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Christmas

Christmas disasters

(84 Posts)
MayBeMaw Thu 25-Nov-21 11:38:10

Inspired by Sago’s organisation, I thought there was room for a thread on the things which have gone wtong over the years.
One I shall never forget was how some years ago I had to make a mercy dash to Scotland in mid-December (a full days drive) to get my father into a care home as he realised he was not coping alone even with carers, so I drove up Thursday, did a headless chicken act with care homes in the town, SS etc and moved him in on Saturday. We were lucky. One had a room - not necessarily the home I might have chosen but it was friendly and in the town centre.
Drove home on Sunday as I was still teaching part time and due back at work on Monday. Being organised, I had done all my Christmas food shopping, bar the cream and fresh stuff and my huge chest freezer in the garage was stuffed to the gunwales.
And the red warning light was on.
The contents represented several hundred ££££ worth of shopping as I had taken advantage of “shop early” offers as well as my own baking, and I had no idea how I could even afford to replace it at short notice and we were hosting everybody including DH’s mum, his sisters, our nephew as well as our girls else over Christmas. However, I was lucky, it was very cold weather and my lovely repair man told me to cover it with a blanket to keep the cold in and came out on later that Monday to replace the motor/compressor/gizmo and all I lost was the smoked salmon on the very top.

Then there was the Christmas I accidentally placed two identical internet orders with Ocado and Waitrose because I thought one had not gone through.
I could have opened a shop and we were eating Christmas food through to the end of January.

annodomini Thu 25-Nov-21 20:41:52

A week before Christmas, DS2 was 'up north' on business and arranged to take me back with him to spend Christmas with the family. All my luggage and Christmas things were neatly arranged by the door to be loaded into his boot. Arrived at the family's home and...where was the Christmas cake? I was planning to decorate it on arrival, but not a chance! Arrived home in January and there was the bag, with the cake still in its tin. A good fruit cake will keep almost infinitely especially if well laced with brandy which it was. It lived on in the freezer and made a triumphant appearance the following Christmas.

annodomini Thu 25-Nov-21 20:41:52

A week before Christmas, DS2 was 'up north' on business and arranged to take me back with him to spend Christmas with the family. All my luggage and Christmas things were neatly arranged by the door to be loaded into his boot. Arrived at the family's home and...where was the Christmas cake? I was planning to decorate it on arrival, but not a chance! Arrived home in January and there was the bag, with the cake still in its tin. A good fruit cake will keep almost infinitely especially if well laced with brandy which it was. It lived on in the freezer and made a triumphant appearance the following Christmas.

annodomini Thu 25-Nov-21 20:41:52

A week before Christmas, DS2 was 'up north' on business and arranged to take me back with him to spend Christmas with the family. All my luggage and Christmas things were neatly arranged by the door to be loaded into his boot. Arrived at the family's home and...where was the Christmas cake? I was planning to decorate it on arrival, but not a chance! Arrived home in January and there was the bag, with the cake still in its tin. A good fruit cake will keep almost infinitely especially if well laced with brandy which it was. It lived on in the freezer and made a triumphant appearance the following Christmas.

annodomini Thu 25-Nov-21 20:41:52

A week before Christmas, DS2 was 'up north' on business and arranged to take me back with him to spend Christmas with the family. All my luggage and Christmas things were neatly arranged by the door to be loaded into his boot. Arrived at the family's home and...where was the Christmas cake? I was planning to decorate it on arrival, but not a chance! Arrived home in January and there was the bag, with the cake still in its tin. A good fruit cake will keep almost infinitely especially if well laced with brandy which it was. It lived on in the freezer and made a triumphant appearance the following Christmas.

annodomini Thu 25-Nov-21 20:43:28

This duplication is crazy. I only pressed control/return once and this happened. Apologies

mumofmadboys Thu 25-Nov-21 21:08:50

That is funny anno! Easily amused!

Jillyjosie Thu 25-Nov-21 21:33:58

One Christmas Day during a lull in the cooking, I decided to have a go on the new skateboard which had been given to one of my daughters. It had been left in our long hallway, I lasted seconds, the skateboard sped on alone and ended up colliding noisily and messily with the glass door of the oven. The oven was opposite the door to the hall and was full of half cooked Christmas dinner. DH was furious but the kids roared with laughter. I can't remember exactly how we managed but I remember dinner being quite late that year. He's never forgiven me, the old bore!

GrannySomerset Thu 25-Nov-21 21:55:54

Thank you, Maw, for such a marvellous thread. As someone who is far from a domestic goddess it cheered me up to know that other people have disasters too. One year, with a house full, I had bought everything except washing up liquid and Boxing Day saw DH driving round the more ethically diverse bits of the city looking for an open corner shop. I was not popular and very miffed that only my omission merited comment and not the enormous amount of provisioning I had done.

