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The 13 days of Christmas spent by the average mum, preparing for the big meal


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The 13 days of Christmas spent by the average mum, preparing for the big meal


Last updated at 23:11pm on 21st November 2006 commentIconSm.gif

womanxmasshopREX_228x351.jpgBusy body: Mums spend 288 hours shopping, 4.19 hours wrapping presents and 3.03 hours decorating the house




The average mother spends 13 whole days preparing for Christmas. And after all that the average Christmas dinner lasts little more than two hours.


So it is perhaps not surprising that one in five says she hates the festive season, according to the survey of 3,000 women by the mail order catalogue Kaleidoscope.


It says they spend 288 hours shopping, 4.19 hours wrapping presents, 3.03 hours decorating the house, 4.27 hours preparing the main Christmas meal and 4.38 hours cooking it.

It lasts two hours and 13 minutes. The average mum usually has six people round the table on Christmas day, and 84 per cent say that as well as cooking the food, they will have to serve it up too.


A third of women carve the turkey, and after dinner is over they spend 11 hours tidying up.

Unsurprisingly, 65 per cent of women say they find the festive period stressful.


Yet 70 per cent of mothers say all the trouble taken preparing for Christmas is worth their while.


Just under a third of them (29 per cent) start planning for Christmas in September to get all the work done.


An efficient 46 per cent have even bought items in the January sales ready for the next Christmas.


The study also revealed that Christmas catastrophes are not uncommon in British homes, with respondents recounting everything from party poppers exploding in faces to collapsing Christmas trees, burnt turkeys and broken ribs.


One woman said: "I fell off the roof putting up Christmas lights, but it was snowing so it was only slightly painful!"


Another admitted: "I built a Wendy house when drunk on Christmas Eve from the inside out and couldn't get out, so I had to undo it and start again!"


The survey revealed that Welsh women spend most time getting ready for Christmas, with 28 per cent of them spending more than three weeks on shopping for presents alone.


Women in the South East are the least likely to enjoy Christmas - with 20 per cent saying they cannot bear it compared with only nine per cent of their counterparts in the North East.


Vicki Snow from Kaleidoscope said: "It's incredible how long women spend preparing for Christmas and it just goes to show how important the annual family gathering is."

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