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MN Christmas rules for a happy Christmas.

(30 Posts)
averylongtimeago Wed 13-Dec-17 12:26:16

So many many threads on here with posters getting hugely stressed and unhappy about what should be a wonderful celebration.
Unwelcome visitors, lazy DHs, cooking woes, present problems it's all here.
I think we could come up with the definitive list of Christmas rules to improve things.
I will start with :

If you have cooked it, someone else washes it up.

It's a holiday, not a competition.

Your turn!

MrsHathaway Wed 13-Dec-17 12:29:01

Somebody else's Christmas is none of your business; your Christmas is none of anyone else's business. You do you. Nothing is compulsory.


TidyBadger Wed 13-Dec-17 12:32:10

If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, don’t cook them. Same for Parsnips, Red Cabbage etc. If your guests complain tell them to stay at home next year.

Firstaidnovice Wed 13-Dec-17 12:32:28

Don't take it personally if you get a shit present. It doesn't necessarily mean the giver doesn't care about you, it means they are shit at buying presents. Or were really busy and stressed.

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Wed 13-Dec-17 12:35:42

See this is the time of year when my antisocial personality really pays off. I don’t have a DH, I don’t have any visitors, I don’t cook, and I have very few presents to buy. grin for a peaceful Christmas, be more donny!

TillyVonMilly Wed 13-Dec-17 12:40:52

Don’t have people you don’t like or who don’t like you in your house.
Cook stuff you like not stuff you feel you should cook because it’s Christmas
Speak up don’t sit and seethe.

meditrina Wed 13-Dec-17 12:41:57

gin wine gin wine

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 13-Dec-17 12:46:59

Aim for good enough, rather than perfect. A few years ago I realised I wasn't really enjoying Xmas and a quick glance at my to do list showed why. I wanted absolutely everything perfect on Xmas day - house spotless, food perfect. Exhausting. And pointless.

I've chilled right out now and it's much more enjoyable.

deckoff Wed 13-Dec-17 12:48:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CigarsofthePharoahs Wed 13-Dec-17 12:50:14

If your intention is to turn up, criticise everyone and generally be unpleasant then perhaps you should ask yourself exactly why it is everyone in your family is reluctant to host you.
Also, if you have totally made up food issues that you keep banging on about and expect everyone else to adhere to - you can sod off too.

Now all I have to do is convince my mum that said relative isn't welcome and we'll be all good. My mum has a much more sensitive guilt reflex than I have.

Zaphodsotherhead Wed 13-Dec-17 12:54:01

Turn main lights off, turn fairy lights on and ignore the dust. Although beware the cat poo under the tree.

Don't feel obliged to visit everyone. Stay at home, do Christmas your way, don't do guilt.

Buy and wrap everything in September.

Three side dishes are enough. Two puddings are enough. More is not better.

BenLui Wed 13-Dec-17 13:03:22

It’s only Christmas, there will be another one next year.

It’s nice but it’s not really that important.

Concentrate on spending a happy time with your family and friends. The presents, the decorations, the food, the bloody elf: it’s all just stuff.

The “perfect gift” you can give your child is a relaxed and happy parent.

Boxing Day MN threads a full of people who killed themselves to make it “perfect” and ended up resentful because their families didn’t notice/didn’t care/didn’t fall in.

AdaColeman Wed 13-Dec-17 13:05:03

Learn the lesson as soon as you can that there is no such thing as the Perfect Christmas.

You and your family will still have a lovely day even if your lights are not as twinkly as Nigella's, your turkey is not the same rare breed as Nigel's and your breakfast is not panettone hand made by artisan virgins in a convent in Puglia.

Fill your Christmas Day with love and laughter, not stress, frustration and sprout wars.

And keep the gin gin gin flowing!

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Wed 13-Dec-17 13:05:09

Or skip pudding altogether and have a really good cheeseboard instead. Then if you have set-piece at lunchtime, it can stay out and be tea/snack/dinner etc

Alwaysinmyheart Wed 13-Dec-17 13:06:28

Remember it’s only ONE BLOODY DAY!

TheLegendOfBeans Wed 13-Dec-17 13:08:29



If someone buys you/your family a present you are not obligated to get one in kind

If you’re worried aboutsomeone being upset due to you not having gifted them back tough - gifts aren’t an IOU and it’s the givers choice to gift

It’s one day. ONE DAY. And it’ll all be over by the 27th.

