It seems that from October 31st through January 1st, holidays–and holiday parties–happen just about every weekend! Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years, it’s a non-stop flow for company and house parties. It can be exhausting. And if you’re gluten free, it can also be a bit daunting. Luckily, celebrating the holidays while being gluten-free or gluten-sensitive can co-exist!

At New Planet Beer, we’re all about education, and we believe that the holiday season is a wonderful time of year to get together with friends, family, and coworkers to celebrate and look forward to the new year. With that spirit in mind, we’d like to share our Top 5 Guide to Surviving the Holidays!

Host When you Can

When you’re gluten-free or gluten-sensitive (or someone in your family is), you know the ins and outs of preparing food that agrees with their bodies. From having the right ingredients to knowing how to avoid cross-contamination, you’ve likely got it down to a science!

So naturally, when you host a holiday party, you can easily parlay these habits and skills into full-on party mode. When you’re in control of the menu, it makes life infinitely easier when you know exactly what is in each dish.

If You’re Out, Serve Yourself First

We know…serving yourself can be taboo, and it can make some people uncomfortable. But think back to when you host parties: the food is laid out, it smells and looks delicious, and no one is digging in!

Serving yourself first may seem a bit taboo, but your host will probably thank you for getting the food-train started.

The other added benefit of serving yourself first? You get first crack at every dish. This means that if there is a gluten-free option, you’re sure to get some before it’s gone. Secondly, when you serve yourself first, you can feel better knowing that serving utensils haven’t been used across a variety of dishes yet, which would otherwise increase the chances of getting gluten in a non-gluten dish.

Bring a (big) Dish

Lots of parties encourage people to contribute dishes for a potluck-style get together. This makes it easier on the hosts and is a fun way for people to share some of their favorite recipes.

When you’re gluten-free or gluten-sensitive, bringing a big dish to share is also a great way to make sure that you’ll get enough to eat that won’t upset your system.

We always recommend bringing enough of a dish so that it could serve as your only food in case no other foods are gluten-free.

Not sure what to bring? Salads are always a safe bet (as long as you like salad!). Salads are a nice item to contribute to a potluck, because it gives a nice break from some of the richer, heavier foods that are popular this time of year.

When Planning Isn’t Possible

While we think the first few tips generally work, we also live in the real world: We get that it isn’t always possible to plan ahead to bring your own gluten-free dish or you may need to arrive late, and cross-contamination may have already happened.

Worry not! With enough searching, chances are pretty good that you’ll still be able to find a gluten-free offering. When in doubt, feel free to ask your host if they know if any dishes are gluten-free. If the don’t know (or if there aren’t any options), remember that hosts want everyone to have a good time, so they will probably find something to satisfy without being pulled away from the party for long.

Celebrate with New Planet

We’re a little biased about our beer (duh), but we love bringing it to any and every holiday party we can. Not only do people enjoy a cold one, but we’ve found that it provides a great opportunity to talk to others about gluten-free diets.

Regardless of where you celebrate this year, we hope that you are surrounded by family and friends. We’re thankful for all of our beer-loving friends this year, and we’re looking forward to celebrating with you in 2019!