Every household is adamant that their “Christmas dinner” is the definitive version, but there is actually much more variation than you might think. For this installation of our Twelve Studies of Christmas series, we ran a survey with 100 participants across the UK to find out the average Christmas dinner.
What time do people sit down for their main meal? Unsurprisingly, 91% eat their meal on Christmas day itself, with a very small minority tucking in on Christmas eve. Almost two thirds of all those surveyed eat at lunchtime on Christmas day, so we’d best get our dishes prepared early.
The festive period is a boozy few days for many and Christmas day is no different; 70% of those surveyed have a tipple of some sort with their meal. According to our study, it’s a tie between wine and its sparkling cousin, so we made an executive decision to fill our glasses with sparkling wine for our compilation Christmas dinner. It truly is the most wine-derful time of the year!
Turkey, the iconic Christmas meat, topped the list for the main component of the banquet, but only half of participants opted for it, with many preferring chicken, ham, or fish. The only vegetarian option we included in our survey was nut roast, which got 7% of the vote, but an additional 5% specified their own veggie dishes. Veggies, next time why not try vegetarian sausages, beetroot soup, dumplings, or a vegetarian toad in the hole, as some participants suggested.
Most of us consider potatoes a requirement for Christmas dinner but 5% of those surveyed have absolutely no potatoes at all with their main Christmas meal! 82% went for the reliable roastie as their spud of choice so it’s far and away our clear winner.
Brussels sprouts might get a lot of hate, but two-thirds of responses said they would be putting them on their table this year. Is this because it’s a tradition that just can’t be squashed, or does the nation have a new sprouting love for these bitter green balls of goodness?
For their preferred side dish, other than spuds and sprouts, a third of our survey participants shunned vegetables in favour of pigs in blankets, with a further 21% choosing stuffing as the runner-up.
Though Christmas pudding and mince pies are the most traditional of Christmas desserts, the Yule log came out on top with 31% of votes. But 21% are opting to stay on the savoury train, wrapping up the feast with a round of cheese and biscuits.
To summarise, here’s what the UK’s very average Christmas dinner looks like:
It’s on Christmas day at 12.30pm and we cheers each other with sparkling wine. Turkey is the star of the show, accompanied by roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, and the much defamed Brussels sprouts. Don't forget to leave room for dessert - the festive Yule log.
Just 3% of our participants would be completely happy with our meal, matching every single top answer! How does this compare to your own Christmas dinner?