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Have you ever had every Xmas day a perfect one or even just ONE ?

80 replies

Daffodil55 · 22/12/2019 12:22

It is rather sad to read all the threads about stressful Xmas days and meals etc. plus the gift giving and receiving which is far from wonderful.The relatives we invite or attend their homes because we don't want to offend but all the while knowing we will be looking forward to the time to put coats on and say goodbye etc. etc.

I could drone on but will not but this is to ask has anyone had the perfect Xmas day with company they adore, without a single moan or gripe? Has anyone EVER had a bad Xmas day/Boxing day? Or are some lucky souls here blessed with only blissful memories of unrivalled pleasure and chocolate box type days?

This is a serious question and no other agendas here. I have not had any horrendous Xmasses but a few which had I known how they would be I may have said sorry I can not make it.

On 25th I was planning to be all alone and just wallow in the peace and quiet, pure selfish indulgence re television and food choices and as much of all that as I wanted. I have been invited somewhere I have not had a Xmas before and it is a family member and her partner, along with one other relative. I can not see how it could possibly be anything other than lovely (no small children around as in the past I have been exhausted by the monopoly they force on the room) so I am very much tempted to say yes.

I had my fair share of noisy Xmasses with frizzy hair and flushed face due to the time spent in the steamy kitchen and have yet to possess a memory of the ideal.... dressed in sparkle and sipping cocktails while everything just miraculously appears served hot and displayed to perfection.

It is time for me now, selfless for years but now enjoying a tiny bit of selfish.

OP posts:
dementedma · 22/12/2019 16:20

Lucky in that all mine have been or two minor hiccups but nothing like some of the horrible experiences MNers on here have had.
I think the fact we don’t have loads of people round or have to do the rounds of lots of houses really helps

CatInTheDaytime · 22/12/2019 16:35

I don't think I ramp it up in my head and have unrealistic expectations - though I do agree that that doesn't help. I just came from a dysfunctional family, where it always involved guilt and fighting and emotional blackmail, then like many people from abusive backgrounds I was in a long relationship with a very difficult man, and now I'm separated from him but he still features in my Christmas.

My dream christmas just involves everyone who is there wanting to be there, and no pressure. I like the idea of a family christmas in a happy family, with people taking turns to cook and do stuff, and no pressure to part of anything you don't want to. So if you find receiving presents really hard (that's me) you would be let off from it. If you can't stand the noise and commotion of the big traditional meal, you're welcome to take yours off to another room. If I'm ever able to have/offer that kind of christmas when I'm older I will, and that could be happy (while not wanting to idealize it of course...)

RockinAround · 22/12/2019 16:38

I’ve never had a bad Christmas. There have been hard times over the years, but somehow I’ve always managed to have a lovely day.

cantfindname · 22/12/2019 16:53

I have had some really good Christmas Days. All had minor disasters like the time the outside drain exploded may or may not have been my fault-- or the time we ended up with pureed parsnip on the ceiling; or the year we ran out of fridge space so my Mother put a beautiful gammon ham in the oven of the Rayburn and forget to tell me when I lit it! Oh and the year I hid the turkey from very greedy exH and couldn't remember where it was (in the washing machine.. naturally)

But these were all very funny and have gone down in family history together with a few other incidents too complicated to mention.

As long as it's not death or real disaster like some of you have been unfortunate enough to suffer then a good sense of humour carries you through the minor things.

AveAtqueVale · 22/12/2019 16:58

I've only really had three bad ones. All the ones I had as a child were wonderful, except the year I was 10 - I had my second ever period and had slightly misunderstood the 'coming on once a month thing'. I had horrendous period pains and genuinely thought I was doomed to pain and misery over Christmas forever more, as my period would henceforth arrive on the 24th of every month. It was not a happy day.

Other crap ones were the one after my father had left when I was 18 - Mum DSIS and I went to mum's cousin's house and even though they were lovely it was all wrong. And last year the DC and I were all ill. DS1 couldn't even be bothered to open his presents he felt so rubbish.

Otherwise they've all been great! All different, but all great Xmas Smile.

millimollimandi · 22/12/2019 17:00

I can only recall one really bad christmas - my son's second one with his alcoholic father - he totally ruined the day for me (son can't recall it) and that was the beginning of the end - I dumped him shortly after. Best thing I ever did. All the others may not have been perfect but at least my son will only remember OK Christmases and not shit ones. Both sons now in their 20s and they still insist on a 'family Christmas' with traditions carried down the generations, despite how uncool they might be!

Somebodystired · 22/12/2019 17:10

I've never had a bad Christmas, I'm 29. Every christmas was spent with my parents up until I married DH (although I'd spend evenings with him and MIL in the few years before we got married). Now my parents pop over Christmas morning, and MIL is with us in the afternoons on Christmas day through to boxing day. Me and DH both get on wonderfully with my parents and my MIL so it's always lovely.

