An Ode to Food Allergy Friends on Christmas: God Bless the Big and Small!

ChristmasodeI’m grateful for many things this year, especially for my new food allergy friends. This community is a wealth of knowledge and support. What did I do without you?

As I read your blog posts, Tweets, Facebook entries and emails, I’m reminded of how difficult the holidays can be for many reasons and many people, especially parents who are managing food allergies.

It got me thinking about the Christmas spirit. It got me thinking about what its message of new beginnings, grace, love and hope could mean for us.

The verses below have been nudging me to write them out, so here they are. Perhaps they might give you comfort. Perhaps they will spread awareness. Perhaps you can share them with those who have a hard time getting it.

I hope they show you how much this food allergy community–and the friends who support us–mean to me.

Here’s to a happy and healthful holiday. May the Christmas spirit be with us today and every day.

They tell me not to fret.

They tell me not to stress.

They tell me not to freak out

If some milk spills on his vest.


They tell me not to worry

About things I cannot see;

That I can’t always have control

And have to let things be.


But this is what I’ll tell you.

This is what I know.

The very best gifts in life

Aren’t wrapped in pretty bows.


They’re the kindness of a stranger,

The twinkle of an eye.

They’re the extra steps a friends takes.

They’re what money cannot buy.


They’re the friend who shows she understands,

She gets it and she cares,

When the birthday treats are safe

Instead of “Join us if you dare.”


They’re this food allergy community,

With friends both far and near.

Whenever I feel down or low,

You always lend an ear.


And even more than that, you get

The many ups and downs,

And know how easily one moment

Can turn smiles into frowns.


Just knowing that you understand,

That you have been there too,

And that we’re fighting side by side!

Oh, look what we can do!


We can truly raise awareness!

We can get a key law passed!

And oh, dear Mr. President,

This will not be our last!


We can make our friends aware.

We can teach our families.

We can work to make our classrooms safe.

Food-free rooms? Yes, please!


In my heart, it seems so simple.

In my mind, it seems so clear.

Why can’t our children be kept safe

Every day of every year!


We really have the power

If we all take a stand.

No more asking, “Will you please?”

We must all demand!


We have the rules behind us.

God bless the 504!

So we can get our schools safe

And say, “Allergens, no more!”


And to the ones who work so hard

Against everything we do,

Indulge me for a moment.

Let me try to get through.


Imagine you are driving

Along your neighborhood.

You see the Christmas lights

That make you feel so good.


You get that fuzzy feeling

That everything is right,

As you and your sweet children

Dash around on Christmas night.


The neighbors call, “God bless you!”

Your friends give hugs and gifts.

Your family calls from all around,

Forgetting ’bout old rifts.


Perhaps you help a senior

Put up her Christmas tree.

Perhaps you donate toys.

Oh, how thankful they will be!


Now close your eyes a moment.

Keep that warm feeling, don’t wake.

Imagine that your child can’t touch

The cookies or the cake.


Imagine your child going

To her class only to find

That Santa’s holding candy canes,

The cross-contaminated kind.


Imagine getting treats and gifts

That your child cannot eat,

And looking in her little eyes

To sadness and defeat.


Now open up your eyes again

To the carols and bright lights,

To that warm and fuzzy feeling

That you get on special days and nights.


Let’s share the Christmas spirit!

Ensure that one and all

Can have that fuzzy feeling.

God bless the big and small!


It really doesn’t take that much

To ask, “What’s safe for you?”

For a sweet child’s beaming smile,

Oh, what I wouldn’t do!


It doesn’t take a lot of time

To look it up online.

Oh, that’s not safe! Okay, farewell!

No milk or eggs? That’s fine!


So many food-free treats and toys

And games are fun and free,

And mean so much to the sweet child

With a food allergy.


So open up your hearts and minds

To children far and near,

So they can have that fuzzy feeling too,

Every day of every year.


Ring high the Christmas spirit!

Let us work so one and all

Can feel loved and included,

No matter how big or small.


Copyright © 2013, Mothernova LLC. All rights reserved.

Do you have a special wish this holiday season? Is there a special holiday story you wish to share? We would love to hear from you. Let’s spread the spirit of Christmas, food allergy awareness, and hope for 2014!

4 Responses to “An Ode to Food Allergy Friends on Christmas: God Bless the Big and Small!”
  1. Rachel

    I love this! I’ll be sharing this with others 🙂
    Thank you for being a great fellow food allergy mom, blogger, and supporter! Merry Christmas!! I hope you and your family have a wonderful, safe Christmas!

    • Alison Johansen

      Thank you so much, Rachel! You are an inspiring role model! I love your thoughtful blog posts and delicious dairy-free recipes. Here’s to a wonderful, fun, safe and delicious celebration. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. Cheryl Viirand

    This is such a special piece, and such a touching way to reach not just the ‘choir’ but those outside of it who have the opportunity to make it better. I am so glad you pinged me with this, and so touched to count you among my own food allergies friends, and a spirit leader in our new community. All the best to you for a very happy holiday full of sweets, treats and candy canes – the uncontaminated kind, of course!
    – Cheryl

    • Alison Johansen

      Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words, as always, Cheryl! Our food allergy community is such a source of support, strength, knowledge and inspiration. Thanks to you for spearheading such a cool platform for sharing delicious and safe recipes, and for making the holidays that much tastier for all of us custom eaters. Best wishes to you for a joyous holiday!