As I've told you lots of times, when my son was first diagnosed with multiple food allergies, my mind immediately went to celebrations.
I wondered, "How are we ever going to have a NORMAL holiday or party again?"
Thirteen years later, I can tell you that we have no shortage of celebrations around here. What have we learned along the way?
1. It is the company that we keep that makes celebrations important. Of course, we already really know that, but in the panic of learning that we can't eat what we associate with the holidays, we might forget it for a minute, so this is a reminder. It is people that matter most.
2. Find traditions that don't have anything to do with food. We make holiday decorations every year. Paper snowflakes, shrinky dinks, hand-painted ornaments all bring that holiday fun, and they're safe for everyone. No allergens there!
3. Instead of a cookie exchange, my friends and I participate in a handmade gift exchange. We get to celebrate our creativity, start the holiday season without consumerism, and have a really fun night out. Although some people bring food, there are so many other things to choose from like spiced coffee, infused vodka, jewelry, knit goods, bath bombs and so much more. It's one of my favorite nights of the year!
4. We bake Welcoming Kitchen-friendly cookies that are free from the top-8 allergens, and are vegan and gluten-free. Cookies that are safe for almost everyone and very delicious are a great holiday tradition!
5. We give food gifts that are safe for almost everyone, like my new Windy City Cocoa -- instant hot cocoa & cake mix that is made without nuts, dairy, soy, or gluten.
Happy Cooking and Happy Holidays!
My new book, Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.