The effort though.
There's cracking movies on the television, you don't want to change out of your pjs and you just want to chill out (aka see on social media who got what surprises this Christmas) while the cook - whoever it may be - gets stuck into the hard work in the kitchen.
Then, you get the call-up that nobody wants on Christmas Day.
"[Insert name], can you come into the kitchen for a minute."
Oh, if only it was for a minute.
The sweat starts to run down your face and you don't know if its nerves or the alcohol leaving your system from the 23rd and 24th.
You need to get out of this situation and quick. There's a whole host of things you can do, but will they work?
1. Pretend you didn't hear them and hide
It doesn't matter how big your house is, the cook will find you...
You need to think bigger picture. The attic? The shed? If you haven't thought of an answer within 10 seconds, forget about it. It's too late, the cook is already on the way to whatever room you're in and you're going to get caught if you make a break for it now.
2. Flattery will get you everywhere
"Me? Help? Sure, I'd only ruin the whole dinner. Nobody makes the stuffing as good as you do anyway. Better than any restaurant..."
3. Drop the classic line
If the flattery doesn't work, it's time to hit them with the old reliable. "Too many cooks spoils the broth. There's going to be too many hands involved in this operation and I will have nothing to do with it."
Exit with confidence and that should do the trick but if it doesn't...
4. Drop another classic line
You look the cook dead straight in the eyes and say "either I take over full control of everything or nothing at all." You're bluffing, as if you want to take over full control, you'd fail miserably but the cook doesn't know that. They think you're serious and they don't want to lose control of ALL the pots and appliances so they'll send you on your merry way.
5. Go to mass
You don't have to go, you don't even have to believe. Just tell the cook and run, RUN LIKE THE WIND.
6. Set up the table
You tried step one but you got caught out so you pretend that you were on the way to the kitchen anyway. The cook will give you x,y and z jobs to do but you ignore the instructions. Get the plates and cutlery and glasses and set them down on the table and then tell them that you're going to get the Christmas crackers from upstairs.
That way, it looks like you've helped out in the kitchen and the crackers are your que to get the feck out of there.
7. Collect your guests
We're not having any guests over? You don't even drive. The cook will get too confused and have a string of questions by which stage you will be long gone out of the kitchen.
8. "I've my own jobs to be doing"
"Amn't I here organising games and picking out movies to watch for later on. Titanic is on now, I'll just sit here by the TV and make sure it records for you."
9. Start the fire
This is a good one to begin around the same time that the major dinner preparations start. "I want to make sure that the fire is roaring so that the atmosphere is nice and cosy for everyone once dinner is finished."
PROS: You'll be applauded and thus handed a free pass out of dinner.
CONS: The effort though...
10. Get the cook a drink
The pressure is rising and patience is getting thin. You're being summoned to the kitchen and there's no way of getting out it. Unless... You pour yourself and the main boss a glass of their favourite drink and you both take some time out and have a quick chat while the beverage goes down.
This will calm down the cook and you can slip back out to continue your lazy morning on the couch.
11. Walk the dog
An oldie but a goldie.
"You've been neglecting this dog all day to focus on the dinner. How dare you, c'mon scruffles."
If you don't have a dog you can improvise. Walking the cat is new but you might get away with it on Christmas.
12. The presents trick
You can't help them, you're having too much fun playing with the fantastic gifts they got you.
Like that Lynx Africa set orrr those six pairs of polka dot socks.
They'll be so in the zone that they'll have forgotten about the shite presents they got you and just take your request at face value.
13. Cook food the night before
It's genius. No one ever has a big meal on Christmas Eve. You're preparing yourself for the next day and normally there is so much rushing and racing going on, you don't really have a dinner or big meal per se.
Make some sandwiches and light bites or maybe even breakfast on Christmas Eve and when they ask you to help with dinner on the main day just boast about how you made all the grub yesterday by yourself.
But if all else fails...
14. Do things wrong
Make the royalist of all royal fuck-ups and just set out to destroy all the hard work and effort that the cook has put into the meal over the last four hours.
It's a dangerous game to carry out and it needs to played carefully. On one hand, you want to be so terribly shite that the cook dismisses you without a second thought. However, on the other hand you don't want to ruin things so much that you go the whole of Christmas Day without any of the nice grub.
Do it right and you get out of helping with Christmas dinner, do it wrong and you might get kicked out of the house.