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If you have grown up children, where do you prefer to spend Christmas Day?

Article by Fabafterfifty

A third of British mums don’t enjoy Christmas if they go to their children’s house for the day, it was revealed yesterday.

The findings emerged in a study of 739 mothers with grown-up children, and shows that many would prefer to host the big day themselves, believing they could do a better job.

Fourteen per cent of mums were fed up with twiddling their thumbs all day long and the same percentage were annoyed that they weren’t allowed to help out in the kitchen.

One in 10 even said the food simply wasn’t up to scratch, and definitely did not meet their own personal standards.
A spokeswoman for Co-Operative Foods, said: “Mums generally love Christmas because it’s the one time of year when the whole family can get together, and the focal point of the whole day is the Christmas meal, which is why is why if it’s not done properly, mums aren’t going to be happy.

An art to getting Christmas right

“There is an art to getting things right at Christmas – making sure everyone is entertained, fed and watered – and it takes many years of practice before mastering the whole day.”

The biggest bug-bear for one in three mums think their family spends too long watching television on Christmas day, rather than entertaining the family.

While 16 per cent of mums found their children played too many games on Christmas day rather than embarking on more traditional activities such as watching the Queen’s Speech and passing round presents one at a time.

Another similar complaint was that the family played far too many computer games all day long.

The study indicates a fifth of mums simply don’t like change, preferring to stick with tradition and host Christmas at their house – their way.

A further 18 per cent claim that past Christmases at their son’s or daughter’s houses have been complete chaos with young children running wild.

And mums simply don’t like being bored all day, with the feeling that they are not having a proper Christmas.
Thirteen per cent of mothers say their daughter or daughter-in-law was visibly stressed about the cooking, something which they usually enjoy taking charge of.

Interestingly, a fifth of mums made such an effort not to interfere with their child’s version of Christmas that they ended up not enjoying the day at all.

Just over one in 10 mums disliked the fact that their children were happy to have friends popping in on Christmas day – feeling the event should be about family only.

The Co-Operative Foods spokeswoman continues: “We’re sure it must be quite nerve-wracking for sons, daughters and daughters-in-law having to host for mum, when she has been in control of the whole operation since they were small.
“Overall most mums don’t like to be critical of their families, with 69 per cent saying that once their daughter or daughters-in-law got over the stress of the cooking, their food ended up being delicious.

“A further two thirds of kind-hearted mums said that considering how stressful Christmas Day can be, their children did a great job for a first attempt – it’s just that the day is so different from the norm and mums are used to be hands on with all aspects of hosting and cooking.”


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  1. Mariam Kobras

    December 20, 2011

    I have to say, I don’t mind others cooking for me at all. And I love spending hours playing computer games with my sons (30 and 18). THAT’S the real Christmas treat for me, having both my boys here and having some fun with them.

  2. Pat Cox

    December 20, 2011

    I’ve tried hoing to families, but I hate sitting “being entertained” and I know they must heave a sigh of relief when I go home.
    It’s easier to let them pop in and out with nibbles etc available for them – plus I can cook the meal I want to eat and everyone’s happy.

  3. Babs (dumphimlove)

    December 20, 2011

    We have been spending xmas day with my daughter since my mother died in 1987. I am amazed at this survey and disappointed. In my opinion xmas is about spending time with each other and enjoying it? I think some Mother’s could do with a reality check?

  4. Ceri Wheeldon

    December 20, 2011

    I was surprised to see the results of the survey. We always have a bit of a dilemma as my mother-in-law will only have Christmas in her own home (in Paris), inevitably we end up upsetting someone as we can’t keep all parts of the family happy – I’m happy to fit in with the majority decision! This year we wont be in Paris (after 4 consecutive Christmases there)and are hoping that next year we can persuade both sets of parents to come to us.

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