Christmas Chaos

Christmas is a time of happiness and joy and togetherness… and also of complete chaos. We are all only just recovering from it, and thought we’d share some of our silly stories with you.

Sara OC (Editorial Director, Print & Digital, Hot Key) – Our car died halfway to my in laws (about two hours away), and we had to unload Christmas onto the sidewalk while the tow truck took away our car, and we waited for my father-in-law to come and rescue us. The car’s gear box had given up, and we ended up spending New Year’s Eve Day running around trying to get a new car.

Naomi C (Editorial Assistant, Hot Key) – I was horrendously ill on the Friday/Saturday/Sunday before Christmas – so ill that I vomited up my mother-in-law’s Christmas dinner and passed out by 9.30. Then my dad had to come and drive from Somerset to Warwickshire to pick me up as I was so ill I couldn’t get on the train AND the trains were in chaos due to flooding. Also my dog set his ear on fire, which is a slightly funnier story.


Amy O (Digital Coordinator, Hot Key & Weldon Owen) – When we arrived at our gate for our Christmas morning flight to San Francisco, we were greeted by this sight. We were not encouraged by the increasing number of airline employees who were lining up at the window to watch the repairs. Nonetheless, about an hour after our scheduled departure time, we were on our way to California (the cold part, not the sunny part).

Tori K (Editor, Weldon Owen) – My husband and I managed to avoid Christmastime chaos at Heathrow – we even got a free upgrade to business class without asking! After the 7 hour flight, we touched down in chilly, grey NYC. Flurries had just begun to swirl before our window. ‘This trip was a breeze. And it really feels like Christmas with a little snow!’ I said. About 30 minutes later, we grabbed our bags and hit the road headed for my parent’s house. The flakes really started to pile up soon we were stuck in bumper–to–bumper queues. It took 5 hours to complete the 45-minute journey. And the Christmas lessons? There are probably only 5 different Christmas songs (done in about 1,000 different versions) ever played on any radio station; Maltesers make an excellent ‘survival’ snack and never say anything to the effect of, ‘this trip was a breeze,’ until you have actually reached your destination.

Becca L (Editorial Assitant, Hot Key & Weldon Owen) – This year we had agreed (for the first time since I was 5) to go to my grandparents house. My mum had agreed that if my grandma could do the turkey we would do everything else. So at 7am my dad was up peeling spuds and crossing sprouts while we went to church. Piling the car up with sausages, parsnips, gravy and carrots we were ready to cook up a feast. Only to find out that my grandma in a moment of insanity had decided that she might as well do it herself (without telling anyone) and everything was already in the oven. We returned home with three kilos of potatoes and enough sausages to last until February.

Martina C (Publisher, Weldone Owen) – Twelve of us arrived at a rented house in the  country; it was a cosy ex-Vicarage, spacious, with a very well equipped kitchen. I had stuffed the two geese, prepared the veg, etc. when, shortly after putting the birds in the oven, the kitchen filled with smoke so vicious it drove everyone who entered to tears within seconds and slowly began to spread into the rest of the house. After battling on with basting and cooking for 45 minutes it became clear no palatable Christmas roast would be forthcoming from the leaking oven. We managed to procure the key to a building across the yard, with a small kitchen + single oven. That plus the microwave-cum-oven in the Vicarage meant I ended up cooking a goose each in two separate kitchens, periodically traipsing across a large yard in the rain to baste and check progress. Eventually we managed to sit down and eat quite a bit later than planned, slightly more inebriated and me – a bit damp – but otherwise all was just fine.

Karima (Rights,Weldon Owen) – Hitting the sales on Boxing Day seemed like a good idea at the time. We got up early, had breakfast swiftly and ventured out into a very rainy day. Once the  parking spot was sorted, we joined the throng of people pushing themselves towards the crowded open air shopping centre entrance. After no time at all we found ourselves at the back of a queue outside an unnamed shoe shop. I’m not much of a shoe person but then I saw the sign : ALL SHOES £19 TODAY! That got my attention. We joined the line and before you could say snargeluff my fiancé had made a quick escape towards some sports shop and my aunt and I were trying on everything from boots to open toed sandals, inwardly chanting £19! We came, we tried, we tired, so we left it at that and came away with our haul of about 9 pairs of shoes between us. Exhausted we arrived at home tearing open bags and liberating the footwear from boxes excitedly only to find that several LEFT shoes were missing. Struggling back into our coats, scarfs and gloves we ventured back out, only to find the line outside the shop having grown exponentially since our departure. Thankfully we managed to convince the bouncer (yes  you read right) to let us back into the shop to secure our lefties, which we did! That’s the last time I’ll be leaving the house on Boxing day, and no £19 pair of shoes can convince me otherwise… unless they’re furry maybe…

Photo 15-01-2013 09 45 54

Do you have any Christmas Chaos stories to share and make us smile?


One response to “Christmas Chaos

  1. How about this for Christmas chaos? On the Friday before Christmas I was cooking a lovely trout, and spent a good while deboning it, in what I thought was a thorough way. At the end of the meal, enjoying a glass of bubbly to celebrate the bringing of the holidays I swallowed a mouthful of fish, which I realised too late contain a bone. Panic ensued, and then a trip to A&E as I couldn’t get it out (but could breathe, fear not!). An x-ray and lots of dry bread later I was sent home with painkillers, as it had passed down but scratched my throat. Cold food and drink for that weekend was prescribed! I was totally fine in the end, and back to health again by Christmas in order to scoff my turkey dinner, but was not how I planned to spend the beginning of the holidays! Lesson: remember to eat dry bread if you accidentally swallow a fish bone – it really works!

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