Welcome to day 14 of my Blogmas. Today I’m finally going to get to those tips on how to survive the holidays I promised. But first let me tell you about my day.
I started with breakfast, as usual.
Today went for the apple oatmeal again. I should have this more often, because it’s cheaper than the one with berries and almost as good, but you know, berries.
There isn’t much household work for me waiting today, so that’s cool. So after breakfast I watched a talk by Chase Ross I found on youtube, which was great. Then I wrote yesterdays blog and decided to continue on todays blog, or at least as far as I could.
Another person is coming to pick some stuff up today, so yay, that’s another box gone by the afternoon.
Lunch was avocado pasta. Again. I tend to get a favorite meal and eat that weaks in a row until I get a new favorite. My last favorite was actually natto donburi, which consisted of carrots, napa cabbage, abure age (fried tofu pouches) and natto in a sauce served over rice.
It’s 14.55 by now and that person who was supposed to pick up stuff at 14.00 still hasn’t come. For some reason people who come to pick up free stuff often tend to be over half an hour late. Not all of them of course, but quite a few.
Around half past 3 our veggie order came in the mail.
I always love unpacking these. It feels like getting a gift, even if I pay for it myself. This time our parents paid a big part of it because most of it is for the holidays.
More energy bars, we’re going a bit crazy with the amount of energy bars, but since they keep well I’d rather have too many than not enough. Some vegan chocolate bars and vegan chocolate spread. And vegan whipped cream, which is mostly to show that there are convenient vegan products too.
We’re having cheese fondue for Christmas at my partners parents, so we got a vegan version for that. We had that last year too and omg, it’s soo good, it’s one of the best cheese substitutes out there if you ask me. But then again, cheese fondue is rather sentimental for me as it was one of my favourite foods growing up, so maybe I just love the fact that I can still have it. Ten another fake cheese which is good for vegan cheese burgers, grilled cheese, pizza etc. The jeezano cheeze is a parmezan substitute which is for the pasta and the block on the right is for snacking (with crackers along with a glass of wine or something like that). And then there’s a jar of vegan mayo. This mayo is a bit lighter and a bit fresher than the one we can buy locally, which makes it great for sandwiches and stuff like that, it is a bit expensive though, so we only get it every now and then as a treat.
My mom wanted to table grill when we’re away on family weekend so we got some meat and fish subs for that. The hotdogs are for tomorrow though, the pfannengriller sausages with fake cheese are for when we get back and one of the packs of fake bacon is for our pancakes tonight. One of the packages of fake salmon slices is for the other Christmas day at my partners parents (we have two nights at their place, one with both of our parents and one with my partners grandparents) and the other one is for snacking on at home. Everything else is for the table grill. It’s probably going to be too much, but again I’d rather have too much than not enough.
Not much later I realised it was only wednesday and not thirsday and this person who was supposed to pick stuff up was supposed to do so tomorrow. And I just realized that after asking if they still wanted to pick it up. Well that called for an apology. I’m still a bit out of it I guess.
We had pancakes for dinner, which took me forever to make and I almost burned 3 because I still wasn’t all there. We started eating before I even finished cooking, because we were that hungry, so I don’t have a picture of the entire stack, because there never was a complete stack.
I do have one shitty picture of a pancake with vegan cheese. Look at how good the cheese looks though.
In the end we had two pancakes left, so both of us have one to snack on for the next day.
So on to my tips.
How to survive the holidays
For many people the holidays are not a happy time. In fact, you can probably consider yourself pretty damn privilaged. Whether it is because you’re trans, vegan, don’t have that much to spend, stress or anxiety about expectations or just don’t get along with your family, the holidays can be hard. For me actually being with my family is fine, but all the drama about gifts (everyone has a different budget, ours is the smallest), what to eat (vegans and stubborn meat eaters sharing a meal) and just general stress about having so much to do really gets to me. I really could do without the holidays.
