Surviving Christmas

Some people enjoy everything about Christmas. The decorations, food, music and festivities. Some even plan to have all their Christmas decorations up, gifts organised and jobs allocated by 1st December. There are occasions, however, that you just cannot plan for. These occasions require some on-the-spot decision-making. Decisions that could make the difference between a festive season to remember or one that creates difficulties.

Let’s take a look at three potential situations and work through some responses. There’s no right or wrong answers, but this is a useful exercise to see how prepared you are to tackle unexpected situations.

What decision would you make in these scenarios?

You’ve been asked to contribute to the Christmas buffet but because you have diabetes it has been suggested that you should bring something healthy. What do you do?

  1. You offer to create the music play list, something you enjoy doing, unlike cooking.
  2. Sit down with this person to discuss what a healthy plate of food looks like for someone with or without diabetes.
  3. Make a healthy dessert that you really love knowing the carbohydrate, fat and protein content in each serve.


You’re at a gathering having a really good time. But the only drink you like is the alcoholic punch. What do you do?

  1. Ask yourself, is it the punch that is making this gathering so good? You decide that it is difficult to determine just how much alcohol is in that punch and choose to drink water instead.
  2. You decide that any more of the alcoholic punch could change how you feel about this gathering and could lead to a comment or action that you regret. Next time you will have a plan B.
  3. You quickly shift your attention to the plate of food you are eating knowing that alcohol can block your body’s ability to release stored glucose. Eating some carbs will help you to prevent an unwanted hypo in the middle of the night.


You have been asked to have a few people over to your house to celebrate the festive season. What do you do?

  1. You supress the sudden urge to release the ‘Nigella’ within you creating a 6-course meal that will take the entire week to prepare, for you are well aware that stress can contribute to elevated blood glucose levels.
  2. You decide to create the atmosphere of Christmas with lights, music and some red serviettes while delegating the food and drinks for the guests to bring. This allows you time to sit and listen to your mindfulness app before your guests arrive.
  3. You prepare all the food that you like. Using recipes that you know so there are no surprises or quick trips to the local shops. You are the captain of this ship knowing the amount and type of carbohydrates in this meal and a good dose of healthy unsaturated fats with no added salt.


Making on the spot decisions is not always easy. Knowing your limits and knowing that it is okay to say ‘no’ may help. After all, what we think and what we do is all up to us.



By Amanda Callaghan RN Midwife CDE



Diabetes Australia Position Statement (2021)

Australian Diabetes Educators Association

Aguirre, B (2018) Mindfulness and Meditation: Your Questions Answered. Greenwood, California, USA.

Keywords: Food

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