BikeRunSki · 22/12/2019 17:23

You know what, more than 25 years ago, the first Christmas after DDad died, we went (from S London) to stay with friends in a remote part of East Anglia. We travelled on Christmas Eve. We broke down and got towed off the M11 by the police who Let us sit in their warm car and shared their coffee and biscuits. The AA turned up, and upgraded DM’s membership from the very basic cover she had (which would have taken us home to a cold, food less house), to cover that would tow us to our friends’ and back. Then the AA truck broke down and we spent a few hours at Cambridge services, just us and the New Zealander working there, waiting for another AA truck. We dined on fried egg sandwhiches and hot chocolate and watched Cliffhanger! The kiwi guy said we reminded him of his mum and sisters. I suspect we didn’t, but it was a nice thing to say to my mum who was beginning to lose the plot.

It was about midnight when we reached our friends’ cottage. Although it was like a bad road movie, that Christmas was perfect. It was full kindness, from the Police, the AA, the kiwi guy who didn’t charge us for the fried egg butties, and mostly the love of extremely long standing friends.

If anyone In MN land knows a long Italian East Londoner called Orlando, who worked as an AA rescue driver in the mid 1990s, please thank him on my behalf! He pursuaded his manager that “Mrs Bike and her children....” needed to be upgraded to get them off the cold, dark motorway. DSis and I were in our mid 20s!!

Ragwort · 22/12/2019 17:33

I’m over 60 & am very lucky in that all of my Christmases have been pretty good, never had any arguments or fallings out, one was slightly sad due to a bereavement but we all tried hard to enjoy it and it wasn’t as difficult as anticipated. I’ve had to work a few times - hospitality or old people’s homes but even that was ‘fun’ in its own way. I think I must be very fortunate but, like others, we do have a fairly relaxed and easy going family. Smile.

ComeOnGordon · 22/12/2019 17:33

I have found Christmases in the past with my IL’s very stressful - such a pressure from them about the meal and everything being perfect but since they’re now my ex IL’s it’s lovely at Xmas just me and the kids and they go there on Boxing Day which gives me a chance to luxuriate by myself. I potter about, go for a walk, have Chinese food, have a bath. It’s like a perfect end to all the busy days

Ginfordinner · 22/12/2019 18:26

I find it sad that so many mumsnetters don't have the confidence to call out bad behaviour or the ability to stand up for themselves.

My favourite well used phrases are:
Please don't guilt trip me
This is non negotiable

Both of which I have very rarely needed to use. People know perfectly well that I will not be messed around with.

FesteredFairy · 22/12/2019 18:34

What is perfect? Surely that is defined individually?
I have had some wonderful and lovely Christmasses, but they were nothing to do with today's definition of "perfect".
My best New Year's Eve ever was babysitting my niece whilst her parents and grandparents were out at a party.
Having watched a lot of UK tv recently, I would say that there is far too much emphasis on culinary and appearance perfection, which is very unrealistic.

CherryPavlova · 22/12/2019 18:34

I think aiming for perfection is generally setting an unattainable target. I love Christmas as an adult.
Are they perfect? No, I’ve had cooking disasters in the past, we’ve been to the emergency department with a toddler with pneumonia one year and woken up in hospital with a baby with Bronchiolitis one year. I’ve had shocking morning sickness and been unable to eat a couple of times. The children have squabbled sometimes. Those things don’t spoil Christmas, you just have to flex and adapt.

Usually it’s lovely being surrounded by family and friends, doing things that we’ve done for decades. I love Christmas Eve in the village, love the excitement of rushing around the shops, love creeping to fill stockings. I think Christmas morning church is always special. Champagne afterwards is a bonus.
So, not perfect, but very happy.

commoncoot · 22/12/2019 18:38

I can't think of a single bad Christmas I've had. Each ones been perfect in their own way depending on where I was in my life at the time.

It's my favourite time of year and I enjoy it soooo much.

WildRosie · 22/12/2019 19:03

It's nice to see that lots of people do enjoy Christmas - you are the fortunate ones. I did, once, but it came to an abrupt end 25 years ago. Such is lifeSad.

echt · 22/12/2019 19:19

All good, whether with my parents, then with my DH and later with our child.

I'll be honest and say since my DH died it 's not been the same for obvious reasons, but still a good day, still celebrated as we always did.

CatInTheDaytime · 22/12/2019 20:51

I’m actually amazed (and happy) that so many people have had mostly great Christmases. I honestly thought it was crap for most people!


