Jack sent this around, with a note that it goes around every year. Nevertheless here it is, along with my comments.
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls. [EE: I'm delighted to see veggie trays when I go to holiday parties, and I especially like carrot sticks. Last weekend, when I was in Edmonton for the Grey Cup festivities, I bought a veggie tray with carrots and celery to keep on hand.]
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat.. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas! [EE: I love eggnog, but generally it is too thick and too sweet for my tastes. I mix it half-and-half, not with rum, but with 1% milk].
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat. [EE: I'm not a big gravy fanatic, but I like it when the meat might otherwise be pretty dry.]
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission. [EE: This seems like a poor analogy to me. If I ever bought a sports car, I'd want it to have automatic transmission. Also, I like slightly lumpy mashed potatoes.]
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello? [EE: I agree with this advice but for a different reason. I don't want to insult the host/hostess by not eating and loving whatever they serve].
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog. [EE: this is just plain dumb. You should exercise more so you have less guilt (and more capacity) when loading up on all those calories. Better to do it contemporaneously than after you outgrow your clothes in January.]
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again. [EE: someone must have been watching me hover over the cookie plate.]
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day? [EE: ditto here. And let me add that it is okay to take one of each dessert, sample it, and leave it unfinished if you would rather double up on others].
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards. [EE: I completely agree. I have never had fruitcake that was even tolerable.]
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. [EE: this point is just plain stupid. I see no reason to continue eating if the expected marginal utility (I hope you saw THAT coming) is negative. And we've had enough eating experience that surely our expectations should be reasonably realistic. Also, eating too much at one party can seriously affect your ability to enjoy the next one, so the goal is to maximize the net present value of expected future utility --- i.e. don't be a short-term maximizer!]