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Chance to win one of three £100 Lidl vouchers by sharing your Christmas catastrophes and/or tips for a stress-free day...NOW CLOSED

(390 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Dec-14 16:08:08

Have you ever had a Christmas catastrophe? Have you burnt the brussels and gift-wrapped the Christmas cake? Or are you in fact a Festive Fairy Godmother, brimming with hints and tips and always on hand to help at this time of year? Please share your worst and best Christmas related moments and festive tips - you could win a Lidl voucher.

Lidl say "With fantastic recipes and tips galore, we want to help you breeze through the festive season, and avoid any disasters along the way. We’d like to know your best festive chaos stories, along with any hints and tips to make things more manageable. We have everything you need to help you get Christmas right; from turkeys and all the trimmings, to sweet treats that are too good to resist, so that you can pull off a flawless Christmas with Lidl without having to blow your budget!"

Everyone who comments below sharing how they got Christmas right (or wrong!) with stories, hints or tips, will be entered into a prize draw where three Mumsnetters will each win £100 worth of Lidl vouchers.

Please note that any comments posted on this thread may be used by Lidl in further marketing material (anonymously, of course)

Thanks and good luck,


26Point2Miles Tue 09-Dec-14 16:45:45

Worst thing was being down to one working ring on the hob.... So veg was cooked in rotation! That wasn't great....was cooking for 8

Top tip... Marry an electrician!

Also, one year on xmas eve a rather 'merry' Santa forgot to hang the ( then) baby's stocking on the cot side, ds was distraught that her baby brother got nothing and she still remembers it to this day. She's now 20 and he's 16

Top tip..... Don't let Santa loose with the sherry/mulled wine/beer til the stocking are in situ!

oolaroola Tue 09-Dec-14 17:12:10

In a dodgy rented flat the oven stopped working half way through cooking the roast dinner. DH leaned in to the oven and got electrocuted. It was awful. We luckily had keys to a frien's place around the corner as they were away. We ended up carrying our dinner round there to finish cooking it. We did consider giving up and getting some chiops from the kebab shop that was open.
It was a lovely dinner in the end tho although very late at about 9pm..

SantasBassoon Tue 09-Dec-14 17:16:14

I found out the bike we'd bought for DS came with two left pedals at 10pm on Christmas Eve. I've never left sorting out the children's presents so late again!

TooManyNames Tue 09-Dec-14 19:04:06

Always make sure you have a healthy storage of batteries for those random toys that come without. All shapes and sizes.

Oh and I always stock the cupboards with snacks (----and paracetamol for hangovers)!

MadMonkeys Tue 09-Dec-14 19:18:16

I can't think of a single Christmas catastrophe! Probably because we don't make a massive thing of Christmas so any mishaps wouldn't be the end of the world. I think my top tip would have to be don't stress!

miljones1 Tue 09-Dec-14 19:20:04

Worst Christmas moment...we lost all electricity and in the dark, my dad mistook a red candle for some cheese and started eating it! He did think it tasted unusual!

theHowlatWooooooCorner Tue 09-Dec-14 19:24:06

The first Christmas I ever hosted. The turkey was 'off'. Fortunately it was quite obvious before cooking/eating so no one was Ill. And we all enjoyed our vegetarian dinner!

Patilla Tue 09-Dec-14 19:27:32

I always always always forget to take something out of the oven. This year I'm putting a post it note by where I serve up with all the items that need to go on the plate.

Though I'm not sure it'll feel like Christmas without the traditional "me running into the dining room carrying an oven dish and shouting 'stuffing!", halfway through the meal!

GetKnitted Tue 09-Dec-14 19:49:23

Only two words needed for this: raw turkey

SchoolRunSchoolDash Tue 09-Dec-14 19:50:25

One year we were rushing inbetween opening presents to get all the food prep and cooking done, beacuse our kids usually have lunch then quite early 12 or 12:15 latest, rush rush...
but we served it all up, turkey plus all trimmings ...
but forgot they had eaten tonnes of chocolate from xmas stockings so all three kids aged about 4 to 9 did NOT want a single mouthful of a beautifully served full Xmas spread on their plates !
so just kind of let them get down from table and had ours by ourselves,
felf bit of a let down.

Baconknickers Tue 09-Dec-14 20:04:52

Father Christmas got the presents in the wrong stockings for my boys. It could have gone badly but became a big joke in the family and boys still remember it affectionately as he must have been tired / had too much sherry ��

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Tue 09-Dec-14 20:10:01

The Christmas day on which I managed to set the oven on fire was probably not my finest moment.

