Traveling home for Christmas

in Features

Christmas dinner. The mere mention of it conjures up plates of steaming, delicious food, chilled glasses of fizz and merriment from all those sitting around the family table.

Christmas dinner.  The mere mention of it conjures up plates of steaming, delicious food, chilled glasses of fizz and merriment from all those sitting around the family table.

However, is it really so strange to assume that other families may have a tradition of going out for Christmas dinner? Truth is, every family will have their own routine on December 25th and deciding on a way to suit everybody is never an easy task.

Christmas is around the corner and we will soon be heading out with our families and friends for a festive meal.

Restaurants know that December means increased business, but there are also significant downsides to this which on occasions might outweigh the benefits.

Let us consider the pros and cons of eating out v staying at home:

Let us consider the pros and cons of eating out vs staying at home:

The Pros:

No cooking or cleaning up

I can hear a collective cheer from all of you. No washing up, no cleaning, no stress.

This is definitely one of the main pros of dining out at Christmas. It is especially great if you have a large group as there will be far fewer dishes for you to do afterward.

Superior Food

This is especially true if you go to a restaurant that is known for its good food. The chef has had more time to prepare and will know your taste preferences better than you would yourself.

Try new dishes

Restaurants often have special Christmas menus which include festive favourites as well as some more unusual dishes. If you are feeling adventurous, this could be a great way to expand your culinary horizons.

Celebrate with other families

This could be a pro or a con. However, if you are someone that likes to socialise and spend time with others, then this could be a big bonus.

Not only will you get to meet new people, but you also get to share in the Christmas spirit with them.

The Cons:

It can be expensive

Now you don’t need me to tell you that dining out at Christmas time is likely to be an expensive affair, so you need to work out if this is really worth it or not.

Of course, the joy of going to a restaurant is that somebody else does all the cooking and cleaning up afterward. But I think we can agree that you probably don’t want your family and friends to do too much for you at Christmas time, so maybe you should just put in some extra hours in the kitchen yourself.

Restaurant temptations

It’s all too easy to be seduced by the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen when you’re eating out.

If you’re trying to stick to a diet or avoid certain foods, this can be quite difficult.

Less personal attention as you would if you were cooking at home

This is especially true if you go to a large restaurant. The chef and staff will have their hands full and may not be able to give you the level of attention that you would receive if you cooked at home.

You miss out on cooking and eating together

This is one of the main reasons why many people choose to cook their Christmas meal at home. It is more intimate and cozy than eating in a restaurant, and you can avoid temptation if you’re not constantly surrounded by it.

Less control over what you eat

Restaurants often serve large portions, which can be difficult to resist. If you are trying to watch your weight or eat healthily, dining out may not be the best option.

Disturbed by other parties

When you are dining at home, the only people you have to put up with are those who are present in your house.

When you go out to a restaurant there can be a lot of noise and commotion from other tables if the place is full. This can be very distracting.

This could be the major stumbling block to enjoying a Christmas dinner out. It all depends on how well you can hear yourself think as to whether it’s worth the risk or not.

The wait might be too long

Depending on how finely tuned the restaurant is a service, you may have to wait a while for your food. This is especially true if you go to a popular restaurant around Christmas time. You may have to wait for a table, order, receive your food, and then eat it – all within a two-hour window.

If unorganised, you might miss your reserved table

This is another potential pitfall of dining out at Christmas. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself rushing to make your reservation on time.

Of course, several different things can happen at this time of the year so it’s not always possible to plan ahead. If you are  an organised person, this could be a bit of a headache.

Finally, remember that Christmas is a time to relax and enjoy yourself – so don’t worry if things don’t go according to plan. Simply have a laugh and order another drink. 

So there you have it – some pros and cons to help you make your decision on whether or not to dine out at Christmas. Hopefully the above will give you a good starting point.

Overall, both staying in or going out for your Christmas meal have their pros and cons. In reality, it all comes down to what you feel happiest doing. Whereas one person may thrive on cooking for a group of 15, another person may have the fear of being stuck indoors all day with family members. The choice really is yours to take.

Enjoy a delicious Christmas!

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