Effort-Reward Ratios of Christmas Dinner Attention-Getters

Posted on December 16, 2011


Christmas is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably looking forward to Christmas Dinner with your family and anticipating the time-honored tradition of competing to be the center of attention.

Everyone will arrive with a gimmick–good news to share, a funny story, or an expertly-prepared dish–and you know you’ve got to up your game. Last year you failed to impress with the centerpiece you created from directions found on Martha Stewart’s website.Ā  Everyone complimented the centerpiece, but you didn’t feel the enthusiasm of the compliments reflected the ten hours you spent creating it.Ā  This is because you equated effort with value, but your family saw it differently as evidenced in the chart below: Effort-Reward Ratio of Christmas Dinner Attention-Getters.

You put in ten hours of work and the enthusiasm of the compliments reached a level of 4 out of 5.Ā  Scientists have discovered you’re unlikely to feel any satisfaction in impressing others if your results fall anywhere under that red line rising from left to right.

Your frustration only grew when your five-year-old nephew displayed a picture he colored during the hour before dinner and received even more enthusiastic compliments than you did:

Your indignity only grew when Uncle Sherman achieved a level 5 when he announced he’d given up drinking:

Were you the only one who realized giving up drinking requires no time at all? How long does it take to not drink?

The final insult came when your sister-in-law revealed she was pregnant, a feat that couldn’t have required more than 3 to 16 minutes:

I know what you’re thinking when you see this chart, but it’s too late to get pregnant before Christmas.

But it’s not too late to pretend to get pregnant before Christmas.

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