Christmas is a Monday this year. Minimise the hugeness of it by thinking of it as an extra bank holiday Monday.

LADIES: you are not your DP’s PA. If DP is crap at pulling his festive weight, let that card to his Mum go unsent, “his” gift for the kids unbought, his family’s invitations not returned. Obvs I realise this is a sexist post, but it’s a common theme on MN.

Harness the power of “no”. You do not have to go to every drinks event. You do not need to attend PTA drinks and nibbles. You do not need to have Sharon round for a snowball because she happened to get the Matchsticks out when you were at hers last.

Your tree does not need to be real. You do not need to sign up to hoovering daily from Dec 1 - Jan 6.

CAT OWNERS: orange peel round the bottom of the tree will stop almost cats from pissing on and climbing up tree. Sadly this does not work on toddlers.

No, the children don’t need stockings. They really don’t. And if they do, fill an actual sports sock, not a massive felt abomination designed to cover an elephantine clubfoot.

Finally, if you have to give a present, you don’t have to buy a gift. People will be delighted if you “gift” them 48 hours of babysitting so that they can go to Glastonbury in June or something. Useful gift that stops your house filling up with shit. Win-win.

I thank yew

whiskyowl Wed 13-Dec-17 13:10:55

Be aware that few people get much time off over Christmas and that couples have two families, and may need to visit both. Therefore, visits may need to be time-limited. Grown adult couples are perfectly capable of having Christmas by themselves.

Let people do their own thing. Don't insist that the entire family has to do everything together. If someone needs a break, let them chill out for a bit.

A stuffed pepper is not a vegetarian substitute for roast dead stuff. M&S sell really lovely nut roasts + sauce that require nothing more than a buzz in the microwave so there is no excuse for returning to the culinary horrors of the 1970s.

Talking about Brexit - from all sides - to be utterly forbidden.

historyofsanta Wed 13-Dec-17 13:10:55

I have good Christmases!

I don't stress about the house. Twinkly low lights and festive clutter cover dust and dirty corners! I bake one or two things and dh helps with the cooking and shopping. I don't host loads of people because I have three kids.

I don't give a s**t about Christmas duvets, new PJs, Elf on the shelf and billions of concerts that just tire everyone out, add to stress and cost too much.

One well chosen show or Carol service is enough. Christmas eve is for movies and sipping Baileys and an easy tea.

I want my kids to remember a happy mum who loved Christmas and there is something a bit manic and fake about all this social media driven drive to some unobtainable ideal. It's a bit like the beauty ideal isn't it? Airbrushed and surface...

TheLegendOfBeans Wed 13-Dec-17 13:15:50

High 5 @historyofsanta

You’ve nailed it, esp that last paragraph xxx

ILoveDolly Wed 13-Dec-17 13:22:29

If you have no kids then go for that instagrammable perfect on trend tree. If you have kids, let them dress the tree, complete with handmade scrappy decorations they are proud of and revel in its Technicolor magnificence. This will mean more to them than all the Nintendo Switches especially if they are under 6. This fits in with the "let it go" message up thread.
Also please don't spend a million dollars on your child's Christmas presents then photograph the pile and put it on Facebook. There are at least three good reasons not to which common sense should reveal if you think about it.

goingonabearhunt1 Wed 13-Dec-17 13:46:47

I agree with all these, especially the one about not being your partner's PA [GRIN] My DP knows that he is responsible for dealing with his family in terms of cards/presents/arranging contact etc. I already have enough of that myself to deal with as I have separated parents and step parents. If he forgets to send a card or whatever and his family get offended, that will not be my fault.

BenLui Wed 13-Dec-17 13:47:01

Following in from Dolly’s last point why not have a complete moratorium on Facebook pictures over Christmas. Don’t take pictures of your tree, your (creepy) elf, your table, your presents, your cake etc. No one really care anyway tbh and it will take the pressure off.

Instead post one single happy picture of your family. That’s worth sharing.

goingonabearhunt1 Wed 13-Dec-17 13:47:25

grin even

averylongtimeago Wed 13-Dec-17 13:47:48

If you are a guest in someone else's house - turn up with loads of goodies and wine, wash up without being asked, locate the veg peeler and use it and don't hog the bathroom and use all the hot water.

mrsreynolds Wed 13-Dec-17 13:49:24

It's Christmas
Not the Normandy landings
Chill out

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