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Carrot sticks: Avoid them. 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 they're serving fudge.

Drink as much eggnog as you can. Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in
every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an egg-nogaholic or
something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have two. It's Christmas!

If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. 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
people's food for free.

Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You
can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time
for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while
carrying a 10-pound plate of food.

If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted
Christmas cookies in the shape and size of a jolly elf, position yourself
near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the
center of attention.

Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. When else
do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

Fruitcake? Avoid it at all cost.

If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the
table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread these tips. But hurry!
Cookieless January is just around the corner.