I often reframe discussions in terms of developing ethics and striving to be an ethical person, sharpening my concentration, and developing a better understanding of how the world really works; all with the purpose of being a more content person. I can usually explain my lifestyle choices as a function of these three categories, rather than "I do that because I am Buddhist." If play the Buddhist card, I am often faced with stereotypes that are hard to explain. "You're Buddhist? Whose your rimpache?" "Do you practice martial arts?" "Oh, can you explain this koan to me?" On gift-giving occasions I would receive the latest book from the Dalai Lama, or incense, or a laughing Buddha figurine. I also find that the moment I frame something in religious terms, people assume I'm trying to convert them or that I am being preachy.
Besides, I am not at all very skilled at explaining Buddhism to non-practitioners, I am more likely to confuse people than offer a useful/favorable explanation.