Mum Muddling Through…the Christmas Food Shop

On the twelth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a Tesco big shop home delivery.

Well, he might of if he remembered to book that slot when they were released three weeks in advance.

But the funny thing is, that year after year I seem to fall into the same festive traps, and I can’t help wondering if perhaps, I am not alone?

For me, hell hath no fury like a supermarket shop, and that’s on an average weekday, so it goes without saying that for me, the Christmas food shop is always a home delivery.

Of course this requires not just an available slot, but also us to be at home for any given delivery period in the chaos that is the twenty-somethings of December. Yet, through a little bit of chance and a little Christmas magic, it always seems to, somehow, come together.

Having your Festive food delivered as close to Christmas as possible is a little bit like a game of Russian Roulette. Will it turn up? What will be unavailable? And will my Turkey crown be substituted for Bernard Matthews Turkey Drummers? What will I realise I forgot to order when the apocolypse of shops shutting for 24 hours hits, and will we make it through?

This is usually catered for by allowing a narrow window of time to dash to any given supermarket / local express store / my Mums to pick up any missing essentials such as trifle sponges or picallilli, but hell that’s all part of the fun isn’t it. Despite being exactly what you wanted to avoid, the conclusion is nearly always that you need to go to a big shop and have a little browse of the Christmassy bits…

Which in turn allows for the impulse purchases such as cheese footballs and Christmas puddings, caddy’s of hula hoops and nuts in shells, which you HAVE to have in stock, because, erm, it’s Christmas.

I’m curious. Is anyone else with me on cooking a turkey on Xmas eve when you’re eating out on Christmas Day, just so you can have cold turkey sandwiches on Christmas night, dripping on toast on Boxing day and a house that smells like Christmas? I like to think of it as practice for one of these days when I will be an actual proper grown up and throw a big family Christmas at ours.

Of course despite using up all the food in the house, and racking up the biggest food shop bill of the year, the arrival of Christmas doesn’t necessarily mean we have anything to eat in the house. Like, actual dinners.

So it’s cold turkey and pickles, bread and cheese, chocolate orange and biscuits, and more of the same every day for a week, and wondering if the Chinese is open tonight.

You’d think also, that facing our second sober Christmas, we would have halved our shopping bill in cutting out all the booze. But in actual fact, the preparation involved in being alcohol free at Christmas means you need to go into this thing armed and dangerous with a bottle or five of AF booze under your arm. Because ain’t no one going to rustle you up a Heineken 0% at no notice. Fact.

Plus, we still have to cater for passers through so will still stock up on the beer, red, white and baileys, you know, just in case. So in actual fact, our festive bar bill pretty much doubled.

The mince pies will probably go in the bin as they slide past their expiry date in late January and I’ll wonder why I even bought them in the first place. But it’s the same reason every year…because it’s Christmas, and that’s what you do.

So as I unpack the bounty of excess a few days before Christmas, I’ll ponder to myself exactly why did I go so mad, when we aren’t even home for Christmas anyway…


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