eating out on Christmas Day

Is Christmas dinner still Christmas dinner if you’re eating out on Christmas Day?

This year, my little clan (me, Flea, and her Dad) will be heading to a local restaurant for Christmas lunch, followed by a long walk on the beach.

It’s the first time in 14 years that we haven’t done Christmas lunch at (someone’s) home – but we’re not alone.

According to a recent survey, the number of families eating out on Christmas Day has risen by 240% over the past five years, and 10% in the last year along. This year, it looks like one in ten of us will be eating out.

So why are we eating out at Christmas for the first time this year?

Christmas Eve meal

Reason 1: Eating Out on Christmas Day will be Different

The biggest reason for eating out on Christmas isn’t dramatic. We just wanted to try something different.

Flea, in particular, is really up for the idea of getting dressed and going somewhere a bit fancy. We spoke to my Mum before deciding (obviously) and she was of the view that you won’t know if you like something if you never try, so… here we are!

It might be that we LOVE eating out on Christmas Day and I want to do it every year. Or it might be that we feel it’s too loud or too quiet or something completely different. But you’ve got to try it to see.

Reason 2: 2019 Sucks

I am confident that I am not the only person who has found this year really, really, REALLY tough.

The slow-motion car crash that is Brexit feels like it’s never going to end. And on top of that, I’ve had to deal with moving house and getting a mortgage, which was ridiculously painful and problematic. Even my broken toe has turned out to be a painful, six month saga.

Oh, and I work on the Internet. People are mean, on the Internet.

I deserve a treat. And to me, eating out and having someone else worry about the cooking and the prep and the timings and all that business? It’s a treat.

Reason 3: Our New House

When we first viewed the show home that led to us buying this house, it was just before Christmas. The show home was decked out with Christmas lights and it looked beautiful.

Ever since then, Flea and I have been planning how we’ll decorate for the festive season. We are excited to deck the hall(s) and bring out all our decorations, and a big tree, and all that sort of stuff.

Part of me thinks it will be nice to just BE in this house and enjoy it.

Also this is the first Christmas in over 25 years that I won’t wake up in a draughty period house that I can’t keep warm. So I plan to stay in, nice and cosy, with my dog (who let’s face it, is a little too exuberant for us to take her to most people’s houses).

teddy christmas dinner

Reason 4: I Can’t Cook

I could enjoy our lovely new house all day, but we’d struggle for food. Because I can’t cook.

This means that eating out on Christmas Day is basically a necessity if we want to eat good food.

We’ve looked at a few options but booked a local-ish restaurant that Flea loves. The menu offers an alternative to a roast dinner if that’s not your thing. So Flea gets to enjoy a fresh steak, I get to enjoy turkey and posh trimmings, and we both get to enjoy tiramisu for pudding. I’m still trying to decide whether to splash out on a cab, so I can have a couple of drinks, too.

Added bonus: there’s no need to clear the table, or do the dishes.

Reason 5: Just Because!

People may be surprised if you’re eating out on Christmas Day. After all, many of us spend Christmas Day at (someone’s) home.

But just because it’s unusual, or your family has always done Christmas in one way, doesn’t mean you can’t try something different. Lives change, situations change and what you need from this year to next might change, too.

Just enjoy Christmas your way. If that involves going to your Mum’s house for dinner for 30 and a massive box of Quality Street, then fantastic! If it’s sitting on the lounge in your pants eating 6lb of cheese, more power to you.

Oh, and remember this is a season all about peace and goodwill, and what’s more peaceful than never having to decide who does the dishes?

I’d love to know if you’ve ever tried eating out on Christmas Day, and how you found it?