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I think I've cooked the last Christmas dinner I ever want to

Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
edited 2. Jan 2016, 05:58 in Living with Arthritis archive
How does everyone manage Christmas dinner? I made much of it ahead of time, bought the dessert premade and still it has been too much. I'm not doing it again and have told OH to expect turkey already sliced from the freezer next year. I haven't recovered yet. The kitchen still has a pile or two of pans waiting to be scrubbed. I enjoy doing dinner just not sure it's worth it.

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That sounds like hard graft, Anna. For the last 3 years we've gone to our son's. He always has about 15-18 there. Everyone who can chips in. Veg, stuffing and turkey are prepped Christmas Eve. Pudding made some time in advance. No starters just get stuck in with the mains. It's my way too when I cook it at home but I've always bought the Xmas pud rather than make my own.

    My forte, at their house, is washing up and brewing up for the others as I'm useless with their veg peeler / knives. It's still tiring, especially after Midnight Mass and a wee Xmas dram afterwards, but his visitors never outstay their welcome and those of us left were all in bed by about 10.30pm this year.

    Oddly enough, I've always found it more tiring to cook for much fewer at home but I do make out a timetable for everything so I know exactly when each thing is going in and coming out of the oven and, when one thing is done, I check what time the next thing has to be done. I attempt to keep washing up to a minimum and delegate others to keep on top of it as we go.

    My golden rule is – it's Christmas so everyone helps if they want to eat.

    And tell OH to get stuck in with those pans :lol:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This year I enjoyed the luxury of having lunch cooked for me by my daughter and her husband washed up. My job was to keep an eye on the children. Last year my then OH and I had an easy cook luxury lunch, crab, crevettes, smoked salmon, new potatoes and coleslaw etc so all I had to cook were the potatoes.

    I know a lot of supermarkets sell ready prepared roast potatoes and other veg and trimmings as well as disposable roasting trays which is one option, another if you can't get someone else to do the honours is to book lunch in a restaurant /hotel etc. A friend of mine and her family did this and she said they had a great day.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • GraceBGraceB Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I cheated! I admit it.

    I purchased a turkey breast joint which was cooked Christmas Eve. Vegetables were peeled Christmas Eve and left in water. The spuds went into the oven with parsnips, the other vegetables were boiled. The turkey - which we'd sliced once it was cold - was warmed through in gravy. My partner had an individual shop brought Xmas pud which was microwaved and my mum & I had trifle (again made the day before). The trifle came out of a packet.

    I did everything in stages - I have no choice but to do this and it's now "normal" for me. I just accepted it would be a basic roast dinner for the three of us and that's exactly what we had.

    The dishwasher dealt with the washing up, and once I'd taken my 91-yr old Mum home - she lives the other side of town - I returned home, and was on the sofa for the rest of the day in my dressing gown. :xmas_redface: I read in the papers that it's apparently the "done thing" for nightwear to be worn as 'leisure wear' so I thought - why not? It was comfortable, warm and I was able to relax.

    I couldn't have done any more and I was lucky in that I managed to pace myself but the following day I was shattered. I just thought it was me and part of Christmas, but I suspect if we're all honest we could all say we were shattered.

    Celebrate the fact you did it, and do all you can to ensure that New Year you do nothing.

    I hope you get some rest and feel better soon.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    You have to make life as easy as possible for yourself.
    Get everyone to chip in. Including OH
    Mine likes cooking so has always done the Christmas dinner {38 years} long before I had OA So I'm very lucky in that respect.
    One time many years ago when he was still working he was working away and it looked like he wouldn't be home for Christmas day. I had 2 little one si Christmas had to be "done" There was nothing wrong with me at that time except a bit of "feeling down". I went out and got a false Christmas Tree, bought a cooked pudding and anything else that all I had to do was to put it in the oven.
    As it happens he appeared on Christmas Eve Night LOL
    Love
    Hileena
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I wonder why we go through this every year? For this one day of the year we spend too much money, buy too much food and put ourselves under an insane amount of pressure. It's daft.

