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Situation 1: I ran into something similar at a ladies group tea... there were gifts for everyone that included a mix bag of pretzels (not gf), various candies (not wrapped) and various chocolate. There was also a cd of Christmas music and some other things. My choice for this time was to bring the bag of "goodies" home to my husband and kids and let them enjoy them. I agree each situation with gifts should be handled differently depending on the situation, but usually with gifts I can't use because of being gfcfsf and tomato/almond free (allergies/intolerance), I find someone that can enjoy them. I also am very open about why I eat the way that I do and the people around me have been able to see the benefits that I have had because of the way I now eat. I didn't use to be this way, but as I have gotten more comfortable with meeting these health needs by my diet it has helped me to open up and share, using them as teaching/sharing times.
Situation 2 Ė I run into this with pot lucks... I use to bring my own individual lunch, but now, because I know that there are also others in the groups that have various allergies, I make it a challenge to myself to bring something to share that accommodates all of the allergies/intolerance factors that I know about. I tend not to trust others kitchens/preparations as much because of the consequences if they aren't as careful as they need to be for my health, but I enjoy sharing my stuff and it opens conversations with others both those that are gf and those that are not. I also label the stuff I bring, with what allergens are not in the item and am more than willing to talk about ingredients, recipes and the like and have even had one that wanted me to show them how to do make gf bread from scratch. It has turned a challenging situation into one where I can show others, with good tasting food, that being gfcfsf and other allergen free is really good tasting and doesn't have to be hard to do either :D
Situation 3 Ė Family can be tricky :S I tend to treat a family get together very much like the potlucks, I bring food I know that is safe for me to share. I have some family that also are gf so that makes some family gatherings easier than others but none of the family members have the extent of the restrictions that I do so there are some things that I simply must bring myself. I do have family members that simply won't attempt to cook gf but they are more than willing to share ingredients and sources so I know if something is safe or not (and I know from their personal cooking that cross contamination is not an issue, they are very very careful about their cooking). But because of the dramatic difference in my health before and after, it really hasn't been much of an issue as far as them not believing that I need to be strict about my compliance to my diet and the few that are skeptics, I just ignore. I figure I can either spend my time enjoying the positives of the things I can have and sharing the things that I can have/adapt or I can spend it focusing on what I can't. I find it is easier for me to just enjoy sharing and learning more about how to both eat healthy and well and I find others respond to enjoying the good food options.
This is food for the soul. The forum to talk about it has not just immediate decision solutions; it might help with long range change of habits, too. I applaud the style of which you pause to stumble over a win-win for all aspects. The choices selected may affect you, the giver, and best utility in a humble gift. I agree that the giverís feelings are at stake. But to confuse the setting each final action may vary. In hind sight each one craves a strategy for a future event to move smoothly when this one seems disjointed.
Making the gift choosing most appropriate for any future celiac by training the giver is hoped for. Not all of us possess those people communication skills for short informative answers and explanations. A little generic note card handed in an exchange of the well meaning thought with a Ďthank you but for meÖí might be a swift well motivated action has been mentioned in ethical circles in the past. A generic thought may gloss or hit a nerve. To do so is up to you. Your patience is showing by your asking this question vital to all of us where allergen foods as gifts is more burdensome than a light positive step.
I like that you see that just graciously accepting and disposing without any negative thought to the delivery of the inappropriate gift is an ideal on the gift giverís feelings but in doing so does not please the other two dilemmas. Reciprocation at another time may be an avenue for open dialog for a gentle g-f lesson without disturbing the fragile feelings of the initial situation. As for passing it on to a normal eater sounds like you need a hungry willing recipient and fast.
The resource of who to pass the precious homemade foods to will be a valued friend you will need again for the future. You are special; I want to make something for you too. I will just send a g-f Spark goodie in the near future. You may want to open this opportunity with neighbors and community institutional settings near you for gluten goodie deliveries. It sounds like you are a kind person with a soft heart and preparing for most ideal way to adjust for all concerns will require some strategies for bump free exchanges next time.
