(not original, alas -- I saw this in a local paper last year) The Christmas season is known for overindulgence in high-calorie, high-fat goodies. If you are looking for a health-conscious guide to holiday eating, get the Grinch's Holiday Eating Guide. Otherwise, we present... The Holiday Eating Guide 1. Avoid Carrot Sticks - Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing about Christmas spirit. Leave their home at once and go next door where they're serving rum balls. 2. Drink as much egg nog as you can - It's only available for four weeks each year, so it's not like you'll get addicted or anything. 3. If something comes with gravy, use it - That's the point of gravy. It is not a stand alone item. Make a mashed potato volcano with gravy lava. Eat the volcano. Repeat. 4. As for the mashed potatos, ask if they're made with skim or whole milk - If it's skim, pass. What's the point? It's like buying a Porsche with automatic transmission. 5. Do not pre-snack in an effort to control your eating - The main reason for going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. 6. Do not exercise between now and New Year's - You can do that in January when there's nothing else to do. December is for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table carrying a ten-pound plate and a gallon of egg nog. 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted cookies in the shape and size of Santa Claus, station yourself nearby and don't move - Eat as many as you can before people start to whisper and point. Opportunities like this are fleeting; if you pass them up, you may not get another chance. 8. Same goes for pie - Apple, pumpkin, mincemeat, have a slice of each. If you don't like mincemeat, double up on apple or pumpkin. Always eat at least three slices. When else can you have multiple desserts? 9. Fruitcakes - Granted, it's loaded with calories, but avoid it at all costs. You've got to have some standards. 10. If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party, you haven't been paying attention - Reread this list and try to do better next time. Hurry, January is right around the corner. Remember this motto: Life is not a journey to the grave to arrive safely in an attractive and well preserved body. Rather, you should skid in sideways, with chocolate in one hand and a drink in the other, worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"