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Saturday, December 5, 2015

How To Allow For Sugar-Free Folks Who Might Want To Attend Your Party

So, here is the thing: Today was one of my 7 allowed sugar (CELEBRATION) days in December. I threw a festive holiday party and I knew that today represented one of my yearly traditions: My 9th Annual Recyclable Rentable Holiday Party. I did eat sugar, but I also allowed for people to go through the whole party without consuming sugar... if they so chose. Despite the fact that I do not think there was a single attendee that actually did actively avoid sugar, I wanted to make sure to allow for those who might choose to.

Firstly, this was an annual holiday party that I've thrown for nine years. It has evolved over the years but mainly consists of three elements: cookie decorating, christmas card making and crafting, and holiday movie watching. I intentionally separated the room in to three stations: 
  1. SUGAR = My kitchen. This was where the cookie decorating was taking place. I'd made loads of sugar cookies, placed out loads of sprinkles of various shapes and sizes, and displayed bows of colorful frosting. The kitchen was also where you could find the Warm Spiced Apple Cider and Hot Cocoa with the option of marshmallows or peppermint whipped cream.  
  2. SUGAR + SAVORY = The Crafting area. At this table, I placed both brownies and chips. 
  3. SAVORY = The holiday movie watching area. Where I put salsa and chips as well as a variety of veggies and hummus. This way, if folks mindlessly ate while they watched the movie, at least they would be eating fairly healthy stuff and would avoid mindless sugar consumption.
By separating the stations, I gave folks the option to decide if they were going to partake in sugar consumption or not. Also, I noticed that when folks were beginning to feel overwhelmed by their sugar consumption at the cookie decorating station, they'd slowly move toward either the crafting or movie areas. 

In addition to strategically choosing where to place the various foods (sugary or savory), I made sure to have both sugary and sugar-free treats on hand for guests.

Sugary treats:
  1. Warm Spiced Apple Cider (kept warm in a crock pot)
  2. Hot Cocoa - With the option to add mini marshmallows and/or peppermint whipped cream. Also note, that this was only for folks who could eat/drink dairy (also kept warm in a crock pot)
  3. Martinelli's sparkling apple cider
  4. Brownies
  5. Homemade Sugar Cookies, sprinkles, & Frosting to decorate them with
Savory treats:
  1. Mineral water
  2. Tea
  3. Rotisserie chicken
  4. Large Salad with homemade dressing
  5. White bean hummus
  6. Celery
  7. Carrots
  8. Corn chips
  9. Traditional Salsa
  10. Corn Salsa
I do not regret eating sugar today though my body might react to it tomorrow (stupid autoimmune arthritis!). Because this is a celebration that I only throw once a year, I felt that it was worth the sugar intake, particularly because the sugar cookie recipe is a family tradition. Though I did consume sugar, I wanted to make absolutely sure that if someone did not want to consume sugar, they would not have to. 

If you are planning to throw a holiday party this year, I'd highly suggest making options available for those who might want to forgo sugar. Though some folks may love and enjoy consuming sugar, this season can be full of holiday treats almost daily. Some folks might wish to forgo sugar, even if only for one day amongst their piles and piles of holiday parties! You can make that easier for them, by making sure to have sugar-free options at your next holiday party!

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