Festive fibs: 7 in 10 people lie to family about how their holiday meals taste

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Was the Thanksgiving turkey a little too dry this year? Does your relative always put too much salt on the Christmas roast? A new poll finds most Americans keep these little critiques a secret during the holidays. In fact, seven in 10 people just lie if a holiday meal tastes bad.

In a survey of over 1,400 people, conducted by Cinch Home Services, researchers looked at all the aspects of the one holiday tradition most people share this time of year — food! No matter the holiday, the poll finds nearly 88 percent of Americans say they’re cooking for the occasion.

This year’s cooking duties are most often in the hands of American millennials, with 89 percent of these young adults putting on an apron during a family gathering. With that in mind, millennials are also the most likely cooks to prepare a vegetarian menu this year (36%), compared to Gen Z cooks (33%), Gen X (24%), or baby boomers (22%).

More money goes into Christmas dinner?

While Thanksgiving dinners see everything from turkeys, to casseroles, to bowls and bowls of side dishes hit the table, the poll finds Americans celebrating Christmas actually spend more money on that dinner than they do for any other.

On average, Americans spend $243 on Christmas dinner, compared to $189 for Thanksgiving. For any holiday gathering, the average host plans to spend around $218 on the meal they’re serving. As for the tools these cooks turn to most often, baking sheets, casserole dishes, and high-quality knives rank as the most popular kitchen equipment during the holidays.

With all the money people are pouring into hosting a festive meal, it might be a good idea to volunteer to help them clean up after the party ends! The survey finds cleaning up is the biggest stressor that comes with making a holiday meal (61.5%), just edging out timing the cooking perfectly (61.1%).

Other things causing Americans stress this holiday season are rising food costs (56.2%) and the challenge of avoiding the COVID-19 virus (50.5%).

It tastes great! I really, really mean it

Although many people try to go all out during the holidays, not everyone has the skills of a five-star chef. Unfortunately, that leaves family and friends with the tricky task of commenting on a not-so-delicious dinner.

While seven in 10 admit they lie about liking someone else’s cooking during the holidays, millennials say they’re the most likely to tell a festive fib (72%). Nearly 65 percent of Gen X and Gen Z respondents also avoid telling the cook their food tastes bad, with only 59 percent of baby boomers doing the same.

When it comes to the best cooks during the holidays, Americans say nobody beats mom! Mothers rank as the top holiday dinner-makers, followed by one in four who name themselves as the best chef, and one in five saying their spouse prepares the best holiday meals.

American moms are also the least likely to receive bad feedback about their cooking during the holidays.

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