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Die Hard and Christmas sprouts: The answers to the most controversial festive questions revealed

Yippee-ki-yay or nay?
Yippee-ki-yay or nay?

There’s nothing more likely to make gran turn to the cooking sherry than arguments at Christmas. With so many subjects to choose from we’ve put together definitive answers to all of the most burning questions.

Is it really definitive? Well, no. I surveyed my colleagues in our newsroom on their opinions, so unfortunately it remains entirely subjective and still divisive, but at least you’ll have an insight into the fascinating minds of our journalists…

Is the data robust? Also no. This poll would definitely not meet the standards set by the British Polling Council.

With that addressed, let’s get on with revealing the answers to the ultimate survey of Christmas opinions.

Christmas mains

The ratings for food were answered on a scale from one to ten. Respondents were asked to leave the question blank if it’s a food they would never eat. A rating of one indicates that if your mum made it you would put it on your plate and push it around to keep her happy, and a rating of ten means the respondent viewed it as an essential part of the meal.

The much derided turkey scored surprisingly high in the ratings.

My colleagues were generally less enamoured with the idea of a vegetarian centrepiece to their meal.


This was where the true passion came out. Within seconds of sending out the survey I was contacted by several colleagues expressing horror at my inclusion of Yorkshire puddings. Another colleague was mortified that the full array of potato related side dishes were not included. It was at this point I was very glad we are still working from home.

The main takeaway I have from this survey is that people feel incredibly strongly about potatoes.

I’m right there with them and honestly I’m never going to be able to look at any colleague that voted less than ten for essential-ness the same way.

Roast potatoes were generally considered such an essential part of the feast that they broke my chart and I had to give the tens additional rows.

The humble sprout was unsurprisingly divisive, appearing to be the Christmas equivalent of Marmite.

The chart below shows the average ratings for all mains and sides, categorised into tiers. This visualises what we all know in our heart of hearts – Christmas dinner is more about the sides than the main event. It also reinforces just how much most of my colleagues love roast potatoes.


It’s the eternal question. Is Die Hard a Christmas film? Our survey showed the majority answered yes.

People who believed in the Bruce Willis Christmas spirit were also more likely to hold that belief strongly, whereas people who viewed the film as a year-round classic were a more laid-back bunch.

Our favourite Christmas films

As well as finally settling the debate on the Die Hard issue, we also asked our colleagues what their favourite festive films were and compiled them into the chart below.

Merry Christmas from the data team!

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