In reality, the day is bound to include tantrums, teenagers complaining about the WIFI and wondering why you always make trifle when you’re the only one who eats it.
Here are 10 things that always fall slightly short of our expectations over the holidays.
1. Expectation: Christmas is all about family, feeling festive and all year you can’t wait for December to roll around.
Reality: By the first week of November you are already sick of hearing Christmas songs.
2. Expectation: The weeks leading up to Christmas will be full of festive activities like ice-skating, taking the kids to Santa’s grottos and the theatre.
Reality: You realise how expensive everything is and stay at home to eat your body weight in mince pies.
3. Expectation: You will have stocking up on meaningful Christmas presents all year, cleverly spreading the cost and reducing stress nearer the time.
Reality: You go to Poundland at 5 o’clock on Christmas Eve and supermarket-sweep the hell out of it.
4. Expectation: The night before Christmas you’ll snuggle up as a family on the sofa with a blanket in your tastefully decorated home.
Reality: You’ll get caught out in a storm and the boiler decides to break just as your mother-in-law arrives.
5. Expectation: On Christmas morning your children crawl into bed with you to open their stockings.
Reality: They’re up by 4.30am and you have to go and supervise them for fear they’ll bring the Christmas tree down on top of themselves.
6. Expectation: The whole family will gather around for a Christmas breakfast of smoked salmon and Bucks Fizz.
Reality: By now you’re too preoccupied wrestling the turkey into the oven and have already started on the sherry.
7. Expectation: The complete joy on their faces when they get to open their presents under the tree.
Reality: You couldn’t get your hands on Hatchimals, so a tantrum ensues.
8. Expectation: At lunch your whole family will sit around the table sharing food and making memories.
Reality: Everyone argues about Brexit and you spend Boxing Day trying to keep people apart.
9. Expectation: You will spend the evening watching ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ and playing charades.
Reality: Everyone falls asleep while watching ‘Ratatouille’ for the fifth year running.
10. Expectation: At least when it’s over we can relax and enjoy the rest of our time off before everyone goes back to school.
Reality: We are completely bankrupted for the whole of January.