Great Britain
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These are the most common Christmas calamities – does yours make the list?

Brits have revealed the most common Christmas mishaps, including forgetting to put the oven on, bringing up politics at the dinner table - and losing someone’s present.

A study of 2,000 adults found nearly three quarters have had a Christmas blunder, with knocking over the Christmas tree, getting too tipsy and being caught cheating at Scrabble all in the top 40 list.

Other awkward moments include being caught pulling faces behind auntie’s back and not realising your mother-in-law was in earshot when moaning about her interfering.

The survey found that Christmas mishaps are so common, one in three believe getting through the festive period without at least one blunder would be a true Christmas miracle.

As a result, 64 per cent suspect people tend to filter their festive period, only putting the ‘good parts’ of Christmas on social media so their family life appears more perfect.


But six in 10 would rather have a ‘real and authentic’ festive experience than getting too caught up trying to make everything perfect.    

Tina Warner-Keogh, co-founder of Warner’s Distillery, which commissioned the research, said: “There’s nothing more real than when things don’t go quite to plan at Christmas.

“So, what’s not to love if the dog eats the turkey (that happened) or if the Christmas pudding set the tablecloth on fire (that also happened).

“It’s all real, authentic festive family fun.

“In a world where reality is increasingly filtered to keep up appearances, a real and authentic Christmas – mishaps and all – makes the festive season much more memorable.”

The study also found a quarter of adults have left the price tags on gifts, and 22 per cent ran out of wrapping paper.

Another 12 per cent admitted to blazing their way through two-thirds of a tub of Quality Street by themselves – only leaving the worst ones for others.


1.           Leaving prices on gifts

2.           Running out of wrapping paper

3.           Forgotten to send cards before the cut off postal dates

4.           Not getting someone something who made an effort to get you something

5.           Getting drunk on Christmas Eve and being hungover in bed

6.           Christmas tree fell over/ was knocked over

7.           Getting tipsy on the day in front of relatives

8.           Sending a present in the post and it not arriving

9.           Forgot to put on your ‘happy and surprised’ face when opening a gift you didn’t like

10.         Forgotten a key element of the Christmas dinner

11.         Settled in to watch a film or TV show with the family without realising it had very awkward sex scenes in it

12.         You/ Someone else turning up late

13.         Gravy was watery and terrible

14.         Someone turning up you haven’t invited

15.         Giving a gift to the wrong person

16.         Got your timings wrong and missed The Queen’s Speech

17.         Brought up politics at the dinner table

18.         Hated Christmas dinner

19.         Had someone tell you to your face they didn’t like the present you’d got them

20.         Accidentally breaking a gift you’ve just received

21.         Forgetting to turn the oven on when making the dinner

22.         Burning the Christmas dinner

23.         Got caught making a face at an off-colour remark made by a family member

24.         Writing the wrong name on a gift. e.g. ex girlfriend’s name on current girlfriend’s gift

25.         Your kids waking up and seeing you wrap presents and them realising Santa isn’t real

26.         Didn’t buy my secret Santa gift

27.         Realising at the last moment the turkey didn’t fit in the oven

28.         Overheard your mother-in-law criticising you

29.         Turkey was totally undercooked

30.         Your mum over-indulging and starting to perform to the family

31.         Got caught out regifting

32.         Getting caught cheating at a boardgame

33.         Gotten nan too tipsy

34.         Criticised your mother-in-law when she was in earshot

35.         Accidently giving meat to someone who is veggie/vegan

36.         Refusing to wear granny’s hand-knitted jumper

37.         Not setting enough places at the table

38.         People breaking up at your party

39.         Accidentally flashed at the Christmas party

40.         Driven across the country to visit family – only to forget all their presents at home

And just 23 per cent reckon they have completely ‘mastered’ how to manage Christmas – and get through with no blunders at all.

More than half (53 per cent) of respondents polled via OnePoll would go as far as to admit they feel relieved when the season of goodwill is finally over.

To celebrate Christmas – blunders and all – Warner’s has created a festive cocktail menu, including the ‘0% Come All Ye Drivers’, for anyone trying to avoid getting too tipsy, and ‘Christmas On The Rocks, that can be slung together last minute to appease the in-laws.

Tina Warner-Keogh, from Warner’s Distillery added: “With last year being a pretty unusual one for all of us, let’s not get caught up in the pressure to appear ‘perfect’.

“Whatever blunders you encounter this Christmas, enjoying time with those that truly matter is what it’s all about.

“So, let’s keep it real and have a very merry Christmas.”

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