How to impress this Christmas – or not!


If you are feeling the pressure of Christmas entertaining this week, you can rest assured you are not the only one and for once, it seems this isn’t just about being a woman!

Recent research shows that Brits rank their friends above their own in-laws and parents as the people they are under the greatest pressure to impress with their Christmas hosting skills. The survey of over 2,000 men and women in Great Britain, conducted by YouGov on behalf of homeware retailer Dunelm Mills, found that 60 per cent of British adults who have guests visiting this festive season feel under pressure to impress.

Number one on the list to impress was friends followed by their mother, then mother in law, in laws, children, sister, partner, father, father in law and lastly brother. The tyrannical Mother in law stereotype is dispelled by the fact that people are far more worried about impressing their own mothers rather than their partner’s (13% vs. 8%) and interestingly men feel the pressure of their mother’s critical eye more than women with 15% of men being most worried about their mother visiting this Christmas compared to 12% of women.

Of the 2,000 people surveyed the most common Christmas complaints were from guests included the house is too cold or too cluttered, the Christmas tree isn’t big enough, decorations are too extravagant (never!), the house is too noisy and lastly the Christmas decorations are not traditional enough!!

Who are these people and if it were my relatives complaining, I’m not sure I’d want to invite them back #justsaying.

If you are hosting Christmas this year and are worried about keeping everyone happy, maybe you want to check out  Martha Stewarts Countdown to Christmas, which features a series of Christmas recipes and craft videos, shot at Martha’s amazing country house. They will either inspire you to create the perfect Christmas or depress you into pouring a sherry at 10am.

Personally I feel it’s enough to make a cup of tea, put your feet up, watch the videos and live your life vicariously through Martha.


  • marv says:

    Yep Jane, any relatives complaining in this house would definitely not be invited again. We are having a Nigella Christmas, with a Brined and Spiced bird, sprouts etc. If they don’t like it they can cook their own dinner next year!

  • mary says:

    Thanks for this hilarious post. It’s vitally important (and sometimes impossible) to keep things in perspective at Christmas time!
    (said through gritted teeth)

  • Jane says:

    I agree at the end of the day its actually only ONE day – with so much pressure attached to it! And everyone knows Martha Stewart has an ARMY of people to create her perfect Christmas!!

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