I had a wonderful intention of writing a few posts about special needs and eating; eating/feeding disorders; and what feeding therapy is; all in time for Christmas Dinner. I wanted to post it then because big family meals around holidays are a huge source of stress for special needs children and their parents, for neurodivergent adults, and anyone with an eating disorder or special dietary needs.

Unfortunately, time has gotten away from me with all the holiday preparations, and I didn’t get those posts written up the way I would like, so I need to put that project on the shelf until the new year.

Instead, I will use a food metaphor and just boil down the main message into one bite-size piece today:

Don’t be a douche.

You may quote me on that, if you’d like. Here it is in a nice little quote box:

Don’t be a douche.

-Ashley from ashleylilley.com

What a person eats or does not eat around the dinner table during the holidays is really no concern of yours. You will go on living your life, and they will go on living theirs as soon as the meal is over, so why make it awkward, or hurtful for those few minutes?

  • That person who refuses dessert is not rejecting you personally. They are genuinely full, or looking out for their health and weight.
  • That thin person who went back for seconds doesn’t need your warnings that they might get fat. Perhaps this is the one time of year they indulge, and you just shamed them for it. Or perhaps they are under Doctor’s orders to gain some weight.
  • That person who brings their own dish, and only eats that, is not being rude. They most likely have severe dietary restrictions and didn’t want to trouble the host with making something specifically for them.
  • That child who only ate a roll is not ungrateful. They are just overwhelmed by all the activity and newness of the day, and new foods (or familiar foods that are prepared differently than Mom does it), and are just too much right now.
  • That child who only eats what their parents brought, or is eating pureed food when they are “too old” may have a medical condition or feeding disorder.

Just be kind.
Holidays aren’t about the food anyway. They are about the people. Be kind to the people around the table this holiday season. We are all doing the best we can, and could use a little more love and a little less judgment.

© 2022 Ashley Lilley – First time commenting? Please read my Comment Policy.

3 thoughts on “A Holiday Meal PSA

  1. This is lovely. My daughter has dietary restrictions (corn, etc) plus she’s easily overwhelmed. I have severe dietary restrictions (not following could be fatal) and my mom has some items that will make her unpleasantly ill (migraines), so eating with others, unless we host the meal and provide all the food and beverages, is not something we do (we don’t do restaurants or fast food either). I remember many family gatherings before we instituted this boundary where people made clueless comments about our choices, and I always felt like I was the one in the wrong.

    I particularly love your wrap up– good words for all of us to hear: “Just be kind.
    Holidays aren’t about the food anyway. They are about the people. Be kind to the people around the table this holiday season. We are all doing the best we can, and could use a little more love and a little less judgment.”

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s