Gransnet forums


Have caused an upset!

(36 Posts)
goldengirl Sat 16-Dec-17 11:29:57

Oh dear! Why does Christmas cause problems? My son and family invited us to their house on Christmas Day which I was really looking forward to as since a teenager and except for the odd day since I've cooked Christmas dinner. Since this arrangement they've had another baby so I said to come to me to save hassle and this was agreed. Then I was told they're coming early Christmas morning and leaving by 3pm because the inlaws are visiting them. I've been through the mill healthwise these last few months and just can't face having to rush. It would also mean leaving me with all the clearing as well as preparation and I'll be stuck in the kitchen missing the children open their presents. So on the phone today I suggested we have a Christmas meal on another day. That went down like a lead balloon although DS said he understood but of course it means they will have to cook a dinner themselves. I feel guilty now but on the other hand the stress of having to have things done by a certain time etc will not do me any good. It might be an opportunity for my DG and family to come round. Neither she nor I have mentioned any arrangements yet as things are difficult there too. Have any other GNrs had this experience?

MissAdventure Sat 16-Dec-17 11:33:40

Could you go out to eat? Its probably short notice now, as you have to start booking in July, it seems, but at least you could relax, eat, and not have to spend ages washing up.

Nonnie Sat 16-Dec-17 11:54:53

If you do all the prep the night before you would only have to pop in and out of the kitchen a few times. I do this and hang the vitamins once a year. After all it is only a roast dinner and the pud is already made. Anything so you can enjoy the GC.

glammanana Sat 16-Dec-17 12:09:51

Good advice from Nonnie after prep I would place all veg in a steamer (cutting down on pan washing) have the meat already sliced and when pots done just plate up and serve easy -peasy and no stress,ask DS to assist in kitchen it won't do him any harm whilst you play with DGCs,flowers

grannyactivist Sat 16-Dec-17 12:13:53

goldengirl I think when you've been ill it's as much the thought of it as the actual doing of it that can be exhausting, but when you were looking forward to being taken care of it's doubly hard to deal with the disappointment and the prospect of having to gear up for a busy day. flowers
I'm in a similar position where having had months of ill health my son and his wife are having us all to theirs for Christmas this year - if plans changed it would feel more onerous because I hadn't expected to have to host.

Friday Sat 16-Dec-17 12:41:50

Look on the bright side. You’ll have all the fun of seeing them and then getting rid before it all goes pear-shaped with over excited and sugar fuelled children.

OK you’ll have the clearing up but then you can sit down and watch the Betty Windsor Show and wine without having to worry if you get a bit tipsy.

Baggs Sat 16-Dec-17 12:47:02

There is no rule that says you have to cook a Christmas dinner. Tell your relatives you don't feel up to it and cook them something much more simple, preferably that you can prepare beforehand.

Actually, on second thoughts, don't tell them in advance. Just do it and explain when you bring the food to the table. Unless they are monsters of rudeness and slefish brutes, they'll accept your efforts with grace. They might even recognise that their expectations were unreasonable given your health issues this year.

Nandalot Sat 16-Dec-17 13:11:56

Why not cheat on Christmas Day? I do. Turkey crown and ready prepared veg. from Sainsbury’s. That way, we can do church and present opening ( with two six year olds) before lunch without feeling too stressed. I do feel a cheat when I remember my mum getting up early to put the turkey on, boiling the chestnuts in milk and peeling them painfully (my job), homemade stuffing and the rest.

Teetime Sat 16-Dec-17 13:57:31

I would do a toned down version of the Christmas meal probably from M & S - no nibbles, no starter, one drink each if they are going to eat and run which is rude actually and be glad for a quiet afternoon.

merlotgran Sat 16-Dec-17 14:19:45

Looking at it from your son's point of view, you are the one who changed the arrangements which means they will have to split themselves between both sets of grandparents. It might have been better if you'd stuck to the original plan and visited them on Christmas Day then you wouldn't have had all the work/clearing up etc., which you say is stressful.

If you want to have Christmas Dinner on another day, your son and partner will still have to cook on Christmas Day which is what they were going to do in the first place.

It might have been better to leave well alone.


Norah Sat 16-Dec-17 14:40:31

They will be round for 5-6 hours? I'm sure with a little planning and prep in advance that's a goodly amount of time. Do dishes and major clean up next day, only sorting leftovers to chill after dinner.

Jalima1108 Sat 16-Dec-17 14:44:27

You have to cheat at cooking at Christmas!

Keep it simple, a turkey crown - you can buy some really good ready made sauces - even gravy - pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, frozen sprouts have been recommended on here (never tried them myself but I am assured they are good, parsnips ready done in honey and mustard, carrot batons and roast potatoes all ready in fat to pop into the oven.
Ready made pudding, buy brandy sauce and hey presto!

Let Tesco/Sainsburys/Waitrose/M&S or whoever take the strain.

