Christmas is always a depressing time of year. It shouldn’t be. I’ve got all the required components that should add up to a glorious week. A small horde of cousins, plus one’s and family? check. A surprising lack of “naughty uncles” that seem to plague all my friends families? check. Tons of food that the self-nominated family chefs take more time over and is therefore better than the rest of the years fare? Check!  I’d also just made a life decision to jet out to Asia to seek new adventures so I was pretty much on a high. Plus there are presents. So it really shouldn’t suck.

But the 2017/8 Christmas for this (godless) seminarian did, indeed, go down about as well as the titanic. And not for the obvious religious reasons. It was a pain in the ass because everyone, everywhere, when confronted with a mountain of food, alcohol, and brandy soaked pudding couldn’t help but be fascinated with the diet. More worryingly, they were fascinated with making me break it.

The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. - Albert Einstein

It’s a rare day when I disagree with the great Albert. But, my dear deceased fellow, you’ve got it wrong. When someone is on a diet, and lives in a general state somewhere between raging hunger, fatigue from overwork in the gym and the general stress of a family gathering (just for added good measure) – don’t question their lifestyle. Just accept them for who they are.

But no. I’ll talk later about the general problem with “food-pushers” when you’re dieting, but basically, it’s a real thing. I had friendly aunties coming up to me looking like 1990s cocaine dealers trying to get me to eat a mince pie. “I’ll tell you what kiddo… the first one’s for free….”

Somehow, I fended off the auntie with the mince pie. (I did cave later, but I managed to persuade myself that I was making a choice, that I wasn’t just blindly accepting things. It tasted… well, it tasted of guilt. Totally not worth it!)

But it got me thinking about Christmas and the fact that during this weird time of year it seems to be more about perception than reality. It’s not about the reality of a family that’s close (which mine actually is) but instead about how we believe families should be. We all dress up and force the image of what we think we should be. It’s, in the nicest possible way, a lie.

And if you’re on a diet people seem to think that that’s part of the “Christmas lie” and therefore it’s acceptable to break it. Because it’s not really real. Sort of like a double bluff, maybe. I’m confused.

Anyway, I’m going to make some resolutions for next Christmas. I’m not going to lie. At all.

The Seminarian’s Christmas resolution for, uh, the next Christmas

  • Don’t pretend to be reputable. Hack everyone’s personal phones for fun (serves you for freeloading on the wifi) and mess with them a little bit.
  • Don’t buy presents for anyone because you should. Only buy presents for the people you think genuinely deserve presents.
  • Use the extra money saved from the previous point to buy yourself a trip somewhere. Because you deserve something too.
  • Tell the people forcing food on you that “I’ll eat your mince pie if you brought some LSD to sprinkle on the top of it.”


Don’t mess with my diet. It’s hard enough to live in ketosis without you monsters pushing sugar on me like you’re on commission from Ben & Jerry’s. Because there’s going to be a delayed twelve month repercussion. There’ll be a reckoning.