The hardest things to master at Christmas – including making delicious sprouts and faking enthusiasm for gifts
While the elements most difficult to get right are working out what to buy for family members, wrapping awkwardly shaped objects – and getting the roast dinner timings spot-on.
Research of 2,000 adults who celebrate the holiday revealed making the right amount of food and not giving in to stress when things go wrong also made the top 50 list.
And 13 per cent reckon it’s impossible to stick to a budget when it comes to buying presents.
The research was commissioned by Tesco as part of its campaign to #Standforjoy this Christmas, which has appointed a panel of Advisors to ‘The Christmas Party’ – the tongue-in-cheek party featured in its festive advert – to help the nation’s festivities run smoothly.
Some of the advisory roles include a ‘Master of Mains’ - able to perfect a Christmas dinner, and a ‘Chief Sip’ who has a cocktail for everyone and will be filled by TV barman, Merlin Griffiths.
Alessandra Bellini, from the supermarket, said: “Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year for many, but that’s not to say that people couldn’t do with an extra little help now and then.
“Our research shows that many people want to make Christmas particularly special this year, but it also highlighted the demand for some guidance on some very specific festive topics.”
The nation's mission to make the perfect Christmas dinner
The study also found one in 10 adults struggle to make good gravy at Christmas, and the same amount find it difficult to keep the dinner table conversation on the right track.
Other areas of Christmas which are hardest to master include doing the big food shop, keeping the turkey nice and moist and finding delicious meat-free alternatives.
But 41 per cent are aiming to make sure this year’s celebration is extra special, and 31 per cent will be staying home and hosting more due to the current climate.
Although 30 per cent wish more people would help them out when it comes to hosting.
In an ideal world, 27 per cent would like help decorating their home on a budget, 24 per cent would like assistance pairing Christmas dinner with exactly the right drinks, and 21 per cent want a dedicated gravy-helper to make sure it’s in perfect form.
Alessandra Bellini, from Tesco, which is inviting the public to join the ‘party’ by sharing the role they deserve with the chance to win £100 towards their Christmas shop, added: “We’ve appointed a panel of six advisors to The Christmas Party as part of our mission to stand for joy this season.
“Their hints and tips will be shared with the nation to help the festivities run smoothly.
“We’re also spreading the joy further by calling on the public to join The Christmas Party and share their own set of skills.”
The 50 hardest parts of Christmas to master
- Working out what to buy for family members
- Wrapping awkwardly-shaped objects
- Getting the timings of the Christmas dinner spot-on
- Buying great presents
- Remembering all the groceries that need to be bought
- Wrapping presents well
- The process of cooking Christmas dinner
- Untangling Christmas lights
- Doing the big food shop
- Having everything organised on time
- Not stressing when things go wrong
- Sticking to a present budget
- Making the right amount of food
- Faking enthusiasm for a gift you don't like
- Making sure you look pleased as you feel when given a gift
- Sticking to your food and drink budget
- Making a turkey that's not too dry
- Making crispy roast potatoes
- Remembering to send cards to everyone
- Finding a place to hide presents
- Making good gravy
- Keeping surprises from loved ones
- Making sure you buy enough wrapping paper and tape
- Not appearing bored when talking to relatives
- Making conversation with everyone
- Serving a party food spread that everyone will like
- Deciding what to cook for Christmas meals
- Decorating the tree tastefully
- Keeping dinner table conversation on the right track
- Knowing where you can volunteer to support a charity or food bank over the festive season
- Getting the kids to stay in bed/go to sleep on Christmas Eve
- Having enough drink (wine, champagne, cocktails etc.) supplies
- Having a drinks selection that caters to everyone's tastes
- Catering to gluten free guests/ guests with allergies
- Using up all the leftovers
- Buying enough batteries for all the new toys
- Remembering to cater for vegetarians/vegans
- Finding delicious meat-free alternatives
- Making Brussels sprouts taste nice
- Keeping the Christmas tree alive
- Stopping the dog chewing or opening all the presents
- Making the Christmas tree look 'Instagrammable'
- Serving food that looks 'Instagrammable' / social media ready
- Buying the right drinks to pair with the dishes you are cooking
- Sitting the right guests next to each other at dinner
- Decorating the table for dinner
- Not putting your foot in it with the in-laws
- Having a good playlist for your Christmas party
- Finding out where you can donate food/gifts to charity
- Making a Christmas pudding