My top 5 festive failures

1. Ooh I’ll eat anything. Except that. 

Food. It’s the bane of my life at the moment. When you’re an adult, it’s all about the food. Cheese, pâté, trifle, mince pies (actually disgusting, but other people love them). Christmas is an indulgent time, so you better have a fully stocked fridge. Couple that with three small people who struggle to consume a piece of toast if it’s cut into the wrong shape, you’ve got a dilemma on your hands. Explaining why we have to spend an hour in the supermarket, the day before Christmas Eve, preparing for a meal, which quite frankly, I may as well scrape into the bin now, has taken up most of my morning. And I still forgot the parsnips.

2. ‘I’ve only the wrapping to do now, all set otherwise.’

Famous last bloody words. A timeline of a wrapping disaster:

7pm-8pm, sit and listen to children settle to sleep, in order to begin wrapping presents. Joke with husband that we could well be asleep before the children.

9:58pm both wake up after a ridiculously long nap/ridiculously short night’s sleep.

10-10:30pm. Deliver ice stares to husband (who is now apparently ‘too groggy’ to help with the wrapping) slam doors as quietly as possible, whilst still communicating silent wrapper’s rage to husband. Sigh so often you become lightheaded, at this point husband caves, you make him a brew and the wrapping begins.

10:46pm: the sellotape runs out.

Set a new world record for the number of stage-whispered four letter words in 30 seconds.

Drive out to the petrol station in biblical rain to pay £2.89 for the world’s worst flimsy sellotape.

3. What do you want for Christmas?

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, and one that gets repeated over and over again throughout the festive season. I’m guilty of it too; it’s the first thing everyone asks small children in the run up to Christmas. The problem is, it changes. Every day. The chances of getting the desired gift list spot-on correct on Christmas Day, are about as likely as my daughter eating her sprouts. I’ve preempted this, I had a gift etiquette ‘chat’ with my three last week. You know, tips about what to say when someone arrives without a present (‘thank you for coming, it’s lovely to see you!’ Rather than ‘did you bring me a present?’) when you receive clothes as a gift (‘thank you so much.’ Not ‘clothes are boring I wanted a Gooey Louis!’), how to react when your sister has a present which you think is superior to yours (‘gosh I’m looking forward to sharing that…’ As opposed to ‘MINE!!!!’) etc. It went really well, until my daughter’s fourth birthday last week. I realised I’d forgotten the don’t-ask-how-much-your-present-cost part of the conversation.

4. The tumble dryer has broken 

It’s the week before Christmas, it has been raining since July. The tumble dryer decides now is the perfect time to pack in. I know, I know, first world problems. The struggle is real.

5. Rush in haste, regret at leisure

Yesterday, I had a window of time to complete a huge list of jobs whilst my son was playing at a friend’s house. It was imperative that I succeeded before a) he came home b) my husband lost interest in being helpful and c) before the littlest one needed a nap. Husband and daughters seated in the car, I realised I’d forgotten the items I’d actually left the house to post (and was later told by the Post Office that there was no chance of them arriving before Christmas – brill). Rushing back to the car, (in the corner of my eye seeing three visitors arrive on my neighbours’ doorstep) I walked around the back of the car to the passenger side. In my haste, I skidded on the loose stones that I’ve been meaning to sweep back onto our drive for weeks (it’s pretty low on the to do list, but I’ll throw it out there). A man walking past exclaimed in horror at the flying Yorkshire-woman heading his way (I think this threw me further off balance) and before I knew it, I was on the pavement, on my face. The kind man offered to pick me up, mortified I quickly leapt up, thanked him and limped round the car to stick my head in and strap in my eldest daughter, who immediately wanted to know why I was dirty, bleeding and crying. My husband, in the driver’s seat was blissfully oblivious to the drama and scrolling through Facebook to pass the time, reacted with some surprise when I snivelled:

‘Have they gone?’

‘Who?? What on earth have you done?!’

‘The people stood on next door’s doorstep.’

‘Yes, why?’

‘Because I just fell on my face in front of them…and I’ve realised I used to teach one of them.’

Merry Christmas to all you lovely folks, thanks for sharing 2015 with me, and supporting my blog. 2015 has been a proper good ‘un and I’m so looking forward to the challenges and new opportunities 2016 has to offer. I really hope you’re doing a better job than me to prepare for the festive season and wish you all a happy, healthy New Year and beyond.

Ali x



  1. Sounded like one of my many “past caring” days!!! The thing is we tend to dwell on the things that are not going well and forget about the 101 things that are going perfectly. Keep the blogs coming we are loving them. x


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