Loose Women’s Christ­mas chaos

It’s be­gin­ning to look a lot like Christ­mas for Loose Women’s Na­dia Sawalha and Kaye Adams – and that means may­hem…

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They’re menopausal mums deal­ing with grow­ing chil­dren, other halves, el­derly par­ents, busy ca­reers and life in gen­eral– so imag­ine how hec­tic things get at Christ­mas!

Al­ways up for a laugh, Loose Women part­ners-in-crime Na­dia Sawalha and Kaye Adams open up ex­clu­sively to best and, from tur­keys stuffed with melted plas­tic to present-buy­ing melt­downs, share some sto­ries of fes­tive fun…


There are birth­day gifts as well as Christ­mas presents in Na­dia’s house on 25 De­cem­ber, and this chef is hands-on with all the cook­ing! No won­der she’s feel­ing ex­hausted al­ready…

Hi, Na­dia – what’s your typ­i­cal Christ­mas?

Mum and Dad live next door, so they come over in the morn­ing, and then there’s me, Mark, his mum and our two girls. This year, we have one of my step­daugh­ters round, too. We do Cham­pagne in the morn­ing, the stock­ings and smoked sal­mon bli­nis. One of my favourite things to eat is re­ally hot puff pas­try sausage rolls – you peel them open and put in a slab of cold Ched­dar cheese. The most fat­ten­ing thing ever... Then we have a big din­ner at 2pm.

Do you go all-out on dec­o­ra­tions?

Oh, yes! I buy tons of tacky, kitsch dec­o­ra­tions – ev­ery room is full of tat, and I love it. I al­ways do a full snow vil­lage, sing­ing San­tas – the lot!

Wasn’t your el­dest daugh­ter, 14-year-old Maddy, born on 25 De­cem­ber?

She was, so, from 4pm, we switch from Christ­mas to birth­day mode. It’s chaos – a bloody night­mare. I feel sorry for her. You’re knack­ered, and then you have to wake your­self up! Christ­mas is ex­haust­ing.

And even more costly for you!

So ex­pen­sive. I have two step­daugh­ters, and their birthdays are in De­cem­ber. Mark and I are both endof-Novem­ber birthdays, so the amount of presents is bonkers. Maddy is the strangest teenager. Last year, I asked her what she wanted for her birth­day and she went, ‘Mum, I don’t need any­thing.’ I sat in the Loose Women make-up room, go­ing, ‘I don’t know what to do. Maddy doesn’t want any­thing!’

Do you en­joy all the fes­tive par­ties?

I used to. I’m too old for all the ‘dos’, but you feel bad when you don’t go. When you’re in your 50s, with kids and grand­par­ents to deal with, epic hang­overs just aren’t worth it.

Big­gest Christ­mas dis­as­ter?

One year, I cooked the turkey with the bag of giblets left in – it was all melted plas­tic in­side, so we couldn’t eat it. But the worst was the year I told ev­ery­one they could eat what they wanted. You know the film Elf, where they have the big bowl of spaghetti and put choco­late sauce on it? My kids had that for break­fast, then sand­wiches and Pringles for lunch. Mark had Nutella sarnies. My mother-in-law wanted the full din­ner, so she and I had that. It was the most de­press­ing Christ­mas of my life!

What would you love this Christ­mas?

Some peace and quiet? No, that’s im­pos­si­ble. Maybe spend­ing it in a cosy cot­tage in Corn­wall… now, that would be mag­i­cal!


Presents, cards, dec­o­ra­tions, wine - the lists com­piled to get Christ­mas just right in or­gan­ised Kaye’s house are end­less! Just don’t ask her about lunch... More wine, any­one?

So, Kaye, Christ­mas… would you call your­self a fan or a Grinch?

I try not to be a Grinch. I have two kids, Charly, 15, and Bon­nie, 10, and Bon­nie gets hy­per-ex­cited from Hal­loween on­wards. So I can’t avoid it from very early on. I’d love to love it – I do adore the idea of it – but it just be­gins to feel like a job. Presents, cards, dec­o­ra­tions, food, trees... It’s the only time in my life I’d like to trans­form into a 1950s house­wife who starts plan­ning in Septem­ber to make it all per­fect.

Do you bear the brunt of the prepa­ra­tions?

My part­ner, Ian, loves Christ­mas, and he is pretty good. We have three trees – one up­stairs and two down­stairs, as we keep one in a room that’s as cold as the Arc­tic – and he takes re­spon­si­bil­ity for get­ting those out and do­ing all the dec­o­ra­tions. I do like a nice Christ­massy house. I’d like it to be the sort of house you walk into and think crooner Val Doon­i­can might live there!

With Christ­mas din­ner, are you stuck in the kitchen?

Are you kid­ding? I am a dis­as­ter chef! I burn toast. Roasted veg­eta­bles are my clas­sic. I’ve cre­mated so many, I think there must be a spe­cial hole in the ozone layer with my name on it. I’ve never cooked Christ­mas din­ner. We usu­ally go to my mum, and my sis­ter-in-law’s a very good cook. I bring the wine.

How do you cel­e­brate?

I love Christ­mas Eve. Ian, my­self and the kids usu­ally go for a pizza, then have a re­laxed night in front of the telly. And we leave oats out for Ru­dolph. On Christ­mas morn­ing, we get up and have presents. Thank­fully, we’re past the stage of as­sem­bling plas­tic tram­po­lines and get­ting small chil­dren off the bed! Af­ter presents, we head to my mum’s house. My brother and his wife are there. It will be the first Christ­mas with­out my dad, so that will be tough – he re­ally loved Christ­mas. Be­fore lunch, I’ll have a lit­tle G&T, or a Dram­buie on ice. Af­ter lunch, we might play games, but I’m al­ways in bed early. I’ve never seen mid­night on Christ­mas Day!

Do you have any tra­di­tions?

We have cer­tain dec­o­ra­tions we’ve had for about 100 years. My mum’s like Na­dia – she has some nasty dec­o­ra­tions, but we’d be dis­ap­pointed if they weren’t there. She has a ceramic snow­man and a Ru­dolph karaoke ma­chine.

As a Scot, do you tend to go large when it comes to New Year?

God, no, I’m the most bor­ing per­son in the world. Nor­mally, we go away, but we can’t this year, as my daugh­ter has ex­ams in Jan­uary. I don’t know what we’ll do, but it’s for­bid­den to go to bed be­fore mid­night on Hog­manay!

Feel­ing fes­tive: Na­dia and her hus­band Mark Kids Kiki-Bee and Maddy deck the tree

Kaye and Nads get in the mood for Christ­mas Even Kaye’s dog Bea gets her tin­sel crown

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