How To Enjoy The Holidays When You Are Gluten Free

It's that time of year...

The holidays are upon us, the air is filled with excitement and anticipation.  If you are living a gluten free lifestyle, this may or may not be the case.





So how do you enjoy the holidays when you are gluten free?

This will be my first year celebrating the holidays, gluten free.  I am just in the beginning stages of planning our family festivities and it hit me...

Sadness, anxiety, and just totally overwhelmed by it all.

I got to thinking about how others must experience the same emotions and feelings.  It's even more difficult to cope with all of this when no one else in your family or circle of friends is required to abide by a strict diet.

I have put together a list of suggestions to help you cope with the holidays when you must be gluten free.  I hope this helps you or someone you know.


  • Find a cookbook that offers gluten free holiday recipes


You can borrow one from your local library or purchase one.

  • Offer to have the family get togethers at your home

By having the festivities at your home you can prepare the main dishes, you will relax knowing they are gluten free.  You can suggest your friends and family bring some side dishes and desserts.

  • Keep a separate serving table for the gluten filled foods

By keeping the serving table separate, you can relax and enjoy yourself.  There will be no worries of cross contamination.

  • Focus your attention on the holiday decorating

If it's not feasible for you to host  or prepare the food for the gathering, focus your attention away from the food.  The more you focus on what's upsetting you, the worse it will be.  

By focusing your attention on the decorations, you will forget about the foods you can't have and you'll have loads of fun too!

  • Offer to be in charge of the holiday place settings and tablescapes at your gatherings 

Your host will thank you for taking on the responsibility and giving them more time to plan the meal and clean the house.

 You'll realize (and so will your family) that there is more to the holiday traditions than just food.  Maybe you just started a new tradition!

  • Eat a meal before going to the office party
Image courtesy of jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I suggest going to the office party on a full belly.  You may find that there are very few food items (or none at all) that you can safely consume.


  • Be the life of the party

If you can't eat anything at a party you attend, be the life of the party.  By being friendly and bubbly, no one will even notice your not eating!

  • Find a support buddy


                      Hands On via photopin 

It's so important to have a friend or family member to help you cope with your gluten free lifestyle. ( I'm fortunate to have a good friend who understands my situation. )

If you don't have a support system, you can look for a local one at Gluten Intolerance Group or Celiac Support Association.  If there aren't any in your area, you can try this online group Celiac Disease Online Support Group.   

Do you know of any other support groups?  Please feel free to share them.

  • Be kind to yourself

This is the last, yet most important.  Please be kind to yourself.  Enjoy what the holidays are all about, spending time with family, friends, and loved ones.

Do you have anything to add to the list?  I love receiving your suggestions/comments and read every one of them!

                        With Aloha,





16 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post. I love all your pictures and sweet advice. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Jane.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it Barbara. Thank you for your kindness. Have a happy & blessed Thanksgiving as well!

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  2. Great post- my cousin is gluten free so I'm always looking for ways to make the holidays more special for her!

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    1. That's so sweet of you to support your cousin and think of her well being. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  3. This is great advice. I have a close friend and this will be her first holiday season since finding out she has Celiac Disease. Thank you for the suggestions as they show how I can help her.

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    1. Your welcome Shannon, so happy this helps you. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Hope your friend finds it enjoyable too!

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  4. We are not a gluten free family, and I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for those who must go gluten free. These were some great tips for those who are going to be gluten free for the holidays. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Tennille for your visit and kind words. Hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

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  5. We are not gluten free, but some members of my family are, so when I host I just make sure I have good options for all. There are so many recipes and stores today that offer great choices. It's actually pretty easy to accommodate with a little thought and my guests are always happy to bring a dish or two. That makes it easier no matter what people can eat! I wish you a fabulous Thanksgiving and lots of gluten free yummies!! :)

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    1. Sounds like you have a great system in place for all your gatherings. It is always wonderful when guests are willing to help out. Thank you for your kindness, wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  6. Looks like you've found some good ways to enjoy yourself - I hope you have a good holiday!

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    1. Yes, I'm excited for the Holidays! Thanks for the visit, enjoy your Thanksgiving.

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  7. It's tough having food restrictions at the holidays (or any event really). Hope you have a lovely holiday.

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  8. Thank you Danielle. Wishing you a beautiful holiday season as well.

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  9. Great tips! I especially think "Be the life of the party" could apply to so many situations. Whether you're gluten-free, alcohol-free, dairy-free, meat-free, your health issues shouldn't make you be a downer towards others, nor should it deprive you of enjoying your life.

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    1. Thank you Nikki! Yes, so important not to be a downer, couldn't of said it better myself. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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