10 Christmas hosting nightmares

Mumsnetters share their examples of Murphy's Law in full festive swing

1. Unintentionally making fire an annual tradition

"I have managed to set fire to something every year without fail. One year it was the table (flammable table decoration). Another year it was a styrofoam reindeer (mounted too near a candle). Yet another year it was breadsticks."

2. Accidentally feeding Christmas dinner to the pets

"One year Mum cooked the turkey on Christmas Eve and put it into the microwave to cool. My sister came down in the middle of the night to heat a bottle for her baby, put the turkey on the side, and - in her half-asleep - state forgot about it. We came down in the morning to find three very happy cats and not much turkey."

3. Talking about twitching

"I brought a new, very shy boyfriend round for lunch on Boxing Day, and my mum updated us on my grandmother's garden birds by saying 'Your Nan's got her thrush back!'"

4. Being too liberal with the booze

"I rather enthusiastically applied warmed brandy to the Christmas pud at the dinner table. When I lit a match, the whole thing burst into blue flames - as did Granny's paper napkin that was resting too close to the pud. This then set fire to the paper tablecloth - cue everyone leaping up in panic and my daughter chucking a glass of water over the pudding, the now-rather-burned tablecloth, and generally everywhere."

5. Realising size does matter

"There was the year that my mum didn't wear her glasses to do the Christmas grocery shopping. She picked up a 12.5kg turkey instead of 12.5lb one, and didn't notice until Christmas morning. The thing was the size of an Alsatian and wouldn't fit in the Rayburn. I came downstairs to find Mum - still in her dressing gown, fag in her mouth - knee on the turkey, sawing it in half with a bow saw."

6. Having a power cut at the worst possible time

"Our worst Christmas meal was when the power went off halfway through cooking the lunch - we had to drive to my mum's house over an hour away to finish off."

7. Serving spam for Christmas dinner

"As a newlywed I was hosting the parents and in-laws, and wanted to show them I was a fully grown adult and competent housewife. I set about cooking the dinner, but the turkey was off! This was in the days before Spar were willing to open on Christmas Day - we had to have tinned ham with 'all the trimmings'. "

8. Drunkenly dropping the bird

"My mother had enjoyed a few too many festive tipples on Christmas morning before tackling the dinner, culminating in her dropping the half-cooked turkey on the kitchen floor and slipping and falling in the resulting grease. The bird slid all the way across the floor and thudded into the kitchen door."

9. Turning the pud into a pancake

"I sat on the Christmas pudding by accident. Dessert was a box of After Eights, shared between nine of us." 

10. Getting important details badly wrong

"Two couples I knew alternated hosting Christmas dinner each year. Whoever was hosting would prepare and cook all the veg and the ones travelling would cook the turkey and bring it with them. All went well until one year there was a mix up and their respective cars passed each other on opposite sides of a deserted dual carriageway, each carrying a lovingly cooked turkey on the back seat." 

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