    I am lucky in that Mr DD enjoys cooking and does it all over the Christmas period - I had to smile on Monday night, however, when he came in, plumped down on the sofa next to me and said 'I've had enough of cooking.' A whole four days of doing one meal a day for two of us plus a gammon when his brother came round. Poor lamb. We have friends who always go out for a meal on their own (without the various members of their combined families) to me that seems rather soul-less but I can understand why they do it, Mr DD is keen to do the same next year and it might be worth a try.

    it doesn't have to be done so why do it? That's my rationale for every household task that needs to be abbreviated or jettisoned! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I totally agree with you and love your rationale of " if it doesn't have to be done why do it?" I wonder if that could be used as a New Years Resolution?

    I went out for lunch yesterday with my friend who for the past few years has gone to a luxury hotel on Christmas day with her partner, sister and mother and reccomends it.

    I'm planning to start on taking down my Christmas decorations today, not because of how many there are but simply because I am thinking of how long they took me to put up.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Ah, Slosh, dealing with the decorations. I don't care if I end up with a chicken curry pot noodle on Christmas day because my tree has taken all 24 days of December to set up! I too will start the great dismantle but not until tomorrow. I shall refuse the half-hearted offers of 'help' because if anyone breaks something it's better that it's me. I wish you well and don't overdo things, OK? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your tree looked spectacular in the photos you posted! Mine is much smaller but has decorations I have collected over the years and many which were on my parents tree so they are 40-50 years old. Taking it steady don't worry, I'm learning!
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was at a Meeting {Rota Meeting} for our arthritis care branch. It's held in the Civic Center. I was looking at their tree and how nicely decorated it was.
    Paul the Manager then said {in all seriousness} that what they did was when Christmas was over.....very gently bend the branches {with decorations still attached} slightly upwards. Then it was covered with polythene or something similar and put in the loft or wherever they store it.

    What an idea if it was possible for a household to do that

    Love
    Hileena
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You can get ready lit trees not sure about ready decorated though!
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your posts and encouragement. I baulk at giving up anything resembling a holiday but I too think all the Christmas panic over one day is silly. I've already made up my mind that next year will be different. If husband wants a fancy dinner, I will coach him on how to do stuffing, gravy, etc and, washing pots because he's definitely lacking skill in that area. Otherwise, I will buy a lovely meal from my favorite Chinese restaurant and serve it on festive paper plates. I've been daydreaming about it already.

    I feel bad not being able to do this for him because he does work very hard and is not without his own painful very arthritic back. He will have to lower his expectations again. Man up!

    Fortunately, I did not put up a Christmas tree so I don't have to take one down. OH strung lights across the ceiling in the living which turned out beautifully and we'll be leaving them up for a while. Maybe it's time to make Christmas last longer than one day?
  • daffy2daffy2 Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Maybe it's time to make Christmas last longer than one day?
    Until commercialism took over Christmas started on Christmas Eve and didn't finish until Epiphany(next Wednesday), so there's no reason why it all has to be crammed into one day. When my children were small their present opening was split over several days, and if we were at home then catering was also spread out - not least because over the years various permutations of OH's commitments to volunteer support services, dietary restrictions, choir attendance at church, required more flexibility. Our festive meal was fillet steak cooked by OH, roasties done by me, and whatever other veg was wanted - usually just roast parsnips. Ice-cream for afters more often than not as christmas pud not popular.
    My dutch in-laws had their own take on seasonal meals(and drinks!) if we went to them, which meant that we came home with enough to see us through a couple of days....
  • Boomer13Boomer13 Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That is how I was raised too, Daffy, Christmas started on the 24th and lasted 12 days. A much more satisfactory celebration.
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,860
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry I am late seeing this boomer, I think that age helps I dont worry the same has I did when my family were young, and I remember my poor Mum and I look back and think why didn't we all help out..but thats life .. now my son does the cooking and brings it all rounds..hope you are now relaxing ..x
    Love
    Barbara
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