1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table

knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave

immediately. Go next door, where theyíre serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can* and quickly. Itís rare. You canít find

it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has

10,000 calories in every sip? Itís not as if youíre going to turn into an

eggnogoholic or something. Itís a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have

two. Itís later than you think. Itís Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. Thatís 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 the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if theyíre made with skim milk or

whole milk. If itís skim, pass. Why bother? Itís like buying a sports car

with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control

your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other

peopleís food for free. Lots of it.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Yearís.

You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the

time for long naps, which youíll 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 donít budge. Have as many as you can before

becoming the center of attention. Theyíre like a beautiful pair of shoes.

If you leave them behind, youíre never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if

you donít 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? Granted, itís loaded with the mandatory

celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some

standards.

10. One final tip: If you donít feel terrible when you leave the party or

get up from the table, you havenít been paying attention. Re-read the

above tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Happy Holidays