I just got an e-mail from the South Beach Diet folks, talking about four ways to handle sweet gifts. I've expanded on their ideas a bit, because I swear these four tips were not written by anyone with a sweet tooth.
- Regift the treat. Instead of eating the sweets yourself, place them on a decorative platter and bring them to a party. What South Beach fails to mention is that if you do this even 10 minutes before you leave your house, chances are some of the regift might be eaten. My advice is to place the treats on the platter as you are leaving for the party, all dressed and ready to go. Then put it in the trunk. Another suggestion is to bring the goodies into the office. Caution: Do this only if you can put them far, far away from your desk, in some corner you will never visit.
- Consider a gift swap. Here's the deal: If someone receives a carton of citrus, they just might be willing to swap it for your box of petits fours. Come on: Bring them to a nursing home.
- Tell your family and friends that sweet treat gifts are not acceptable this year. Instead, drop hints about things you really want. Sorry, but in this economy, that is rude. So many people are making gifts from their kitchen, and they are doing it with love. Accept graciously and then decide what to do.
- The next one will never work for me: It's OK to allow yourself a few bites of a holiday pie or a little dark chocolate. My brain does not compute the adjectives "few bites" and "little." I know everyone says that for a diet to work, you need to incorporate treats into your eating plan. For me, that's almost impossible. One bite leads to another — and another — and another — until that whole box of chocolates is gone. The folks at South Beach say these treats are acceptable if you continue to follow their eating plan and exercise.
For me, there are two solutions to sweet gifts:
- Immediately throw them out. Even if they stay wrapped, if I am hungry enough, there is nothing that will separate me from sugar.
- If my husband, Jack, wants the treat, I'll give it to him on the condition that he hides it from me.
I really am still a child.