My Top 3 Tips for Holiday Parties as a Vegan

Being vegan at holiday parties can be a little stressful, but with a little preparation, it can be a great experience for everyone.

This Christmas Eve, my family and I attended a lovely holiday party. We learned a few things in the process. For example, next time we’ll be sure to bring our own vegan side or main dish! We also did some thing right (like feeding the kids before we went).

In a perfect world, everyone would be vegan, so being the vegan guest would be a non-issue. But we don’t live in a vegan world. So, until then, we’ll have to figure out ways to make parties a little easier.

Be sure to inform your hosts ahead of time.

This might seem obvious, but it is really helpful. Most of us don’t want to make people feel like we expect anything special. Still, it’s much better to let your hosts know any dietary concerns.

Most people are happier knowing ahead of time that you won’t be eating the turkey, etc. That way, when it comes to the meal, they’ll know why you aren’t partaking in many of the foods. Chances are, if other guests wonder aloud why you aren’t eating the turkey, your host will jump in and let them know. It truly makes life easier for everyone!

Eat ahead.

Even when you’ve told your hosts you’re vegan, there’s a good chance there will be very little food you can eat. Most people aren’t too familiar with what veganism is. If you’re like me, some of your friends will think it means you don’t eat fish. Try to look at it as a good opportunity to learn from each other, but don’t assume there will be vegan food.

Have something to eat, ESPECIALLY if you have vegan kids. Feeding our kids before the party was a wonderful decision. They had an amazing time playing with the other kids, and they ate a few snacks and had dessert. Kids are picky eaters anyway, so this is probably a good idea even if you’re going to a totally vegan party!

Bring a side or main dish, even if your host reassures you it’s not necessary.

Good hosts want to make their guests feel as comfortable as possible. Chances are your host will go out of their way to make a dish that is free from animal products. Still, it’s a good idea to bring a side or main dish to make their task easier.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s really hard for people who aren’t vegan to fully understand that vegans don’t consume any animal products.

I have a friend who has a severe allergy to corn. And corn is in EVERYTHING. I know that even if I go out of my way to make sure to have a corn-free snack, there’s a danger it’s contaminated. For example, I gave her some tea cookies for Christmas and realized she couldn’t eat them because powdered sugar contains…cornstarch. I felt terrible, but I realized that not only were the tea cookies unacceptable, it was dangerous for her to eat the truly corn-free items, because I’d rolled them out on the same countertop I used to dust the tea cookies.

She’s a sweetheart, and she’s used to this being a challenge. We ended up having some dairy-free eggnog for tea.

If I have my friend for dinner, I’ll do everything I can to ensure nothing contains corn. But I still might make a mistake (a lot of apples contain corn wax, for example). It would be amazing if she brought even one dish she could eat. That’s because it’s a lot more stressful for a host to watch their guest go hungry!

Fortunately, most vegans won’t become ill if their food is cross contaminated. But it still takes a lot of pressure off your hostess if you bring a tasty dish you know that you can eat. And parties are a great place to introduce other people to tasty vegan food!

What’s been your experience at holiday parties?

Do have any plans for New Years’ parties? If you have tips or tricks, please share them in the comments!

Thanks for watching,
Margaret

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