The secret to a stress-free Christmas
IT MAY be the most wonderful time of the year, but let’s face it: Christmas brings a lot of stress.
Between buying presents and entertaining visiting family, things can get hectic. At no point is it worse than when it comes to preparing the traditional dinner for all the family.
The preparations have to begin way in advance with the need to source a prize turkey, as well as all of the vegetables and other accompaniments that go with the festive feast.
When you consider how much time and effort has to go into Christmas dinner, it’s perhaps no surprise that research suggests more and more of us are choosing to dine out on December 25, enjoying a far more relaxing meal produced for us. Surveys conducted by online meal-booking agency OpenTable, Christmas Day restaurant reservations have seen dramatic increases in recent years.
With the huge number of high quality restaurants available locally, it should come as no surprise that so many people are being put off cooking at home, especially with the huge amount of pressure to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.
It is much easier for an established restaurant to cater for specialist food requirements, such as those following vegetarian, vegan, glutenfree or dairy-free diets, so this may well be another reason why dining out is becoming so popular.
And with prices rising at supermarkets up and down the country, many are realising it may even be cheaper to head out to your favourite eatery.
The survey also hints at another reason behind this sharp rise in reservations – the desire for a nontraditional Christmas dinner.
Only a quarter of those polled are expected to opt for the roast with all the trimmings, with the rest choosing from a wide range of alternatives such as Indian or South Asian (15 per cent), Italian (11 per cent) and French cuisine (11 per cent).
Another explanation for our increasing desire to eschew the home-cooked Christmas dinner in favour of a trip to a local restaurant is how common the habit of eating out regularly has become.
A recent UK-wide study found that Brits eat out on average 1.5 times per week – and a lot of the time, don’t even require company to do so!
Not so long ago, the thought of dining alone would be an incredibly daunting prospect, with most people preferring a microwave meal for one to heading out on their own.
However, it appears the stigma surrounding solo reservations may well be lifting, with more than 87 per cent of the survey revealing they would have no problem with ordering a meal out on their lonesome.
With the majority of people leading hectic lifestyles dominated by fast-paced careers, socialising and dating, 42 per cent of Brits would be happy to eat alone to enjoy some quality time to themselves.
So whatever the size of your party, this year avoid the Christmas stress and take the family out for a delicious meal.
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