smell the whiskey on his breath. I also looked around and noticed that a lot of the older men, many of whom had wedding rings on, were attempting to dry hump the other younger girls in my office too — so sleazy! I felt totally creeped out, and immediately left the bar. I’ve boycotted office holiday parties ever since!”

— Katie from the Lower East Side, a freelance writer and reporter

The smashed smoocher

“My first holiday party out of college took place at a big bowling venue in the city, and my entire office left work at 3:30 p.m. on Friday to get the party started. I was a bit hesitant to take advantage of the open bar at first, as I was only 22 and just two months into the job. But as soon as we arrived, my boss started throwing back drinks, and my co-worker, who was 10 years older and a body builder on the side, asked me to do a shot-for-shot challenge with him — so I figured I’d go all in, since everyone else was too. Let’s just say I don’t remember anything about the night except ducking under one of the high-top bowling tables to throw up my tequila shots.

“The next thing I knew, it was morning and I was lying fully clothed on my futon in my apartment. My roommates woke up and assured me that yes, my nightmare was a reality. Apparently, two of my older co-workers — one being the body-builder guy — had brought me home in a cab, knocked on my door, passed me off to my roommates with a brief explanation of my current state and promptly left. I was humiliated, and spent the entire weekend in a state of panic, convinced I was getting fired on Monday morning.

“But when I got into work, nothing serious happened. Instead, my close work friends took great pleasure in recapping my idiocy, the highlight being the fact that I’d tried to kiss not one, not two, but three of my co-workers. In public. At the end of the day, the CFO of my company, who was more into practical jokes than making sure our company was financially stable, approached me with a huge grin on his face and said, ‘Hey! It seems like you had a lot of fun at the party . . . can’t wait to see what happens next year!’ Apparently, the only one worried about my bad behavior was . . . me.”

— Maggie from the Upper West Side, an account executive at a supply company

The throw-up throwdown

“I’m a public relations director, and every year, lots of my clients invite me to year-end holiday dinners to thank me for my hard work throughout the year. Last year, one of my most chi-chi brands invited me to a superfancy, white-tablecloth dinner, and I brought my junior assistant, because she’d been a huge, integral part of my success with this particular client.

“Well. She ended up getting so drunk on the free booze that she threw up on the table . . . during dinner. It was completely mortifying. We all scrambled to clean it up, but the damage was done. My client was visibly disturbed, obviously, but was professional about it, and simply asked that my assistant be taken home immediately. The next day, I called my hungover assistant into my office and told her that her behavior was unacceptable. It not only made her look bad it made me look bad too. I didn’t fire her, because she’d been so professional leading up to the dinner, but I did have her send a handwritten apology note to my client, and I included one on my behalf too.

“Luckily, my client didn’t drop us, though this year, we only got invited to a mid-day luncheon — and they served us iced tea.”

— Amy from Midtown, a public relations director

The silent stinker

“I work at a very high-end art gallery, and as such, my co-workers are all very sophisticated. Last year, our holiday party was at an upscale restaurant on the Upper East Side, and they served us tons of delicious, fancy eats — truffle fries, mushroom risotto, duck pâté, that sort of thing. It’s not often that I get such deluxe food for free, so I went really crazy on it and ate far too much.

“But silly me, I forgot there was dancing afterward, so I was forced to hit the floor on a massively full stomach. I was standing around in a dancing semicircle with a couple of my higher-up co-workers, when all of a sudden, I let out a huge silent-but-deadly fart. It was so obvious that it was me, not only because I got all red in the face, but also because the smell was coming directly from my area of the circle. I didn’t say anything, and they were all too well-bred to say anything, either, though they did kind of shift around and awkwardly move away from the stench. I couldn’t look at them in the eye for days afterward — I still get embarrassed to this day just thinking about that party fail.”