Bartering to a third party with humor is an instant juggle with end results achieved to include as much win-win as may be possible. The open actions vicariously witnessed by the original gift giver could eliminate hard first impressions. A trade of your new thing, for something a different person has that you might use, may gently distribute stuff and defuse tensions for open mention of g-f issue. A lesser value is in the eyes of the beholder. Here are some subtle handy objects as props to trade for: A tissue for a building need to sneeze; a chance at a turn to use the salt shaker; and a question of ĎWhat time is it?í may have more sense than keeping in your own possession the unusable first item. The gift is seen in appreciation valued for trade. The first recipient gets a final thing much wanted thus removing the thing that is unwanted. The third party is smiling to receive an uninitiated sweet thought. And the original giver sees themselves, the first receiver and an additional person adjusting for comfort. Could this switch-a-roo fix it?
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I may not recognize the significance until some time later.
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Impatience does not provide the time to learn the lesson;
Awaken new ways to approach the dissolving of a problem;
That amazes me that your sisters thing that if you are not almost dead that you don't have that problem. As for the food you did the right thing. Just have to be careful about what you eat.
If you tell God no because He won't explain the reason He wants you to do something, you are actually hindering His blessing. But when you say yes to Him, all of heaven opens to pour out His goodness and reward your obedience. What matters more than material blessings are the things He is teaching us in our spirit.
I think in the first situation you did the right thing. Who wants their homemade goodies to go in the garbage? I'm sure somebody else without a gluten issue enjoyed them.
The second is a tough one, isn't it? I understand that being gluten-free isn't a choice for some (I'm not diagnosed, but doing it by choice to find out if my symptoms go away), it's a necessity. Just like a person with a peanut allergy can't trust another's kitchen, neither can you. I think the best thing is to bring your own food so you can still eat with them.
The third is something I worry about too. My father thinks my borderline personality disorder is made up so who knows what he'd make of me going gluten-free. Other family members may be supportive or not, I've yet to find out.
Great thread, by the way!
Well meaning gifts?
Some gifts are well meant but are not safe. Iím not talking about the ones you can keep for another occasion.
How do you handle it? I've run into this problem many times and have dealt with it various ways depending on the situation, how well I know the person, how I'm feeling at the time. Recently I've been thinking about this and did I handle them properly. If we donít speak up, the cycle repeats itself.
Situation 1 Ė I gave some pyrex glass pie plates away on Freecycle. The recipient brought a bag of homemade Sweet potato buns as a thank you. I explained as kindly as I could that I was not able to eat them. My thinking was that it was better for her to keep them than that they go to waste since I couldnít think of where I could take them in the following couple of days.
Situation 2 Ė My Weavers Guild has Soup Days where we volunteer for soup, bread/rolls and dessert. Non celiacs say something is gluten free. Even though it appears to be GF, I donít know the source of ingredients or the possiblilty of cross contamination. What is their kitchen like or are the ingredients from a bulk food bin? They get offended if I ask questions, so in this scenario, I just donít eat it and let the others enjoy it. It seems such a shame though when they have made the effort but it is not edible by celiacs.
Situation 3 Ė Long ago I learned to cope with family situations. Having been gf for more than 30 years, they all know I am a celiac and either are very considerate or ignore the fact and make minimal or no efforts. Thatís life. I can only laugh at the fact that my middle (3 yrs younger) sister is a nurse and figured I was doing it for attention. She even said one time that I couldnít be a celiac because I wasnít sick like a co-worker at the hospital. Well, yeah, Iíve been gf for 31 years so I guess not!
What would you do in these situations? Any thoughts, suggestions, the need to vent or to say thanks?
ps: re situation # 2 - I always carry my own lunch and include soup on soup days. Often I will explain to the person next to me about kitchen/cross contamination issues if they mention the the food (either mine or what is proivided)
Edited by: GFNOMAD at: 1/17/2012 (01:05)
Been to Tombouctou and back! Truely! (Timbuktu in English) photos and more Travel Adventures at www.flickr.com/photos/cdnnomad/sets
Recognizing Celiac Disease www.recognizingceliacdisease.
10 Tests that could save your life www.50plus.com/health/10-tests-that-
Dr. Alejandro Junger - 'Healing the gut' (from Dr. Oz) www.doctoroz.com/videos/3-day-jumpst