4 Out of 5 People Buy Christmas Food, Even if They Don't Like It

Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

With the shops now packed full of Christmas food (yes, I know it's only just November) we're buying up mince pies, stollen and Christmas puds because we love them, right? Well, maybe not. According to a survey carried out this year by oven manufacturer Neff, four out of five people said that they bought Christmas desserts such as Christmas pudding, mince pies and Christmas cake even if they didn't really like to eat them. It seems that tradition takes over more than we think when we make plans for our Christmas food. 

And, while we're on the subject, what about turkey? We might crave a slow-cooked lamb shank or some sticky roasted pork belly, but you don't often hear about anyone craving turkey, at any time other than Christmas. 

Interestingly, the survey also found that the often-ridiculed Brussels sprout is actually our fifth most important ingredient for the Christmas dinner and was even more popular than turkey. 

Do you buy mince pies and Christmas pud even if you don't like to eat them? Four out of five of us do...

Do you buy mince pies at Christmas even if you can't stand them? And do you all sit down to a roast turkey for tradition's sake, when you're really craving slow-cooked lamb or beef? Personally, I mark my traditions in a different way. We send cards, decorate the tree, and go and watch carol services as well as our local town lights being switched on. But in the kitchen, I make food only that the family will like and eat. This was after one Christmas, when I spent months feeding a huge 30cm wide Christmas cake that I later topped with a blanket of royal icing and marzipan, only for my husband and children to come clean and admit they didn't really like it.  I ate more Christmas cake that year than I'd like to admit. 

I'm not saying that tradition should go out of the window completely - but tweak it so you can actually enjoy and look forward to what you're eating. Like burgers? Fish and chips? Then why not enjoy them on Christmas Day? I've heard of some families that order a Chinese or Indian takeaway on Christmas Eve and then reheat it on the big day. We won't be having turkey this year - I'll probably roast a chicken instead. And for pudding, it won't be Christmas pudding or trifle but a chocolate and coffee cake, with whipped cream.  I'm looking forward to it already. 

What do you think? Do you eat Christmas foods even if you don't like them? Do you think we should keep to these food traditions in case they die out, or move on with the times instead of slaving in the kitchen all day? Let me know what you think in the comments box below.... 


  1. Hello Jo,

    This survey is gobsmacking!

    Christmas is meant to be a wonderful time for families to share. A time to spend time together, spread joy and to bond. A time to celebrate.

    Why spoil this highlight of the year by having food you don't actually like? Seriously, much better to disobey tradition and have a great Christmas that lives in the memory for its enjoyment rather than one which is 'meh' because you had to eat stuff you hate.

    That's what I think - perhaps others disagree. Oh well.

    1. Exactly - I found the research quite shocking too - much better to enjoy Christmas around a curry or a chocolate cake than one eating food no one really enjoys. I have to admit, I love Christmas cake and mince pies (not so much Christmas pudding though these days) but because the rest of the family don't like them I tend not to buy or make them anymore - I just save it for when we're out when I can have a cheeky slice with a cuppa at a tea shop :)

  2. This is absolutely true! Nowadays when so many families consist of members from various countries, cultures, religions and food preferences it would be ridiculous to insist on keeping only one with mince pies and Cristmas pudding.Everybody can bring in some of their own traditions - including food, of course.
    Just look around the world. There's not only one Christmas tradition... perhaps the tree is the only truly common thing. Why not to bring to the Christmas board something that everybody loves and enjoys and abandon meals that have lost their popularity or meaning?


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