Christmas is always sold to us as a time of year associated with cheer and joy and all manner of other mushy emotions. However, when you’re young, you know that’s a load of b**locks and that all that matters isn’t the atmosphere or the Christmas food, it’s the presents.

Although, there comes a certain point at which the excitement of receiving presents loses its lustre. I believe this is around the same time that your parents stop bothering to buy gifts for you and resolve instead to reimburse you for the things that you buy for yourself.

This usually comes around the time that you finish your first term at university as well, which is why you don’t notice, because you don’t really go home at Christmas time for the gifts any more. You go back because you’ve been cooking for yourself for the past few months and you are a God-awful cook. A decent meal is something that you’ve been craving since the start of term, which is why its the best gift that you could be given this year. A roast, actual vegetables, gravy, pigs in blankets, stuffing, nothing will make you come to appreciate Christmas when you’re a student more than a Christmas dinner.

Unfortunately, the same way that your siblings make a return for the holiday season to leave a bad taste in your mouth, so too do the unwanted dishes that go along with a Christmas meal. Everyone knows why these meals are here. It’s the same reason that your siblings are here as well. It’s because its traditional. They have to be there because otherwise the whole Christmas façade falls apart and everyone has to admit that they don’t like each other and that they’re just here for the free food.

Christmas pudding is the top culprit. I’m totally convinced that not a single human being has ever finished a portion of Christmas pudding since its conception. My theory goes that the inventor of the sinful desert took one bite of his creation, realised that it tasted awful and therefore resolved to make it a Christmas dish in the hope that every year people would try some, spit it out, and then buy it again next year because they forget how bad it tasted. Regardless, its not many people’s favourite.

Next up is nut roast. I’m sure that some people don’t mind nut roast, but as far as I’ve seen, this is dish exclusively for the over eighties market, the people who remembered getting a tangerine on Christmas day.

Finally, sprouts. This is a tactical dislike. Being in an over-heated, stuffy and crowded environment is unpleasant enough without the smell of semi-digested sprouts lingering about the place. I don’t think that many people particularly dislike the taste of sprouts, it’s just not a good idea, and if you’re smart, you’ll give them a miss.

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