Honestly I don’t have a lot of tips on surviving the holidays as a trans person, simply because this will be my first Christmas knowing I’m trans. Luckily my parents (read: my mom and her partner) and my partners parents know by know, however they haven’t know for very long and haven’t adjusted to the right pronouns yet, but at least they are accepting, so that’s good. My other family doesn’t know yet, maybe they’ll find out during the holidays, who knows.
Anyway, on to my tips for surviving the holidays as a trans person:
1 Have support with you. Whether that is in person, online or through text, make sure you have someone or a place to turn if you need someone who understands. If you don’t have anyone who can be that support for you and would like me to be that person send me a message and I’ll try to be there as much as I can for you.
2 Plan in some time alone or with someone you love who fully understands. Some alone time can be necessary at any time of the year, but at the busy time of the holidays you might need it even more.
3 Stay safe. If you have to visit family anywhere that isn’t safe, whether it’s because of family or other people, please don’t go. It may be hard to say no, specially to your family, but your safety is more important than their feelings. If your family isn’t the problem, but other people or the location are the problem, suggest celebrating somewhere else instead.
I think that’s it for my tips. Hopefully I’ll have more next year.
I do have a bit more experience with the holidays as a vegan. This year will be my fourth year, so I’ve been able to accumulate some tips on that over time.
So here are my tips on surviving the holidays as a vegan:
1 Suggest bringing your own food. Whether that’s in the form of bringing your own substitutes your host can use in their cooking instead of animal products, helping them cook or even bringing your own food completely, this often helps them not feel overwhelmed by what you “can’t” (won’t) eat.
2 If your host is one of those people who feels like they need to be in control like my mom give them tips on products they can use. Try to put focus on what you do eat and not on what you don’t eat, but do of course feel free to correct them (just be nice about it). This one is always a difficult one for me, because I feel like I need to be in control of what I eat. This year is extra hard, because she’s not even telling me what she’s making, which bothers me a lot, because I can’t even give those tips. She thinks she knows it all, but she still can’t be bothered to read ingredients. I asked her if I should get a meat substite, but she answered no, so I’m worried we’ll either just get a bunch of low calorie veggies which would never be enough even if she would make a decent portion (my mom is a tiny eater and acts like everyone eats that way unless you’re a tall cis man for some reason) or some tastless nut burger which isn’t even vegan. But I’m getting sidetracked again, so on to the next tip.
3 Bring something to snack on. Don’t be to obvious with this, you don’t want to insult them, but it’s good to have something just in case. Choose something that looks like it can be something you always carry in your bag like an energy bar, dates, nuts, other dried fruit or crackers. Something that won’t perish too quickly.
4 If are going to a non-vegan restaurant with your family ask them if you can get the phone number of the restaurant so you can call ahead to ask if they have vegan options. Most restaurants can even whip up something that isn’t on the menu if they know in advance.
5 Try not to get into discussions. This one too is probably a bit harder for new vegans who have recently made the switch and want to tell everyone about their wonderfull new lifestyle. They’re oozing with passion and just want to share that. However people aren’t very keen on hearing about their bad habits at the best of times, but noone wants to hear that meat is murder while they’re chowing down a steak or a big piece of turkey, no matter how right you are. If you have been vegan for a while you’re probably just as sick of that discussion as the next person. Unfortunately you can’t always avoid other people bringing up the conversation, because just being vegan can be confrontational for people even if you don’t talk about it. Try staying calm if this happens and stick to facts and avoid subjective and feely argumants as much as you can.
6 Host your own Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) party. This may not be an option for everyone, but if you can it’s a great way to decide what’s on the menu. Very stubborn meat eaters may complain a bit, but your house your rules.
7 Remember that the holidays are about spending time with your loved ones, whether that’s your actual family or your chosen family. Dinner isn’t all there is. If having food with your family really isn’t an option suggest just having coffee together.
Those are my tips for today. I don’t think I can write anything that makes sense anymore, I’m that tired. Tomorrow I will continue with my tips for surviving the holidays with the focus on autism and budget. See you then.