We all know that Christmas dinner is one of the ultimate moments during the festive season. From carving the turkey or a warm nut roast, to pigs-in-blankets, roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts - only if you can stomach them, of course. There's usually something drool-worthy for everyone.
Now one mum has shared her own take on the classic Christmas dinner on social media and it's had a very mixed response.
Mum-of-two Amy Spilman from Derbyshire, shared a picture of her Christmas dinner table for her two children and partner. It has some of the classics we all know and love, including a turkey crown and pigs-in-blankets, but there are also some surprising foods, like a homemade cheese board, crisps, pickles, feta stuffed peppers and mini pizzas.
Writing in the Family Lowdown Tips & Ideas page, she explained: “Am I the only one that doesn't do a Christmas Dinner? It always puzzles me why when everyone says Christmas is about spending time with your loved ones and how it's for the kids, that everyone opts for one of their loved ones to be stuck in the kitchen near enough all day cooking a big dinner that the kids don't want to eat because they just want to play with all their new toys.”
"I'll make a big roast any other day of the year but Christmas day is party food and turkey cobs (rolls or whatever you call them) and a day to enjoy with my family definitely not stuck in a hot kitchen peeling spuds!"
Facebook users were left seriously divided, with some parents acknowledging that ditching the classic Christmas meal meant they got to spend more time with their family rather than in the kitchen but others suggested prepping in advance was the key.
One parent said: "We have pizza for Christmas dinner-no complaints from kids, I get to spend time with them instead of stuck in the kitchen-everyone’s a winner!"
Another Facebook user commented: "I used to do the big Xmas dinner. But over the past few years I've realised our food doesn't have to be the stereotype Xmas meal. I make foods everyone in my family enjoys! More relaxed Christmas and everyone is happy x"
Some parents said they prep the night before or sometimes days in advance to ensure they're not stuck in the kitchen all day on 25th December.
One mum shared: "That’s why you prep it Xmas eve when the kids are in bed. You serve starter and pudding in paper bowls and plates so the only pots you have to wash are the same as any other toast dinner day. And you all muck in so it’s much quicker and you’re spending time doing it together!"
A second person shared their prep ideas, writing: "I do all prep in the day or two before hand and have alarms set for when things need to go into the oven etc so just pop in and out. I also quite relish the break in the kitchen if things are getting a little loud in the rest of the house."
“Full Christmas dinner here with all the trimmings. I don’t mind the slaving away in the kitchen, I do it for the kids mainly,” said one parent.
One other person replied: “Doesn't take that long when you are used to having a roast every Sunday.”
Similarly, someone else wrote: “I never understand when people say they’re in there for hours.”
Amy responded to some of the criticism in the comments and emphasised that she was not a stranger to the kitchen and decided to create her own take on the Christmas Day meal because it's less time consuming.
“When people assumed I wasn’t able to cook a roast, I wasn’t offended, I suppose it is quite logical to assume that the reason for that is because they're not very confident when it comes to cooking,” she tells Tyla.
“However I went to catering college, spent three years working in kitchens and I am no chef but I cook home cooked meals for my family more or less every day.”
Amy shares her recipes and meal ideas on her Instagram page, @amysmealplan.
Three years ago Amy and her partner cooked a three course meal for 11 people at Christmas. “It was really stressful, chaotic, there was so much mess, the kitchen sides were full of pots to wash up and we just felt like we didn't enjoy the one day that people say is about spending with your loved ones.”
The following year they decided to serve party food and turkey rolls and they haven’t looked back since and plan to continue this trend every year.
“Christmas day is a chilled out day, we're not working to strict time schedules, we don't have to do any food prep on Christmas eve, we have food available to pick at all day and the rest of the day is spent having fun, opening presents and being with family, which to me, is much more important than sitting down to have a huge Christmas Dinner that the children don't want to eat because they want to play with all their new toys.”