Getting the cooking timings right is the most stressful part of Christmas Day, study finds


Worrying someone might say something controversial at the dinner table is a pinch point for exactly one in five.

And for 19 percent, the annual grilling by relatives about their love lives makes them fret.

But for some, the prime moment of festive anguish comes when the Christmas Eve hangover reaches its peak.

Despite this, the research, commissioned by i heart Wines, also found it is just after 9:30am when revellers will pop the cork on their first glass of bubbles, or pour themselves a glass of wine on the big day – as 62 percent admit normal food and drink rules fall by the wayside.

And despite the average Christmas Day prep starting 14 days in advance, it takes only until 10:02am for many of these best-laid plans to have gone out the window.

The wine brand has also created a head-scratching puzzle, which challenges readers to find their favourite tipples among a scene of Christmas chaos.

Dani Buckley, from the wine brand, said: “Putting on the “perfect” Christmas can be incredibly stressful – so why not just embrace the chaos?

“Some of the best and funniest Christmas memories are made when things start to go awry – from that one member of the family who has too much too soon, to someone mentioning Santa might be somewhat of a fabrication.

“That’s why it is so important everyone remembers this Christmas to not fret over the imperfections, and just enjoy their unique – or totally wacky – festive traditions to the fullest.”

The research found that, for more than three-quarters (76 percent), there is typically some sort of mishap in their homes at Christmas.

The most common of these blunders include price tags left on pressies, and forgetting key Christmas dinner staples.

And many have suffered the anguish of gathering around for a movie with their parents, and having to endure a painfully awkward sex scene.

What’s more, 57 percent believe many people only put the “good” parts of their day on social media, so their family life appears more perfect.

But for 44 percent, the most important thing is celebrating real and authentic festivities.

Relief is the most common feeling people experience once the big day is over, followed by happiness – but one in four (26 percent) just feel exhausted when everything is said and done.

Overall, 19 percent believe they have “mastered” putting on Christmas celebrations – although 29 percent recognise they are a few steps below that elite level.

And a third (33 percent) rate themselves as just average at getting prepped for the festive season, the OnePoll research revealed.

Those who have reached the pinnacle of putting on Christmas said the average age at which they hit their perfect stride was upon turning 30.

Getting the timings right for Christmas dinner is ranked as the hardest part of the day to master, with many also saying it is difficult not to stress when this does go amiss.

But 17 percent find the hardest part of the day to perfect is not personally overindulging.

Dani Buckley, from i heart Wines, added: “Building up to the big day, we all have visions of sparkling decorations on the towering green tree, crisply wrapped presents, and an immaculately laid dinner table.

“But when push comes to shove, many of us have to make some sacrifices to this idyllic idea of Christmas.

“And after the stress of getting everything sorted, it is always important to find plenty of time to put your feet up with your favourite tipple.”



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