15 Worst Holiday Party Fouls - Recipes

By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN

For most people, the holidays are a dreaded time for weight gain and falling off the health wagon, but it doesn’t have to be. This year we want you to look at this time as a time to enjoy, a time to celebrate and a time to stick to your healthy eating plan, while still having fun. To help you prepare to stay on track, we’ve highlighted some of the worst holiday party foods you might come across, and some healthier swaps to choose from.

1. Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Actually, dips in general like buffalo chicken and that Mexican 7-layer dip that you’ve been making for years are absolutely loaded with calories, which may come as no surprise given that they are often made with full-fat dairy ingredients. Because they’re so tasty, these dips can be almost impossible pass on, but keep in mind that one serving of spinach and artichoke or seven-layer dip along with chips can add up to a whopping 400-500+ calories per serving. So do your best to avoid these dips and instead head toward healthier choices.

Healthy Swap:
Head for the hummus or salsa. Limit your chip intake and then reach for a few carrots or celery sticks. If you’re afraid you won’t be able to find any at the party you’re headed to, offer to bring a healthier dip like the red and green options from the Rainbow Hummus or Eggplant Salsa with carrots or celery.

2. Fried Anything
Chicken fingers, chicken wings, fried goat cheese balls, spring rolls and dumplings are some of the most common foods you’ll see at a party. They’re inexpensive and make the majority of the crowd happy. But they are loaded with calories, fat and potentially even trans fats depending on where and how they were made. The convenience of making them is why they are so appealing since you can buy them frozen at the grocery store, but healthy appetizers can be simple too!

Healthy Swap:
Head for the baked, roasted or grilled appetizers like grilled chicken and veggie skewers, or an apple with goat cheese lightly smeared on it and topped with pistachios . If you’re making your own, impress the guests with these Zucchini Macadamia Pesto Roll Ups – they are festive and taste amazing.

3. Cheese, Cheese and More Cheese
What’s a holiday party without a baked brie appetizer, a cheese and meat plate, and a cheesy sip? Cheesy appetizers are almost sure to be on the food list for your upcoming holiday parties. When you take the servings too far you will likely end up consuming way too many calories and fat, maybe even up to 500-600 calories from just one dish, and the baked brie isn’t far behind it at a whopping 200-300 calories per serving.

Healthy Swap:
If you enjoy eating cheese at holiday parties, just be mindful of portion size. Just get one plate of apps and only put a small serving of the cheese dishes on at one time, or if you’re a “once you start you can’t stop” kind of eater, then choose the nuts instead for your dose of healthier fats.

4. Pigs in a Blanket
Those mini hotdogs wrapped in dough are a holiday party favorite. Since they are small you feel like you can consume more than you should. But think again. Hot dogs are full of artificial ingredients and offer no nutritional benefit, not to mention they are high in calories and fat. One little pig in a blanket is about 70 calories each ( and who only eats one?) . Try to avoid or at least moderate consumption of the pigs in a blanket and head for the healthier options most of the time.

Healthy Swap:
The only healthier option would be veggies wrapped in dough instead of the hot dog like these Phyllo-Wrapped Asparagus Spears from One Fresh Kitchen. The dough doens’t have much on the nutrient-front either but at least you’ll be getting in a veggie.


Image from One Fresh Kitchen

5. Winter Cocktails & Drinks
There’s nothing better than a cozy winter drink – mulled wine, eggnog and hot chocolate to name a few. Unsurprisingly, eggnog is one of the worst holiday party beverage choices as it’s packed with calories and fat one serving can have as much as 350 calories ( and that’s before you’ve even had anything to eat )– not to mention it’s loaded with sugar as well. And hot chocolate can get up there too! The mulled wine has added sweeteners but that smell might make it too hard to say no to.

Healthy Swap:
Choose one. Don’t drink the wine and the hot chocolate. Your best choice is a white wine spritzer or just to stick with water or club soda. There’s enough calories in the food so if you do indulge in eggnog, try to settle for a sip and keep moving along. Or make your own with healthier ingredients. We have a vegan eggnog and hot chocolate recipe that you will love!

