In recent years, I've taken to cooking dinner on both Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. I actually quite enjoy cooking, so it's nice to be able to save my mom the work and let her relax during the holidays. Really, though, that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of manning the kitchen. Allow me to explain….

Basketball on TV.

Kobe in a Santa outfit on Christmas by Upper Deck basketball cards
Ho ho ho! I bring selfish tidings of joy for Christmas!
For those unaware, Christmas Day basketball is an NBA tradition that matches up some of the best teams in the league. This year, the main attraction was an LA Lakers/Miami Heat game. Problem is, I'm the only one in my house who wants to watch it, which means that in the past my repeated requests to have it on television were flatly denied. Cooking, however, has drastically improved my argument from, "Come on mom, this is going to be great basketball!" to "Hey mom, you know how I'm going to be in the kitchen for hours working so you can drink wine, make small talk, and sit down to a nicely prepared meal? The price of that is basketball on TV. Sound good? I thought so."

An excuse to leave any conversation.

Grandma: Oh, Brent, it's so good to see you! Let me tell you a long, excessively detailed story about one of my many gross medical problems!
Brent: That sounds really interesting, Grandma, but I actually need to go check on the roast.
Grandma: Oh, of course, it's so great that you're cooking; your mom really appreciates it!

Mom: Hey Brent, why don't you come play [whatever random shitty child's board game I bought for your cousin] with your cousin!
Brent: Sorry Mom, I've got to go bake the gingerbread.
Grandma: That's so great, Brent—I'm going to give you more money than your brother in my will!

Cover up your alcoholism with ease.

Since I've started cooking on Christmas, I've developed a little tradition: I buy a 12-pack of a nice seasonal beer, then polish the whole thing off over the course of the day. Was I to do this in front of my family, I would look, perhaps rightly, like some kind of a drunk. When all the empties are in the kitchen, though, nobody knows whether I'm on number two or number ten.

A retard could do it, yet people are always impressed.

Prime rib roast out of the ovenOn Christmas, I always make a prime rib roast, because it's one of the best ways you can serve up a slab of ten pounds of beef and have people think it's profoundly classy. The flip side, however, is that cooking any kind of a roast is one of the easiest tasks you can possibly undertake. Here's a recipe: buy the beef, cover it in salt/pepper/garlic, put it in the oven. I can't even remember what temperature to cook it at, but all it takes to figure that out is five seconds on Google. Jam a meat thermometer in it, and take it out when it's the right temperature (again, just Google it).

People will oooh and aaah at your masterpiece, and the smell of beef permeating the house will help to mask the boozy smell of your breath. It will not, however, mask you cursing at the television because you're hammered and the Lakers can't make a damn pass. COME ON ARTEST, DON'T LET LEBRON THROUGH, GO OLD SCHOOL AND CHOKE HIM OUT OR SOMETHING!

Your faults will be forgiven.

Which brings us back to the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus. Just kidding, the meaning of Christmas is that if you successfully cook dinner, no one will criticize you because past experience has taught them that if they do, you'll whip a wet towel at them and say, "Oh yeah? Well I cooked, so you're cleaning, bitch." Sorry, Grandma.