The Politics of The Christmas Meal


With Christmas fast approaching, there’s nothing better than getting your mates together to indulge in a festive feast. A meal massively overthought and over-planned, but still exciting and a great excuse to celebrate Christmas twice, stuff your face, and procrastinate even more.

  1. Thinking Up the Menu
A must have for any Christmas dinner. Credit: Flickr, David Fisher

This first step is arguably the most important part of this whole ordeal. Whilst considering the fussy one and costs, each component of the menu is critically analysed to see if it makes the cut. It’s only once a year, so you decide to push the (gravy) boat out and have all the trimmings… and pudding! Problems will arise if you’re unfortunate enough to have a veggie, as let’s face it, Christmas dinner isn’t really Christmas dinner without pigs in blankets. The next big debate is sprouts or no sprouts; as a lover of these mini cabbages myself, these are a must have. However for some, brussels sprouts are basically Christmas stink bombs and a huge no-go.


  1. The Big Shop
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Trolley and bags for life at the ready, it’s time for the most exciting (and exhausting) shop of the year. There’s usually that one person who picks up everything and anything they like, in the hope that everyone else will buy it for them. After the whole shop is done, you arrive at the checkout to a cost much greater than planned due to extra treats on offer, which you definitely won’t need as there’s enough food to feed a whole village. This of course means you will inevitably be lugging it back to your accommodation in the freezing cold.


  1. The Meal
Our Christmas Meal
Credit: Hannah Callingham

Some go basic with this part, others go all out with crackers, wine, Christmas jumpers, and even your favourite Christmas tunes playing in the background. However, there are normally certain roles people play when it all happens:

the mum: the leader of the pack who everyone loves even more after being served the meal of the year (and probably the most vegetables they’ve had all week). This person gets the ultimate bragging rights for the rest of the year.

the lazy one: the one who takes advantage of the free ride; they don’t really know how to cook so wait until they’re plated up a meal and then sod off as soon as the washing up is mentioned.

– the critic: the guy who complains about the slightest thing saying things like ‘that’s not how I do it‘ or ‘my mum does it like this’.

the fussy one: the one that shouldn’t have been invited as they restrict the menu choices or alternatively, they are a great member to have due to more stuffing being available for everyone else.

  1. The Clean-up
Credit: Flickr, Nik Stanbridge

After a delicious meal and food comas rapidly approaching, it’s time to wash and dry not just your own stuff, but for everyone. This isn’t all that bad though as the workload is split (bonus). Everyone will then proceed to prove that they should be exempt from this task, and everyone tries to decide who’s the weakest link. It is normally the person who hasn’t really contributed much to any of the previous steps, who is nominated (fair enough) but they will probably continue to moan and question why no one else is helping.


At the end of it all, the unanimous agreement that this should be a weekly occurrence will be proposed, yet in reality, it will probably never happen until the following Christmas.

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