Maggymay Thu 25-Nov-21 22:55:18

Our first Christmas as newlyweds I made my first Christmas cake ,in due course iced it was very proud of how it looked.
When I cut it Christmas day it was uncooked in the middle.When MIL who was a marvellous cook, but very critical ,came round Boxing day and asked for a slice DH told her we had already eaten it all.😂

cornergran Thu 25-Nov-21 22:59:04

Entertaining thread maw. It’s more than good to know it’s not just me!

There was the year of the exploding Pyrex casserole redecorating the kitchen with gravy.

The year when our incredibly well behaved dog who never touched human food licked the icing from one side of the Christmas cake which had been put on the bottom tier of the tea trolley (remember those?). Neatly trimmed I’m embarrassed to say it lived to fight another day - as did the dog

The year I fell top to bottom of our staircase (before alcohol had been imbibed) just as my dad reversed into our caravan which was parked well to the side of our drive. When the call handler at our caravan insurer stopped laughing the claim was processed without problem.

There was the incident of the roast potatoes when the tin took on a life of its own and flew across the kitchen depositing the potatoes neatly in an (almost) dry sink. Well, at least they weren’t on the floor.

I could go on, Christmas without a drama isn’t Christmas around here.

M0nica Thu 25-Nov-21 23:21:01

Mind you last Christmas teetered on the edge of disaster. It was my turn to host the family do. In October I ordered the 7.5 kilo turkey, 1.5 kilo gammon, and in early November made cake, puddings and mincemeat.

Then, of course we had a lockdown over Christmas, which reduced the party to 3 and then DH had a heart attack, which reduced the party to DD and myself.

DD does not like dried fruit, so there was only one person left to eat the cake, pudding and great heap of mince pies. As all hospital visiting had stopped we could not take DH any.

DD and I decided, no matter what, to do Christmas in style and sat at the fully laid up and festive dinner table, peeping at each other over the huge turkey that occupied the centre of the table between us. On Boxing Day I cut it in half and froze half, hoping that we would be able to get together in the months after Christmas - no that didn't happen either, and DH was still very ill when he was discharged and didn't feel like eating and didn't regain his appetite for about 6 weeks.

The turkey was finally finished over the May Bank holiday.

Grammaretto Fri 26-Nov-21 01:46:38

These are hilarious! Thanks Maw grin
My disasters sound quite tame.
We were on our way to our DS in the Midlands on Christmas Eve. It was their first time hosting us and we were all excited. The snow started around Berwick-upon-Tweed and the car broke down. AA called but after an hour at a garage we realised there was no way we could reach our destination. We had to call off and somehow got home only to realise we had no Christmas food. However Asda was still open and selling off things very cheap.
Once we were over the disappointment, Christmas on our own with the snow outside was really nice.
DDiL's parents came to theirs so they had a nice time.

Teacheranne Fri 26-Nov-21 01:49:06

I lived 100 miles away from my mum and arrived at her house on Christmas morning at one o’clock ish expecting to find the smelling of roasting turkey, only to find the oven door has dropped off and we had no oven! Luckily our friends over the road ate their dinner very early so we spent the next couple of hours traipsing across the road to cook our dinner. After all the pre dinner drinkies, no one noticed that dinner was not ready until 5 pm!

Witzend Fri 26-Nov-21 07:39:12

‘Best’ I can recall was when dd1 of maybe 20 came home after her evening out on Christmas Eve, with a live lobster, which she’d rescued from some drunken bloke who’d won it in a raffle and was chucking it around the pub.

By then it was close to midnight but she was determined to drive there and then to Brighton (we live in S London) and put the poor thing back in the sea.

My mother who was staying had a pink fit - it was very cold for once, she was fearful of icy roads and drunken ‘yobbos’ that late at night in Brighton.

So it was finally agreed to leave it until morning, when one of us would go with her.
Poor old lobster was left outside in a bucket of water, but in the morning it was dead.

2nd best, also dd1, was again when she went out on Christmas Eve and left her pet rat (Dave, acquired while at uni) free range in her bedroom.
There were strict instructions to everyone not to open her bedroom door (we had a cat).

However at about 10 pm I found her bedroom door open and Dave (who was very tame and would come when called) nowhere to be seen.
We went mad looking forward him, esp. since the back doors had been opened more than once - what if he’d got out?
I was envisioning an emotional nightmare later, when dd got home to find him gone for ever.

However we eventually found him safe. He’d come downstairs and into the sitting room (evidently right past the cat who was curled
up asleep under a small table), behind the sofa and round the corner into the ‘study’ area, where he’d gone to sleep behind dh’s briefcase.
Talk about phew!!!

