Christmas Kitchen Chaos

Christmas is never a smooth operation. Antonia Coleman Harvey describes her Christmas Dinner catastrophes and questions WHY we do this annually.

14th December 2015

Christmas! A time of merriment, cheer, high spirits, festivity, and most importantly, good food. However, Christmas day can often bring about some culinary catastrophes, dinner disasters and even family feuds.

Firstly, the day might start off badly when you run over excitedly to your desk to open the last window of your advent calendar and realize… There isn’t one!! Honestly, this happens every year. But then your spirits are raised again when you find your stocking overflowing with tasty treats and cute little niknaks. Although, if you’re naughty (like my flatmate was), you might actually get a potato… LOL.

It’s also fair to say that the festive mood can be slightly dampened when the majority of the day is spent listening to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” or Bill Cosby’s Christmas CD on repeat – which is great fun (…)

That said, at least it blocks out the profanities coming from the kitchen when your-not-so-cool uncle drops the tray of potatoes.

Dinner disasters could happen in a variety of ways, and I think it would be fair to say that more often than not, something goes wrong. For instance when someone has an allergy, or the house – heaven forbid – gets burnt down, or the pudding is too soggy. In cases such as these you’re often left wondering why you didn’t stop bothering years ago and just order a curry. But regardless, you constantly tell yourself there’s something about Christmas dinner that requires an amount of determination, endurance, and, of course, the element of tradition.

It can always get pretty hectic though, with drink spillages, uneven distribution of Yorkshire puds (always a killer), whiny cousins, whimpering dogs, not enough gravy, topped off by rubbish Christmas cracker jokes- the list is endless! But there is one thing that really does spoil a family gathering and, no offence, but who invited the newborn baby? Then there’s always that one relative that has one too many tipples before dinner and totally passes out- their loss. Families eh? Gotta love ‘em. With this in mind hopefully nothing as tragic (or manic) as the Home Alone household will manifest on the day itself.

In cases such as these you’re often left wondering why you didn’t stop bothering... and just order a curry

Despite the incessant chaos, we all appreciate the family coming over for dinner – after all, it’s in keeping to traditional Christmas cheer – but maybe next year it’s worth politely suggesting they just come over for drinks. On that topic, another disaster is… WARM WINE… what is with that?! I know Turkeys are pretty big and the fridge is always crammed-full of chipolatas and carrots but there is most certainly enough space for wine. Always. Rant over.

Now you may be thinking, well how do you avoid this? And in all honesty, I’m not sure what the answer to that is. After reading this you may be thinking, ‘well why bother? Let’s just go to the carvery…”

But hey, who ever liked a cop-out? Christmas is a time for sharing and caring and if a little burnt Turkey got in the way of that then who cares!? It’ll be a funny family story for years to come, perpetuating good feeling in the forthcoming year. So no matter how big or small the family, or how disastrous the day could potentially pan out, it’s always worth it in the end. Merry Christmas.

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