6. Holiday Cookies
What’s not to love about a holiday cookie? You look forward to them all year, so the likelihood of you completely saying no to them is probably rare. There’s typically nothing healthy about them so the best tip is to enjoy the cookie but scale back on other areas – have one glass of wine instead of two, pass on the bread heavy appetizers, and reward yourself with that one cookie! But also consider bringing your own to lighten the load and show your guests that healthier sweets can be just as good as the real deal.

Healthier Swap:
Almond Butter Kiss Cookies! Make this cookies that are only 110 calories each with only 2 grams of sugar.


The 7 Worst Christmas Recipes to Avoid this Holiday Season

This joyous time of year can be a wee bit challenging for the health conscious. Bouncing from holiday party to family gathering, we’re confronted with more unhealthy Christmas recipes at every turn: sugary confections, festive foods, and creamy, gluttonous hors d’oeuvres. Resisting these simple holiday pleasures is no easy task-unless you have the will power of a saint.

While it’s okay to loosen the proverbial noose a bit to embrace the festivities and savor the season's Christmas recipes, we have to be cautious of how often we tell ourselves … just this once. Why? Because as your calendar piles up with yuletide affairs, once turns into several nights a week, and one handful turns into four. This, experts say, is why weight gain over the holidays is tricky to undo.

“Most Americans who gain weight between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve generally don't lose that weight ever again,” says acclaimed surgeon, author, and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz. “Some meals people eat during the holidays can add up to 2,000 calories or more, so they could actually put on an extra pound every day if they keep indulging like this. Once they become used to the higher calorie intake, it may seem like normal and they continue on that level."

Additionally, we tend to underestimate what’s inside these foods, whether it’s just one sugar cookie or a spoonful of green bean casserole. We justify it by practicing portion control, but in the process, we overlook just how much sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, and unhealthy calories might be in one bite. The answer might surprise you.

To help make your “what to eat” decisions a bit easier this holiday season, here are a few unhealthy foods you should work up the courage to avoid at your upcoming holiday work party or annual family dinner. Bon appétit!

1. Swedish Meatballs: A hot commodity at employee holiday parties, Swedish meatballs seem harmless. But, this traditional cultural dish (and IKEA’s claim to fame) is made with white refined bread (or breadcrumbs), butter, heavy cream, and sodium-heavy beef broth. Pass, please.

2. Candied Yams: It’s easy to assume that candied yams are a healthier option thanks to the recipe’s starring vegetable: sweet potatoes. However, the starchy, rich vegetable is almost an afterthought in this dish. The main contenders? Butter. Brown sugar. Salt. Marshmallows. Just one serving can deliver more sugar than your daily recommended intake and up to 420 calories.

3. Green Bean Casserole: Like candied yams, unhealthy ingredients such as cream, salt, sugar, and fried onions overshadow the vegetable in this dish. While all recipes call for different ingredients, the most commonly used recipe-the one on the back of the French’s French Fried Onions®-offers an unhealthy serving of modified food starch, vegetable oil, MSG, saturated fat, palm oil, and sodium. In fact, one batch of green bean casserole contains more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium-almost twice the recommended daily intake.

4. Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Anyone who has scooped a dollop of creamy spinach and artichoke dip will tell you it’s nearly impossible to take just one bite. So, consider this: just half a cup, about three to four scoops, can contain between 300 to 400 calories of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Traditional recipes call for a variety of cheeses (sour cream, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese) and mayonnaise-and that doesn’t account for the tortilla chips or refined bread that you use to dip. Stick to the hummus, tahini, or salsa dip instead.

5. Cheese Balls: Another holiday party favorite, these dressed-up balls of joy are essentially just an unhealthy concoction of saturated fat and cholesterol. Traditionally made with cream cheese, specialty or shredded cheese, and spices, one ball can contain more than a whopping 500 unhealthy calories. Not to mention, you’ll eat up more than half of your recommended intake of cholesterol and almost an entire day’s worth of fat-and that’s only if your host decided not to roll those cheese balls in bacon. Next …

6. Fruitcake: A holiday staple, fruitcake may contain remnants of fruit, but it’s an indulgence better left on the dessert foods table. Pre-packaged brands can contain a running list of unhealthy additives-high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, margarine, milk, and artificial color-while homemade recipes call for many of the same ingredients … and then some. Expect up to 420 calories for one slice.

