Every year it's the same - someone in the family has to slave over Christmas dinner for hours and hours and hours while everybody else gets hangry (and/or drunk) waiting to eat.
It's stressful, it's time-consuming and it's a real pain in the arse trying to co-ordinate all the different elements so that everything's ready at the same time. It can also be very, very expensive. Especially if you're having all the relatives over. Which is what you do at Christmas.
So this seems like a really good - no, really great - idea. Co-op's new Turkey And Trimmings box will provide you with a gourmet festive dinner for two for just £12. Which even if you have, say, 10 other people over, would still be significantly cheaper than doing it the old way.
It's also ready, so they say, in the can't-quite-believe-it time of 50 minutes. You just put in all in the oven and have a few sips of sherry while you're waiting.
The one catch is you have to buy veg separately, but that's really not so much to ask. Even if you have to wash and cut them, you're still making significant savings when it comes to both time and money. And if you're feeling extra-lazy (and/or drunk), you could just leave 'em out altogether.
Breige Donaghy, Co-op's director of food, had this to say: "One or two people households account for almost one in four of the Co-op's shoppers and research shows they want an easy and simple Christmas dinner.
"It means shoppers can spend more time together with loved ones instead of prepping for hours in the kitchen and it avoids waste and excess cost."
Ok, some people say the best meal is one you've cooked for yourself, but who's got time for that when there are presents to be opened? I believe someone mentioned there's booze to be consumed too. Anyway, this definitely makes things easier.
Especially when it comes to thinking about others instead of yourself. Even if you don't use the pre-packaged festive meal for yourself, if you fancy being a good Samaritan during the season of goodwill, you could pick one up for the older neighbour across the street who might otherwise be going without.
"We love the idea of the Christmas 'good turn," said Donaghy. "A neighbour
or family member buying an elderly couple, or someone they know, a box to
enjoy, when perhaps they can't get to the shops for the ingredients, or don't
have the time/energy to cook everything."
In a world where everyone seems so selfish and preoccupied, we think that's actually rather lovely. Merry Christmas! It's almost December - we can say that!
Words: Mischa Pearlman