Merry Happy Thankful
The not-so-gluten-free holidays are upon us. Among all the food and gifts and visits, you will invariably be talking … a lot. “So nice to see you!” “This looks delicious!” “Is this gluten-free?” “And how did you make this?” We are the ever-vigilant, gluten-free guests, and we ask many questions.
Years ago, my 4 year-old daughter asked a question at a family holiday gathering. “Nana, what are you thankful for?” It was spontaneous and truly authentic. This question travelled around the table to all 14 family members. The answers were genuine and filled with gratitude for family, friends, and basic comforts.
And don’t we all like to hear “Thank You”? It may not be directed at us, but an appreciative word is always a welcomed one.
The holidays move very fast. Thanksgiving has evolved quickly into Hanukkah and Christmas. Where did the time go? But aren’t our sentiments the same whether they be in November or December? Isn’t it our hope to be with the people who love and take care of us and to be grateful for our happy, gluten-free lives?
At this time of thankfulness, giving, and wonder, I’d like to take a moment to answer my daughter’s question again. Please allow me to share some gluten-free appreciation … some much overdue.
- To my good friends (you know who you are), who always, always advocate for me at restaurants and group dinners and make sure that my GF voice is heard. “No really, you have to be very careful or she’ll be very sick.” To servers like Gina and Sharon who take extra care to make sure my dinner out is both safe and delicious.
- To the Sweet Ali’s customers who come in and dance around the store when they have that “first” taste of a gluten-free cupcake or cookie. For the bride and groom who almost cry because they found a bakery to make a wedding cake for them to share. To the grandmother who makes sure her gluten-free granddaughter has her favorite Sweet Ali’s pound cake. To the moms who ship Sweet Ali’s treats to their big kids away at college.
- To my family, who has embraced my gluten-free lifestyle as their own. Who cook our family dinners in gluten-free pots and pans so we can all share. Who brag boldly that Sweet Ali’s chocolate chip cookies are life-changing (have you had one?!). Who alter recipes with Sweet Ali’s flour so I can enjoy my favorites.
So, ask questions. Say thank you. Take care of yourself and let others do the same. Celebrate the magic and simple joys of the season. Slow down when you can. It is the people and places and foods and memories that make our gluten-free lives merry, happy, and thankful.