7. Flavored Popcorn: Tri-flavored popcorn tins are a holiday party host’s dream: they are cheap, festive, easy to serve, and a dime a dozen at your local drugstore. But, it’s a conversational munchie that comes with a price to your health (and belly). Think corn syrup solids, sugar, artificial flavor, cheese, buttermilk, MSG, and corn oil.

[Editor's Note: If you want to eliminate unhealthy ingredients and chemical additives from your diet for good, click here to sign up for a Naturally Savvy Get Healthy Challenge.]


What to Bring to a Holiday Party When You're Trying to Eat Healthy

Whether you're avoiding booze, have a food restriction, or just want to make sure you get enough vegetables alongside your holiday baking, here are a few good guidelines.

Holidays are either the best or the worst for eating, depending on your current relationship with food. If you are someone who needs to be somewhat more mindful about what you eat and drink, the season can be perilous. Whether you have food restrictions, allergies, or other health complications that require care and cautiousness around eating and drinking, or if you are currently adhering to a specific diet plan, the season is an endless series of minefields. So how do you participate in the holiday whirlwind without derailing whatever dietary program you are adhering to? Easy: Get involved.

If your office has an area with holiday treats laid out, be the person whose offering is the case of clementines, or the bowl of orchard apples, the trail mix packets or the dehydrated snap pea snacks. Bring whatever will igive yourself the ability to grab something off the table that&aposs within your dietary parameters.

If you are invited to a cocktail party, offer to bring the vegetable platter, hummus, or snacks like roasted chickpeas. If you know your host will have a dip need, you can make really delicious lighter dips using Greek yogurt or labneh instead of sour cream. No time to make it yourself? Pick up store-bought tzatziki or raita, both of which are lighter and make delicious dips.

If you are headed for a potluck style dinner gathering, offer to bring salad, or a vegetable side dish, or whatever makes sense for your food needs. Composed vegetable salads are great, since they don’t wilt, and are a place to be creative. I love what I call my hearts salad, hearts of palm, celery hearts, artichoke hearts, and cucumber, all tossed in a light Dijon vinaigrette. Roasted root vegetables are always easy and welcome this time of year. If you are tasked with dessert, a light citrus salad of sliced oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, blood oranges and kumquats can be sprinkled with coarse demerara sugar or drizzled with date syrup and sprinkled with toasted chopped pistachios or almond slices for a deeply satisfying and totally healthy meal ender, that will be a welcome addition to the sweets table.

If you have an allergy or a dietary need such as being gluten free, dairy free or vegan, be sure to offer to bring a main dish that addresses those needs so that you know you have something to eat safely. If you have time and inclination, maybe also bring a dessert that fits your program as well. These days the chances are really good that there will be at least one other person present with your same needs, and they will be so grateful for the options.

And if you are currently either not drinking at all, or trying to imbibe less during the season, think about bringing the ingredients for a mocktail, or at least a couple of fun bottles of bitters or flavored syrups that you can add to your host’s still or sparkling water for a drink that looks and tastes festive with no booze involved. My favorites are grapefruit or celery bitters, homemade fruit shrubs, or elegant and grown-up flavors of syrup like blackcurrant or hibiscus.

Remember, too, that the best way to survive the season more healthily, is to be deeply generous and forgiving with yourself. Try to get decent sleep. Don’t forget to hydrate. Make healthy choices when you have quiet times and you are in control of food options and do the best you can when things are crazy and the offerings are out of your hands. Most importantly, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself, because the season is brief, and we all deserve to have a good time.


Not Enough Food or Drink?! Avoid the Biggest Holiday Party Fouls With Big Savings and One-Stop Shopping at BJ’s Wholesale Club

WESTBOROUGH, Mass.--( BUSINESS WIRE )--‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry, so party hosts better not run out of food and drink. That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of BJ’s Wholesale Club (NYSE: BJ), that revealed that not having enough food or drink is one of the worst things a host can do.

