“I thought she really wanted to know what I thought of the tiramisu…”

A warm meeting with happy faces and peace on earth? Perhaps the reality in the movies is even more embarrassing. And funnier.

Joan Mackenbach

peace on earth? Not right!

Anouk (37): “It was plain: My two brothers, a married couple, had gotten into a big quarrel. I saw it at once in their angry faces when they came to celebrate Christmas with us last year. Ostensibly they sat as far apart as they could, not intending to outrun the argument.

I did my best: the Christmas tree was beautifully decorated, candles were burning everywhere, the fireplace was roaring, Christmas music was playing and the table was full of snacks. But the gentlemen remained angry. They behaved normally towards us, and passive-aggressive towards each other. The room was filled with tremendous tension. Two hours later I called my husband into the kitchen with an excuse. I really couldn’t take this bad weather anymore. Then my husband called his brother and his husband to order: either they behaved normally, or they were allowed to leave again.

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Fair or not?

Elena (35): “Christmas 2009, baptism of fire with my (now) husband Frank’s family. We had a gourmet and were all ready for dessert: tiramisu. Apparently something my mother-in-law makes every year and everyone praises her. After I had a bite, the whole family looked at me with anticipation. And I didn’t quite understand what they wanted from me, I had only known them for a few months. But that concoction wasn’t tiramisu. I thought I could honestly say, after all, the Dutch are known for their straightforwardness. If anyone knows what they’re supposed to taste like, it’s me. After all, I was born and raised in Italy.

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At home, we make tiramisu with fresh egg yolks, mascarpone, Marsala, and biscotti savoyardi. Not with Baston biscuits, cream cheese from a packet and a few drops of almond flavoring. My comment was completely wrong. With a jerk, my mother-in-law pulled my plate from the table and put it in front of herself with a bang. Luckily it worked, but she never gave me the tiramisu again. At Christmas, I’m the only one who gets some candy from candy. ”

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Christmas with a hangover

Sandra (45): Until then, Boxing Day 2020 had been running smoothly. After a nine-course Christmas dinner for three adults and two children, I washed everything and cleaned the kitchen. My last measure was to put away my silver cutlery, which I keep on top of the cupboard for special occasions. The three-drawer cassette was very heavy, over thirty kilograms. I climbed onto a chair to reach the upper shelf, and could not remember which chair it was. Because the cassette obscured my view, I could not see it either. Stupid in retrospect, because I should have known That there are wheels under it.

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It seemed to be going in slow motion: the moment I started riding to realize I was really going to fall. Then it happened with a big bang. With the cassette and all, it hovered over the back of the chair. The box was broken, but so was I. My body looked like it was still working, but unfortunately I broke my shoulder. I had to go to the emergency room right away. But because I was afraid that my beautiful dress would be cut to pieces, I quickly changed with the help of my husband and mother-in-law. In the hospital I was given a sling. Otherwise it should heal conservatively with plenty of rest, without surgery. I could not move for weeks after that and slept upright in bed, under the influence of painkillers. Fortunately, it turned out okay. Indeed, I still have to laugh when I think of the nurse’s appearance when I see her “party clothes”: a cardigan with oil stains, only a bra underneath, loose-fitting sweatpants, thick woolen socks and blue bath slippers…”

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Is everything free?

My sign (32): “As a mail and parcel delivery company, December is my busiest month. Right before Christmas we want everyone to get their cards and gifts on time, so this is a lot of work. We work long days and I usually feel exhausted after This working day.

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Partly for this reason, I wasn’t at the supermarket until five o’clock last Christmas Eve for the festive shopping. It was as if everything was free that day. All shelves are empty. There wasn’t really any piece of chicken left, nor anything else I could cook a feast with as individuals. I was celebrating Boxing Day with my sister, but the other evenings I sat and ate alone. Fortunately, pizza is still being delivered.”

