Linda Colling: Pot noodle roast?

Christmas dinner?
Christmas dinner?
Have your say

EGG and chips, a Pot Noodle, chips and beans, pie and chips, tin of soup, a frozen dinner ... and a cracker if you’re lucky.

Fancy that for Christmas dinner? It’s odds on that’s what would be served up, if we women downed tools for the day and left it to the men.

A survey of 2,000 fellas has revealed a third reckon we make too much fuss and they think they would do a much better job. Ho, ho, ho.

It’s laughable the very idea of not just what they’d put on a plate, but men making Christmas happen. If it weren’t for women there wouldn’t be one. They just wouldn’t bother.

No surprise then that a quarter would happily ditch the turkey and a fifth choose steak and chips, and another fifth simply order a takeaway.

Of course they would, whatever’s the easiest. That’s men all over for you. And the majority have no comprehension of the strategies we women employ to not just bring home the turkey, all the festive feasting, buying the presents, wrapping them, writing the cards, and on the day itself setting to with military precision.

Timing is all. And that’s where fellas are totally lost off in the kitchen, unless their culinary skills transcend a bacon butty.

With them in charge they say it would be less rushed, less expensive and less stressful. How true, because it would be a totally-clueless Christmas. Just as clueless as they look wandering round the lingerie department in M&S, dazed, desperate and so downright embarrassed they are daft enough to buy exactly what we don’t want – the wrong size in wanton red.

They haven’t got a clue what goes into making Christmas because women make it too easy for them.

We do all the donkey work and come the day itself are knackered after dementedly shopping, queuing, juggling work and pushing ourselves to put on a perfect Christmas. We barely have energy to open our presents let alone start the peeling, chopping, basting and juggling of pans.

Why do we do it, pushing ourselves to put on a perfect Christmas? Because we think it’s expected of us and we wouldn’t be worth our salt if we didn’t.

Yet there’s plenty who bring Christmas home in boxes, relying on microwave magic and ready-made this and that, “Take it easy,” I’m told, but like so many I don’t.

Promises of helping to peel the veg go clean out the window as all boys together play with their toys, knowing I’ll play the game in the kitchen.

They mean well, but are so easily wooed away. They just can’t help themselves. And that’s where we women go wrong. We need to make it easier on ourselves.

It’s not. Will they know the difference between a home-made prawn cocktail or a ready-made one, any more than my stuffing or cranberry sauce? But would they care? Of course not.

So, ladies, make it easy on yourself, take a leaf from their book and go for the easiest, stressless Christmas Day you can muster.

Every year my husband repeatedly tells me to do just that, I take no notice thinking the more effort I put in the better it will be. Wrong. We are our own worst enemies.

We don’t trust them in the kitchen. And not without good cause, knowing it will all go to pot without us directing operations. So we let them off the hook to head for the pub and in time-honoured tradition we do it all.

But, I’m reminded of another Christmas Day – an unforgettable episode of the Royle Family and the mother, Barbara, so wonderfully played by Sue Johnston, who after slaving over the Christmas dinner asks her idle family if they’d enjoyed it.

She’s dealt a crushing blow, only to be told over and over again by them all that they didn’t really.

The look on her face says it all.

So, this year it’s going to be different guys. I’m buying you all a pinny and promise to make it a cake walk in the kitchen, make myself as scarce as I can and just sit pretty.

Cheers and bottoms up.