Top tips -
Don't try to do too much; don't make a song and dance about it all; keep in mind that, even if you're not religious (I'm not) spending time with family and friends and relaxing is the most important thing. Expensive presents, lots of food and drink and so on might be nice, but they are not the most important thing. I realise that sounds as cheesy as hell, but I really do believe it too.

solastyear Tue 09-Dec-14 20:13:25

The first time I cooked for a crowd, in my early 20s, I under-estimated how much veg, roast potatoes and gravy was required - so embarrassing trying to stretch it out!

TheSpottedZebra Tue 09-Dec-14 20:14:00

We used to live in the middle of nowhere, and as such all food for the xmas period had to be bought in advance from the Big Town, the nearby shops were tiny and closed over Xmas. And everything was a big old trek - 1hr+ each way - in bad weather.

We all drink G &, and my dad duly stocked up. Only it turned out he'd bought soda water, not tonic water.
It was awful.

TheSpottedZebra Tue 09-Dec-14 20:14:44

Aah, G&T. Which autocorrect does not like it seems.

SantasBassoon Tue 09-Dec-14 20:18:54

That must have been miserable TheSpottedZebra, almost having what you all wanted!

TheSpottedZebra Tue 09-Dec-14 20:20:58

It was awful! We kept on trying various drinks but they were all wrong. <a tiny violin strikes up a plaintive yet festive tune>
And my family needs to be well - refreshed to function.

TheEnduringMoment Tue 09-Dec-14 20:26:20

When I was young we officially "didn't have pets", but a long line of local stray cats had us marked as suckers who would feed anything that gave us the "I'm lost and staaaarrrrrving!" mew. As each one died another moved in to take its place.

One Christmas the cat in residence was Edmund Blackheart - a particularly shameless tom. The turkey, as usual, was too large to fit in the fridge with all the other food, so had to be left out in the kitchen on Christmas Eve. My parents very carefully covered it with a teatowel and put it right up on the top of the tallest cabinet where no cat, however lithe and well motivated could possibly reach....

You will be unsuprised to hear that we awoke on Christmas morning to the sound of my mother screaming some highly unladylike language. But it tasted delicious after the leg with the cat-shaped bite marks had been amputated, and once it had been in the oven for 3 hours we weren't going to worry about germs.

joeyhanmum Tue 09-Dec-14 20:29:36

Due to go to the in laws one Christmas but due to bad weather beforehand, their power was out for over 48 hours, right up to 7pm on Christmas Eve! Cue a lot of worries about losing all the food in the fridge and freezer, plus where/how to cater for large family on the big day! Luckily the power came back in time to save Christmas!
Tip - have a back up generator or hope for mild, non windy weather!!
My other tip as a vegetarian would be to check what is being prepared for you - I eat fish and was asked if salmon would be ok, which was fine, but it turned out to be a frozen Iceland job in a nasty sauce - I took my own next time, saves hassle.

compstruck Tue 09-Dec-14 20:37:23

Cooked a chicken one Christmas eve for next day to eat cold with other meats and left it on the table to cool covered with a net. This was first year we were married so was quite excited. Until I went to get it to move it into the fridge and found the two cats tucking into it. I'd forgotten they were around and hadn't realised they'd eat it, as they always had tinned food! Doh!

missorinoco Tue 09-Dec-14 20:42:44

I write out the timings for Xmas dinner. When it is all due to go in and come out. Then I can get on with whatever without trying to remember what comes next.

Mainly I remind myself to relax, and that it is just a meal. No one will remember if there were two different types of stuffing, (what possessed me?) but if I am running around stressed it will impact on everyone's enjoyment of the day.

Gawjushun Tue 09-Dec-14 20:50:08

It was the late 80s. My mum had laid the table with the fat turkey as a centrepiece, almost ready for us to start dinner. She left the room for a second and heard a huge crash. My cat had tried to climb up the table, got caught in the tablecloth, and had pulled most of the table's contents on the floor. Sensing an opportunity if a lifetime, it then began feasting on the turkey, unaware of the surrounding broken glass, upturned dishes, and decorations in disarray.

We managed to salvage a lot of the turkey, at least the bits without cat nibble marks, and luckily there were still plenty of veggies and extras to go around. Unfortunately, the crystal glasses were a write off, and they had to save Esso tokens all year for a new set! The cat ended up living until the ripe age of 21, to my parent's chagrin.

telsa Tue 09-Dec-14 21:01:48

A rotten turkey ruined one Christmas. Anther was marred by a well overlooked salmon. My darling cheeky dog did run off with a meaty carcass from the side one year.

addictedtosugar Tue 09-Dec-14 21:06:49

Keep it so simple

there is less to go wrong

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