Then put the foil dishes in the recycling bin.

willsmadnan Sat 16-Dec-17 14:51:13

As others have said, prepare veg the night befor or buy prepped things from M&S. (other supermarkets are available!!) I found it amazing at just how much ready to cook stuff is available now.
How many are launching themselves on you? A turkey crown is smallish and idiot proof, pigs in blankets bought ready to pop in the oven likewise roast spuds. Don't faff about with Christmas pud if you don't want to... trifle or a bought dessert will be fine.
Don't worry about clearing up, cart it all into the kitchen, soak the worst pans and .... leave the washing up till next day. Who's going to see it ??
After your guests have toddled off, pour yourself a glass of your favourite after dinner something (mine's a Bailey's if you're askingwink), put your feet up, and enjoy the rest of the day doing exactly what you want to do.
Actually I would quite like to do that myself... I'm expected to go to DD2 for lunch, will have to spend Christmas night at hers as no-one can be expected to drive me home after several drinks . when,much as I love them all, I really would far rather it was me and the dog at home watching telly, stuffing myself with chocs, mince pies and the aforementioned Bailey's.

Jalima1108 Sat 16-Dec-17 15:00:29

I wouldn't use a pan at all if you can get away with it; normally I wouldn't use tinfoil dishes but I think under these circumstances it's fine - they can be washed without being too fussy and recycled. If you have a steamer for the veg that is good, and a microwave for gravy etc.
I usually do the Christmas pud in the slow cooker (put it on first thing) but it can be done in the microwave very quickly - or a bought dessert would be good too.

lemongrove Sat 16-Dec-17 15:08:28

I agree with some a simpler meal on Christmas Day, say that way, they don’t have to cook a meal, and it will be easier for you , than doing a full Christmas dinner, you will all be happier that way.

M0nica Sat 16-Dec-17 15:30:50

I would prep the whole meal in advance so that you do not go near the kitchen until midday, except for breakfast and turning the oven on and just dip in and out until the last half hour, when you may need to be in the kitchen all the time.

MissAdventure Sat 16-Dec-17 15:33:33

I wouldn't cook at all if I didn't feel up to it. I would find some alternative arrangements.

NanaMacGeek Sat 16-Dec-17 15:42:26

I'm in a similar position, we have family coming to us for Christmas dinner and I have been in poor health. I have cheated outrageously and bought the whole Christmas dinner, it is sitting in our freezer. This includes a turkey crown, pigs in blankets, stuffing, vegetables and gravy. All I have to do is remember to thaw out the turkey crown 48 hours beforehand, the rest is cooked from frozen on Christmas morning. Washing up will be minimum (someone will stack and empty the dishwasher). I've always cooked from scratch before, but don't have the energy this time.

It's being with family at Christmas that counts. It's taken roughly 43 years of being a slave to cooking a Christmas dinner for me to work this out.

merlotgran Sat 16-Dec-17 15:51:41

I wouldn't cook at all if I didn't feel up to it. I would find some alternative arrangements.

There were alternative arrangements in place but the OP changed them.

Am I the only one who can see this from the young family's point of view? hmm

Crafting Sat 16-Dec-17 15:56:55

Could you suggest going to their house and helping them get Christmas dinner there. That way you don't have to rush so much and will have help with the dinner. In laws can come round later and have mince pies and cake and you can all get to spend time with the grandchildren together.

Jane10 Sat 16-Dec-17 17:07:59

Good idea Crafting. With a young baby in the house it would be such a help if you just turned up with lots of ready to heat up goodies and you could all relax!

Cold Sat 16-Dec-17 17:27:01

A lot can be made in advance and frozen and just defrosted the night before. I have a chronic illness and cannot cope with the stress of last minute rush and have already frozen my pigs in blankets, 2 stuffings, bread sauce and cocktail sausages. I borrowed a tip from Nigella and have frozen them all in metal disposable containers so I can put them straight into the oven (and by Boxing Day they will be at the metal recycling or in the bin depending on how I am feeling.

I saw a show called "Eat well for less Christmas" where they also made roast potatoes and veg in advance and froze them.

eazybee Sat 16-Dec-17 17:30:05

If the young family have just announced their intentions of leaving early, then I think that is rude. I think Crafting's idea is a good one, because preparing a meal on your own and clearing it up on your own, whilst the consumers go off elsewhere to have fun, is not good. I've done it, and it is exhausting, and very selfish.
If this can't be arranged, then daughter-law and children can go home and entertain her parents, while son stays with his mother and helps clear up, then they can go and join daughter, in-laws etc and everyone has fun, together.

BlueBelle Sat 16-Dec-17 17:39:07

Crafting if you read the original post that’s exactly what was happening but golden girl changed it I don’t really understand why or what she was expecting

loopyloo Sat 16-Dec-17 17:52:21

I think you should make a very easy meal as suggested above and have them to your place. They have a new baby and I think this would really help them. I am sure they will understand if you take a few short cuts and just be grateful for your understanding. With small children they will be ready for dinner at 1pm. Hope you can sort it out.