Dreading that upcoming Christmas dinner? You don’t have to! Here are some tips to help you have a great time!
For many families, Christmas is all about gift-giving, merry-making, and having that annual celebratory dinner with the whole family. However, as a vegan, I totally understand if this is the part of the holidays you are most dreading. It doesn’t always have to be that way, though. I have been vegan for more than 5 years now and I’ve come up with some ways to make being vegan during the holidays a bit easier.
Because I can fully relate with you (and believe me when I say I do), below are 6 tips to help you survive (and enjoy) your next Christmas dinner as a vegan!
Need ideas on what to make for a delicious Christmas meal? Check out my previous blog post for 12 recipes that are perfect for the holidays!
Tip #1 – Be confident with your “why”
One of the best ways to mitigate criticism (or even temptation for animal foods) as a vegan is to know and understand your “why”. That is, why you are vegan in the first place. For me, veganism is an ethical stance to avoid, as much as possible, the exploitation of animals. It is because of this reason that I have been vegan for so long. The quicker you become confident with your reason, the quicker people around you will stop bugging you about it and the more you will feel comfortable living this lifestyle. And no, you don’t have to be preachy or try to get everyone to understand you! You just have to be confident with your decision.
Tip #2 – Load yourself up beforehand
In other words, don’t arrive hungry! This could be a big precursor to temptation (especially true for those who have just started being vegan), especially since American or Canadian Christmas dinners traditionally serve meat as the main course. If you’re still in the beginning stages of being vegan, it’s probably true that you might still have cravings and temptations for non-vegan foods. Steering clear of temptation is easier if your tummy isn’t growling for food!
Tip #3 – Be prepared for any questions
If it’s your first year being vegan (or even if you’ve already been a vegan for a while), it’s inevitable for friends and families to ask questions about your plant-based journey. Take this as an opportunity to share what you know about veganism (but try not to impose!). Also understand that most people are ignorant when it comes to this topic, so try to have patience and understanding even though it might seem difficult. Just because they’re asking questions doesn’t necessarily mean they are attacking you! If anyone is being rude, politely tell them your reasoning and try to move on, instead of trying to convince them.
Tip #4 – Appreciate any effort
Did you notice they didn’t put any cheese on the salad? Do you see more veggies than they normally serve before? This is an indicator that your family and friends are making an effort out of respect for your choice to become vegan. Appreciate this effort. You don’t even have to verbally thank them; just getting a big serving of the salad or the veggies can be a subtle way of thanking them for their effort.
Tip #5 – Focus on creating new memories
Beyond the food, Christmas should also be about treasuring the time you spend with friends and family, and creating new memories with them. You can even treat this time of the year as an opportunity to let them try a delicious vegan dish! Speaking of which…
Tip #6 – Bring a vegan dish that everyone can enjoy!
As much as you want your family to involve you in the annual Christmas dinner, nothing touches them even more than you involving them! The best way to do this is to whip up a delicious vegan dish (like the ones I shared in this blog post) so everyone can try it out! It’s a great way to share the deliciousness of vegan food and open their eyes up to the possibility that vegan food isn’t just… salad!