We are running out of days to cover your remaining questions – there are so many important issues left to cover.
Questions of gifts and religion and travel and tradition are all useful, but now way too late. The day is nearly upon us and all we can focus on is getting through the hours at the table.
Mary has some rapid(ish)-fire responses to a five feasting questions.
- My 45 year old sister who has never brought a date home is bringing someone named Sam who she describes as her “special friend” to Christmas this year. In our boy-girl-boy-girl seating plan, how do we plan for Sam?
Signed, Totally Open-minded but likes order Terri
Wake up and see for once what is really important.
It’s Christmas, who gives a shit about whether Sam is a boy or a girl in your seating plan? What matters is what sort of person Sam is.
Sam is either going to be Annoying or Not Annoying. Since you haven’t met Sam yet, there’s a good chance that your sister’s friend can stay in the NA camp for at least as long as a meal takes to be consumed. That’s what matters in your seating plan.
Boy-girl-boy-girl is the single worst option for Christmas seating.
In the quest for gender diversity, you run the risk of losing your opportunity to create a homogenous barrier around you. What you want – what you really want – is to surround yourself with those you like best and put everyone who is likely to annoy you the most on the other side of that human shield.
Stop thinking that annoying people are of a single gender – every single member of your family has the exact same potential for giving you the shits.
2. The Kids’ Table
The Kids’ table is fool’s gold.
See, Christmas is the one reward you get for parenting. Not for the delight on the little tykes’ faces as they see what Santa has brought them. Not for the cocoon of love that is created around the family hearth when children and Christmas collide.
No, it’s for the opportunity you have to walk away from any conversation you like, at will, by claiming that a child needs your attention.
I know you’ve used “the baby-sitter cancelling” to get out of a lot of crappy social events this year – and some good ones that you just seriously couldn’t be bothered getting out of your pyjamas for – but this day is your true pay-off.
You should make the most of it.
It is better to have an annoying toddler next to you during the meal, requiring attention, than to place them on a table where they will have much more fun with their cousins and leave you needing to make small talk with your cousin whose company you last enjoyed aged 5 at the Kids’ Table.
Kill the Kids’ Table. Why should they have all the fun?
3. What time do we have Christmas lunch?
Doesn’t really matter – the average guest will have consumed more than a day’s calories before noon. By bedtime, it’ll be around the 6000 calorie mark, with 210 grams of fat.
It will take them nearly 22 hours of walking – which they won’t do – to use the energy they consume on Christmas Day.
No one will be hungry at any stage during the day, they will eat whenever there is food placed in front of them. So do whatever suits you.
4. What if I don’t have enough cutlery/plates/serving utensils?
Doesn’t matter. Just make sure there are enough glasses. For you.
5. Who should clear the table at Christmas dinner?
Everyone should. You will.