Etiquette Help for the Holidays
Sharing Dietary Restrictions
Q. How do you communicate to a host, who knows you well, that stuffing with chicken and mashed potatoes made with chicken stock are not suitable options for a vegetarian?
A. As a general rule, you should always let a host know about your dietary restrictions ahead of time and offer to bring a meat-free dish to share. “If you keep me in the dark, and I put turkey drippings on everything, I will feel horrible,” says Smith. Still, there are people—and it sounds like you may be dealing with one of them—who take pleasure in seeing others squirm. If you’ve made your preferences clear, and your host seems bent on ignoring them, eat something before the party and be a ray of sunshine when you’re there. “The worst thing you can do is act annoyed because the person will get satisfaction from that,” says Smith. “She isn’t going to change, so your only option is to change your behavior.” And load up on rolls, which hopefully aren’t made with lard.
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