Shelflife Fri 26-Nov-21 07:59:27

Power cut on Christmas day 5 years ago ! My turn to cook for immediate and extended family. Got up at the crack of dawn to put turkey in - nothing!! Sister lives 45 minutes away, after phone call we packed all the food up - prepared veg, turkey , seasonings , puddings - everything and drove to my sisters. Then phone calls to family about change of venue. No electricity till late on Boxing day !!!! On a other occasion I decided to cook the turkey in a large oven proof dish rather than use my usual tin. After a couple of hours I checked the oven and the dish had cracked in half, fat everywhere!! Took us ages to clean the oven and rescue the turkey. Fortunately it easy a clean break for the dish, so after a quick inspection the bird was in the usual tin and back in the oven . Late dinner that Christmas! This year after many years of cooking Christmas dinners our daughter and SIL are doing the honours - about time too !!! Looking forward to that.

MayBeMaw Fri 26-Nov-21 08:28:38

Not exactly a disaster and not funny, but certainly unexpected.
In 2008 Paw (DH) had been in hospital locally in November with a perforated bowel, thankfully operated on in time, but pathology showed a tumour so he was moved to the Royal Free in London where Lymphoma was diagnosed. The weeks before Christmas were fraught but it seemed as if the tumour and enough around had been removed cleanly and he was due to start monoclonal antibody therapy in the New Year. Right up to the day before Christmas Eve I did not know whether he would be allowed home. Despite being stable he could not come out but I had cooked a venison casserole in advance , put it in the boot of the car, took the dog to kennels and decamped to youngest daughters flat in London.
My sisters in law came up from Kent and they, the daughters and I took smoked salmon sandwiches over to the hospital on Christmas Day, wheeled DH down to the cafe in the hospital and opened a bottle of bubbly, spending most of the day with him. Then we went back to D’s flat for the casserole and an early night. It was actually really nice (well compared to the preceding weeks when we thought we would lose him) and up to then the lowest-key Christmas ever. No cards, no tree, no fuss, no time for presents just knowing that he was (relatively) safe was enough for me.

Tizliz Fri 26-Nov-21 09:07:51

Quote NanaandGrampy Thu 25-Nov-21 14:19:20

Read this last night and only just recovered. Tried to read it out to OH but he couldn’t understand me through the tears of laughter. Strange how some things can really make you laugh. Thank you

Luckygirl3 Fri 26-Nov-21 10:00:21

On Christmas Eve I put the turkey in the utility room where it was icy cold as the fridge was full by then. When I came down early to put it in the oven it was clear that mice had nibbled it. With about 10 to feed there was nothing for it but to give it a rinse in the sink and bung it in the oven. I said not a word!

I had also made a posh new stuffing with all sorts in it, and when the 10 of us were seated at the table, one of my girls said "What's this in the stuffing Mum? - it looks like a mouse poo!"

Gulp!

bear1 Fri 26-Nov-21 10:52:54

the Christmas my first husband decided he was going to inform me he was leaving at begining of January as he wanted time alone he had arranged a flat and was leaving for six months i found out later he really was leaving because he had another woman

LynneH Fri 26-Nov-21 10:54:23

My oven blew up on Christmas Eve one year. Luckily, we were having a three-bird roast that year. MiL hovered around making useless comments and unhelpful suggestions, while I researched what to do on the Internet. The roast fitted the slow cooker, with a millimetre to spare, so I put it on a bed of onions and put it on to cook in the wee, small hours. It was delicious

Witzend Fri 26-Nov-21 10:58:07

One year I had so much Buck’s Fizz, I completely forgot the potatoes. Turkey was done, spuds were t even parboiled.

So the 3 pm dinner was actually at about 5. However we decided that it was much more civilised to have it later, so Christmas dinner has been at 5-6 ever since.
So not a disaster in the end.

Yammy Fri 26-Nov-21 11:03:46

Three stand out in my mind maybe that's why I am such a list woman. The first was we had got a new cooker elder child decided to warm the mince pies we were having mid-morning , did not notice the goose was already in and we sat down to barbequed goose as they never turned the heat down again.
The second I was cooking a dessert one boxing day that told you to insert a can in the middle if you did not have the right cake tin. I Inserted a can of beans forgetting it was a ring pull they came to the boil and exploded all over the oven. The rest of Boxing day was spent cleaning the oven.
The third I was so bl....... tired after Christmas lunch I went for a nap in the lounge when the rest of the company came through they wakened me to tell that the 6 ft Christmas tree had fallen over just behind me breaking lots of glass ornaments I had never heard it!!!!!!

Gabrielle56 Fri 26-Nov-21 11:21:50

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Unigran4 Fri 26-Nov-21 11:30:51

bear1

the Christmas my first husband decided he was going to inform me he was leaving at begining of January as he wanted time alone he had arranged a flat and was leaving for six months i found out later he really was leaving because he had another woman

bear1 Snap! He told me on Christmas Day he needed time "to find himself" and was gone by NYs day. Flat organised and female detective installed to help him find himself! Left me with two toddlers who couldn't understand why Mummy acted like a Zombie all over Christmas. But that was 45 years ago.

GrannyScotland5 Fri 26-Nov-21 11:36:46

Here is a seasonal song to cheer you up.

The School Nativity Play

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ts2Iqpvw-s