I love Christmas, mainly because it’s the only time of year where it’s accepted for me to drink red wine and eat Pringles at 10am. While millennial trends have bought about new Christmas traditions thanks to our love of technology, alternative sweet treats and staying in, there are some things about the yuletide that’ll never change – like drinking and eating far too much and then complaining about it for hours. Here are just some of my favourite things about the festive season.
I have a lot of thoughts when it comes to the food we eat on Christmas Day. There’s definitely a plate hierarchy, and anyone who says different is lying. It goes a little something like this:
- Pigs in blankets: Meat, wrapped in even more meat? You just can’t go wrong.
- Stuffing: Stodge so good that the indigestion is worth it.
- Roast potatoes: So delicious but so hard to get right. If you make bad roasties, you’ll never hear the end of it.
- Gravy: Get in there first with the gravy boat and assert your dominance.
- Turkey: Even before you’ve cooked it, you’ve already done it wrong. Dry and unrectifiable every year.
- Brussel sprouts: Put on as much bacon as you like, Jamie Oliver. They’re still the worst veg.
And then there’s there Christmas pudding. According to research by Tesco, just over one in five people between the ages of 18 and 35 eat the stodgy dessert. Instead, we favour alternatives like chocolate pudding and panettone. As a millennial, I can tell you why this is: because Christmas pudding is the worst. Can anyone actually enjoy a Christmas pudding without having to strawpedo a bottle of Pepto-Bismol afterwards? They’re so dense. Plus, they’re a real fire hazard – there’s always one relative who thinks it’s a good idea to pour a whole bottle of brandy on one and then send it up in flames. And no one knows how to put it out so you end up just slicing bits off whilst it’s still on fire.
I’m a big believer in sending a Christmas list over to everyone who I know will be buying me a gift. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for an element of spontaneity, but I need to know I’m going to get something useful. As a millennial on the cusp of buying her first property, I need those things that are going to make a house a home. A new kettle. Cute tea towels. Vases. A Le Creuset dish to kickstart my matching cookware collection. I definitely don’t need another jumper. DON’T GUESS, AUNT PATRICIA. JUST FOLLOW THE LIST.
Gone are the days when parents used to wrap up a satsuma and their children would be overcome with joy. (My mother tells me this was a thing.) Now, it’s all about the wish list, emailed over and complete with links to the exact items you want. Or compiled neatly in a spread sheet and cross referenced by cost. You can even create wish lists for your office Secret Santa these days – that’s right, even the novelty gift is no more. Is it less romantic? Yes, it is. But is it more practical? You bet. It stops people from taking stabs in the dark or making rash decisions based on something they’ve seen you do once. For instance, someone I know once saw me fawning over a viral video of a cat, and now every year I get something cat themed.
Christmas TV is great. Millennials have been accused of killing off television in favour of subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, but for one glorious day a year, we breathe new life into it. We revive it, for 24 hours only. And the best thing is, so much effort is put into the Christmas specials. Each year, British television pushes itself to its absolute limit to create something that’s never been done before, particularly the soaps. Of course, EastEnders is the master of this – there’s no end to the amount of times they’ll jump the shark in order to get people to tune in. Will anything ever beat Little Mo killing Trevor? We doubt it, but they try so hard every year.
We all know millennials are suckers for nostalgia, too, especially when it comes to classic films – and I’m sure they’ll be pleased to know that yes, The Muppets Christmas Carol will be on Channel 4 Christmas Day. 4pm. You’re welcome.
Everyone says Christmas is supposed to be a time of relaxation, but I don’t know why we all still tell ourselves every year that this is a real thing. Christmas is a busy time of the year for everyone, but for millennials, it’s the busiest. It’s thought about 35% of us grew up with divorced parents – that’s a lot of split Christmases. And it only gets harder as you get older, not emotionally, but logistically. As a child, your parents are the ones to decide where you spend Christmas, but as an adult you must make the arrangements yourself. Will you split Christmas Day? Or does the 24th and 25th belong to your mum, and the 26th and 27th your dad? Either way, along with the many aunts, uncles and cousins you also need to see, that’s a lot of travel – and as I’ve lamented before, travel isn’t cheap.
Plus, you end up spending most of the festive period living out of a suitcase, which means wearing creased clothes in all the Christmas photos (which inevitably your mum will post on Facebook).
Although millennials are notoriously bad at having a raucous night out these days, we still know how to do Christmas right. ‘Mad Friday’ (the final Friday before Christmas) is usually highly publicised by the media for being the most disorderly night out of the year, but isn’t December just one long ‘Mad Friday’? The 1st December is enough to bring even your most introverted friends out of the woodwork for a G&T sesh every night of the week. Having a hangover on Tuesday is fine because it’s December.
But the best day for socialising is, of course, Christmas Eve. It always begins and ends in the pub that you and your friends drank in about a decade ago when you were underage, and it’s often the place where everyone you went to school with gathers too. This can be awkward – what with the ubiquitous nature of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you already know what they’re up to, down to every minute detail (just FYI, ten pictures of your baby eating spaghetti on FB is too many). So there’s your conversation starter right out the window. Luckily, glasses of wine in your hometown pub haven’t yet caught up to city prices, and after enough vinos you’ll be telling the guy you used to sit next to in English all about how much you love your job. And that’s the spirit of Christmas, isn’t it? Being merry, eating nice food, and trying to prove to your old classmates that your life is amazing.