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…
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…
NADIA: ‘CHRISTMAS DAY DOUBLES AS MADDY’S BIRTHDAY!’
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!
KAYE: ‘I’M A DISASTER CHEF!’
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