Inliverpool1 · 22/12/2019 20:54

I found out my ex was trying to shag around - he wanted an affair - she didn’t fancy him on Christmas Eve whilst 9 weeks pregnant. That was a memorable one to say the least

Thankssomuch · 22/12/2019 21:08

I’m in awe of (amazed by?) people whose bad Christmas experiences include cooking disasters and morning sickness. Difficult in laws. I can’t even tell you how hideous Christmas can be but trust me, it can. The day shown in films is bollocks, though of course, lovely to watch.

mummycubs · 22/12/2019 21:13

I am actually born on christmas so they've always been a big deal in our family. I'm one of six children (I'm the third with a big brother, big sister, younger sister and two younger brothers) and I have six children and three nieces and nephews with another on the way soon! It's always chaotic because we all end up back at mum and dad's for christmas (which is always fun with 20+ people and six dogs running around). I remember all of my childhood birthdays/christmasses being filled with laughter and food and love. There have been a few where I remember my sister falling out with my mother over wearing a dress or some where my brothers were shouted at by my aunt for being mean to my cousin (who always deserved it, he was a bit of a dick), but they were always still good.

This year, I lost my grandmother and one of my aunts, so it's going to be difficult without them around the table, but we've gained my triplets so it'll feel a lot less empty with new children to brighten up the day. It is also our first christmas without my ex so it's bound to be a bit weird when my DD1, DD2 and DD3 ask if they're seeing him (which they won't be as he moved halfway across the world without so much as a warning Angry) but it'll all work out and be good because we're with our family and that is what christmas is about! Smile

TravelDreamLife · 22/12/2019 21:21

I wouldn't say any have been horrendous. Usually it's just the stress of which family to go to, no one asking what we want to do, etc.
This year Christmas morning would have been perfect because I've gone to a lot of trouble to source great gifts for our kids & was looking forward to having a some rare happy family time watching their joy as they unwrap them. Except H has invited his narcissistic parents to join in without asking me. So now I've got to wait for them to haul their lazy arses out of bed & come over & be stuck in the kitchen making them coffee while they enjoy watching my kids open gifts, pass comments on how much I spent, offer advice on improving my behaviour & then offering up their extravagant gifts in competition. Since H won't haul his lazy arse out of bed until the latest possible moment, I'll watch kids open santa sacks on my own. As usual. So absolutely no enjoyment for me now.

MrOnionsBumperRoller · 22/12/2019 22:03

I have had pleasant fun Christmases all my life and have never been daft enough to expect perfection.

mumontherun14 · 22/12/2019 22:21

My sister and I were just talking about this tonight. What a pressure we all put on ourselves to create a perfect Christmas yet our childhood ones were simpler but still very happy and our Mum was just quite chilled about it all. She cooked all the food and it was a lovely tasty meal but not over the top, we got presents but not over the top, we went to church and played a game at night. Took turns about to visit our cousins. Simple pleasures no dramas. None of this celebrating for a whole month in Deccember. She was a teacher so was busy and we maybe had 1 trip to local panto and that was it. This year my dear Mum is in a care home with Alzhiemers and we are trying to make it as nice as we can for my dad, the children. We will visit her in the morning then have a meal later with the in laws. I am lucky we get on well and they have kindly offered to cook & host my dad. it will be nice but we miss her dreadfully & its just not the same without her. Just puts things into perspective sometimes...

mumontherun14 · 22/12/2019 22:32

Just reading back some of the stories..
My funniest one was when it was really snowy and my Dbrother who was in his 20's at the time was at the pub & couldn't get a taxi. So rocked up to ours well worse for wear at 11pm on Christmas eve. We were sorting the presents so were trying to shoosh him so he didn;t wake up the kids and he just headed up the stairs and fells asleep in my sons bottom bunk bed.

In the morning my DS (7) woke up (he was in the top bunk) saw his uncles big feet sticking out the bottom bunk and shouted "Mummy mummy Santa Claus is still here and he's fallen asleep in my bed!" Aww bless him -we still remind him of that now he is 15. He was quite happy anyway to see his uncle - just as good as Santa!.

So then we headed out for Christmas dinner noticing one of the window boxes was down on the drive to which my DBro informed me he had been trying to climb in our window before he knocked on the of those teeny tiny top ones...he's 6ft 2 lol.

What a laugh that was xxx

greyspottedgoose · 22/12/2019 22:40

Last year myself and my children stayed at my ex husbands house and we played happy families and it was lovely, we both knew the 6 months we had spent apart where for the right reasons and there was no pressure we just wanted the kids to have the 'traditional ' Christmas they where used to, this year we are both spending time with new partners and doing christmas separately with the kids, which I imagine will also be wonderful as we are still very good friends and have been giving each other hints about things the kids have been mentioning

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