The flat/house Christmas meal is a uni right of passage. Much like regrettable Halloween costumes and chundering in an uber- if you didn’t have this meal, are you even a student?
Christmas is meant to be a time of festive cheer and joy, but let me tell you now- the flat Christmas meal will be anything but that. Stress, drama and plenty of booze- it’ll be a rollercoaster of emotions, but a night to remember nonetheless.
Here’s an insight into exactly what you can expect from your Christmas extravaganza:
1) Someone will be vegan.
Don’t get me wrong, I admire the perseverance and restraint it takes to be vegan. Despite what you say, I know that your life revolves around carrots and humus so kudos to you for being able to survive this long. When it comes to the Christmas meal, however, you are my worst enemy. Whilst we’re all floundering around the kitchen desperately trying to baste the turkey you’re there snidely asking if you can ‘just squeeze past’ to check on your nut roast. NO.
2) One person will take over the cooking and turn it into a sixty-stage military operation.
They claimed to have made a roast once so you all volunteered them to head the Christmas meal. You offer to help out peeling the spuds and stirring the gravy, but they scorn at you with a nightmarish glare of territoriality. This is their kitchen now. What’s funny about this is that you’ll continue to offer help throughout the preparation stage. However, they will continually turn you down whilst simultaneously complaining about how they have so much to do. You literally cannot win with this one so probs best to start laying the table and necking the prosecco as it’s going to be a long night.
3) You’ll have a row over whether or not you should have pudding.
Katie will claim that she’s ‘stuffed’ and ‘can’t eat another thing’. Katie is your nemesis. You want that yule log more than you’ve wanted anything in your life. You chipped in £1.25 for it, after all. Half the flat will want to sack it off and start on the wash-up. Half will want to continue their gluttony until they are so full they can’t breathe. A full-blown war will ensue. The Yule log will get thrown at someone. Your heart will bleed.
4) There will very nearly be a fire.
It could be a tea towel, it could be gravy left on the stove for too long. Hell, it might even be the tassels from your Xmas jumper catching alight on the hob. Either way, you will come within spitting distance of having to call 999.
5) The ghost in your flat will emerge for the first time in 3 months.
You saw them once in Freshers week so you know they exist. Ever since then you’ve heard the occasional shuffling of papers from their room, but that is it. You slipped a note under their door inviting them to the meal so as not to be a scrooge. Secretly, you’ve been praying that they won’t emerge from their ghostly slumber. They won’t offer to help and they won’t pitch in for ingredients, but five minutes before serve time they’ll scuffle into the kitchen and sit at the table. Rock, paper, scissors decides who is left with the fateful task of sitting next to them and having to make conversation. You feel a bit resentful that they ate all the goods but helped with none of the prep, so you add on an extra £2 to the invoice you slip under their door the next day.
6) The awkward selfie.
These days, anything that doesn’t go on Instagram may as well have not happened. You’ll all crowd in across the table, wide grins and party hats aplenty. Jess will accidentally dip her ponytail in the gravy and Johnny will complain that you didn’t get his best side. This should take 30 seconds but it may well take 30 minutes.
7) Two of your flatmates will sleep together.
They probably did in Freshers week and it’s been hella awkward ever since. Every time you find yourself in their midst in the kitchen it’s felt like you could cut the sexual tension with a knife. They get more drunk than everyone else and at the end of the evening make their excuses to ‘finish the essay’ they have due tomorrow. Ok, pal. We both know the only thing finishing early tonight is you, Jake in Room 32.
8) Someone will get too drunk and probably cry.
Cry, chunder or a combination of the two. There is always one who can’t handle their liquor. You and your flatmates will desperately attempt to form some kind of human crane in a ploy to carry this limp, lifeless lump of a let down up the stairs into their room. They’ll be sick on their duvet and probably your shoes. Merry Christmas, everyone.
9) You’ll all say how amazing the food is to avoid awkward silences.
The truth is, you can’t be friends with everyone in your flat. This becomes very clear, very quickly at the Christmas meal. Awkward conversation whilst passing each other in the kitchen is fine. Having a sit-down meal with said person? Not so much. You will all exclaim about 70 times how ‘we’ve smashed this lads’ whilst stuffing more and more spuds into your mouth to avoid having to make actual conversation with each other.
10) You’ll all sneak off to spend the evening with your actual friends.
Five minutes post-meal and the trickle-off will begin. The terms ‘deadlines’, ‘need to skype my mum’ and ‘tickets for an event tonight’ will be thrown around with a mutual understanding that you are all lying and just want to leave ASAP. You’ll then sneak to the flats next door and spend the rest of the night drinking Baileys and watching Elf with you actual friends. Result.