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plastic sheeting

Paula (41): “When I was new to my friend Paul’s family four years ago, I was lucky. I was invited to his sister’s for Christmas, but I had to bring something nice. Something was cooking. Everyone always seemed to partake in a cold and hot buffet. I’m more interested in myself.” With soup in a bag and ready-made pancakes, but I didn’t dare touch that.

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At the local caterer, I ordered a tomato stuffed with seafood and a homemade roulade with cranberry pâté. It looked very shiny. I scooped everything neatly into golden bowls and tricked my way into the family. Unfortunately, I forgot to remove one thing: the plastic gaskets the butcher meticulously placed between the slices of roulade.”

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Stuffed soup

Eugene (32): “It’s my turn to have the traditional seven-course dinner in the circle of friends, but I’m far from a culinary prodigy. I have a few classics that always work well when I get people to eat, like the famous lentil soup. If you combine it with an easy cheese board ( From the cheese maker), a great dessert (with ice cream from the supermarket) and a shrimp cocktail, I thought I’d go a long way.

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I spent all day in the kitchen and was so proud of my first great dinner. We started with the soup, to which I added fried bacon for festivities. But it was so nourishing and filling that all six of us were stuffed. I was hoping the party with prosecco ice cream and lemon would let things down a bit. Only on the third course no one was hungry and we moved on to coffee. We ended up eating Christmas dinner for three more days.”

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twice the error

Alice (45): “Before Christmas we draw lots with the whole family and then buy a gift for about 25 euros. We do it for my youngest daughter’s birthday in November, when we are together anyway. Now, to my horror, it has already happened twice that I’ve skipped my brother-in-law.

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The first time I accidentally wrote my mom’s name twice, last year my son got an extra gift. So both times my brother-in-law got nothing. So I quickly give him a book I’ve been lying about, but I’m afraid he thinks I hate it. Once is bad enough, but if it happens to you twice as well with the same thing, then you have to “do it on purpose”.

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Awkward Christmas Stories: A Touch of Red

Elaine (45): “The invitation to my work’s big Christmas party said ‘a touch of gold’ as a dress code. Now I still keep a smart white men’s suit in which I can wear a gold blouse and gold pumps. Once you get to the party there are booths everywhere where you can eat and drink.” Something.

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I started with a glass of wine, but just as I was about to take a sip, a colleague pushed me. The wine spilled all over my suit, right into my crotch. I saw everyone looking at me, but when I tried to remove the stain from the toilet, it only made it worse. In short: in an hour I was home. I put on my pajamas and never got off the couch.”

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Turkey bouncing

Melanie (49): “Traditionally, my mother cooked the turkey in the oven for Christmas. To keep it nice and tender, she sometimes sprayed the turkey with the cooking juices. Open the door, pull the sleigh with the poultry forward a little and baste it with the broth. So was the time when we, her three daughters, had supper.” With her.I pulled the tray away a little, which sent the turkey out of the oven and circling around the kitchen floor.

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We screamed with laughter, but we caught him and put him back in the oven. Later we ate it deliciously. A few years later my mother passed away. We still tell the story of the bounce turkey every year. It also became my motivation to keep the tradition alive. Now I cook turkey every Christmas and think about her.”

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Pear stew with tic

Naomi (37): “We dined with my dad on Christmas Eve with the whole family plus supporters. My mom had gone out of her way to have a festive, kid-friendly menu. With Brussels sprouts and stuffed pork tenderloin, as well as braised apple and pear chutney, potato rounds and fish fingers. The kids were delighted. Quite possibly too much, because they seemed to get happier with time during and after dinner.

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When they also felt dizzy, my sister-in-law asked my mother what was in the stewed pears. She put her hands over her eyes and exclaimed, “Oh no!” I forgot that not all of the alcohol evaporates during cooking and that it’s not smart to add a good shot of port to pears just before serving. The (adult) kids slept like babies that night. This again. ”

clarification: stock struggle

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