Real Talk: The Holiday Cookie Tray Dilemma

I have a serious question for you: if you are to receive a tray of cookies or other sweet treats during this holiday season, what do you intend – or fear – to do with them? Perhaps you’re concerned you’ll eat too many. You’ve probably done it before, and then later regretted it. Maybe you’re thinking, “If I get a cookie tray, I’ll just give it to someone else.”

 🚨 HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! We NEED to talk about this!!! 🚨

Consider for a moment your concerns around receiving a cookie tray:

  1. It IS a sweet gesture (I couldn’t resist the pun), and it would be rude to turn the gift away.
  2. You don’t actually want a tray of cookies! Sure, a cookie here and there is awesome! But a whole tray?!
  3. You know you’ll eat more than you’d like… First off, it would be a waste not to eat them. Second, they taste AMAAAZIIIINNNG!!!

So here’s the thing, if it’s true that you DON’T want a whole tray of cookies in your house, then you have a little problem on your hands. 

Here’s where I’ve got to be blunt with you: don’t pass this problem off to someone else. That someone else probably has the same concerns around eating too many sweets – whether their concern happens prior to receiving them, or after having eaten way too many. Trust me.

I repeat: do not pass this problem off! 

You can solve this “Cookie Tray Dilemma” in as little as one to two steps!

Step 1: In some cases you may be successful with turning a sweet gift away right from the start by politely and honestly explaining why you would prefer not to have them in your house. Examples:

  1. You don’t feel good after eating sweets.
  2. You’re managing your blood sugars or cholesterol.
  3. Or, one of my favorites: “I recently made a promise to myself to…*limit my sweets intake so I can have better energy.*” Fill in the blank for what feels like an honest promise to yourself.
Explain that you truly appreciate the thought, the gesture, the time, energy and creativity that went into making this beautiful tray of goodies!

Using an honest, but kind, approach may hurt a little, but it likely will not last. AND the problem is likely forever-solved!

If this step sounds a little too daunting for you right now, that’s okay! Skip to step 2.

Step 2:  Whether communicating your wishes is a little difficult, or you expect your message to be poorly received and you nervously accept a tray of mouth-watering cookies, you have a new difficult step to take. (It’ll get easier!) If you thought the last step felt wrong, I’ve got another one for ya: throw them away. Ouch!

Perhaps I can soften that blow with an alternate perspective. 

Consider the value, meaning or purpose of a gifted tray of cookies. One likely purpose is that this is how your loved one says, “I love you!” A tray of cookies then holds the same meaning as, say, a card. Of course, a card isn’t something you can eat, but they both effectively communicate that same message.

Consider next: what is the role this tray of cookies plays in your life now? They may threaten raised blood sugars, weight gain, bloating, raised triglycerides…you know I could go on… Unless you received explicit instructions: “Eat these, or else!” (a friend wouldn’t do that!) then you truly do not have an obligation to eat every last crumb. But instead of throwing them away forlornly, or disdainfully, throw them away with appreciation. Appreciation that your family or friend spent time making these treats; appreciation for their skill or love for baking; appreciation of their love for you! That’s the real gift right there.

I do want to make one thing clear here: these are options, not demands! I encourage you to take notice what feels right by you, and live by that. If you’ve got room to fit a few treats in throughout the holidays, then by all means, please enjoy!!

And if you want to break away from the cookie swap business but still take part in the joys of giving, here are seven fun ways to do that:

  1. Give a $5-10.00 gift card to a book store
  2. Make an ornament
  3. Make a charitable donation in your loved one’s name
  4. Perform an act of kindness: Invite loved ones over for (a healthy) dinner, help mom or dad with a chore, or even gift a roll of wrapping paper! Here’s a way to make this one fun instead of awkward and confusing…like…
    *heeerrre, I gotchya this roll of wrapping paperrrr*

    via GIPHY


  5. Make a festive potpourri
  6. Make infused olive oil
  7. Make these super easy cinnamon stick candles!

Wishing you fabulous health today and always!


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