And it looks like hosts better not count on their guests to help out either. According to the survey, a surprising number show up empty-handed, with only about 45 percent of guests actually complying with a BYOB request.

Planning a perfect party takes a lot of time and money, according to the survey. On average, a party host will spend $1,422.65 per year, including food, drinks and décor. Hosts also said they’ll visit an average of three stores per party in order to properly prepare.

“There’s no need to run all over town when planning for a party,” said Michael Leary, senior vice president, GMM, perishables, grocery and beverages, BJ’s Wholesale Club. “BJ’s is a convenient and affordable one-stop shop for all your holiday needs, helping members save up to 25 percent off grocery store prices every day. Preparing for the holidays can certainly be time-consuming and stressful. BJ’s truly has everything our members need to stock up and entertain for all their gatherings, from fresh food and party platters to gifts and décor.”

Guests aren’t off the hook either though – nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said that they are less likely to invite a guest to the next party if he or she fails to bring the thing that the host asked them to contribute.

BJ’s members can shop fresh food, easy appetizers, hostess gifts and alcohol at an incredible value, so that they never need to worry about showing up to a party empty-handed. BJ’s also helps members save time with same-day delivery on thousands of items at everyday club prices. BJ’s members in select states can also order beer, wine, and spirits with same-day delivery and have it delivered right to their door in as little as two hours.

The survey also discovered these party tidbits:

  • Northeasterners host the biggest parties : On average, Americans host seven parties per year and Northeasterners surveyed have the most people in attendance at their parties (13 on average). No matter how big the party, BJ’s members can save time and stress in the kitchen with easy party planning platters and its exclusive Wellsley Farms frozen appetizers.
  • Décor adds up!: The average host spends $58.50 on décor when throwing a party. BJ’s saves members from breaking the bank – and their ornaments! – with holiday décor options, including its exclusive Berkley Jensen Shatterproof Ornaments, at incredible value.
  • Annoying party guests?: The survey revealed that the absolute worst, most annoying thing a guest can do at a party is show up sick. Getting too drunk, arriving too early, and being the last to leave also scored high when it comes to behavior that annoys party hosts. BJ’s helps members be the best party guest with affordable and fun host and hostess gifts, including Lindt Lindor Party Favor Gift Box for $15.99 and Yankee Candle Jar Candles in Fresh Balsam Fir for $12.99, so they don’t show up empty handed!

With BJ’s Everyday ClubVenience SM , members can shop however they want this holiday season with convenience shopping options like BJs.com, buy online, pick up in-club, same-day delivery, digital coupons and two-day shipping on household essentials with BJ’s Stocked.

Shoppers can learn more about BJ’s Wholesale Club by going to www.bjs.com.

This survey of 2,000 U.S. adults who have planned and hosted a party was conducted by OnePoll, a member of AAPOR - American Association for Public Opinion Research, in October 2019.

About BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc.

Headquartered in Westborough, Massachusetts, BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. is a leading operator of membership warehouse clubs on the Eastern United States. The company currently operates 218 clubs and 144 BJ's Gas® locations in 17 states.

The Company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BJ).


10 Worst Holiday Party Foods

The sad, but true, reality of the holidays: You’re pumped about all of those parties coming down the pipeline. You’re not as pumped about the potential to wreck all that hard work in the gym—and expand your waistline. So how can you guarantee that your packed social schedule will have the least possible impact on your body? That’s why we asked Tanya Zuckerbot, M.S., R.D., author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!, for her best advice.

First off, she suggests a couple of go-to survival strategies: Drink lots of water (dehydration can make you feel hungrier), and always scan the spread first to decide what’s worth the splurge. But she also says it helps to steer clear of the party season’s worst offenders. So here are 10 ticking fat and calorie bombs to put on your radar, plus tips on how you can make better choices—or simply minimize their damage.

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