'Earrings make great decorations': the Motherland guide to a no-frills Christmas

The matriarchs of Motherland are back for a one-off special. Here, straight-talking Liz offers advice for stress-free festivities

Christmas is a time for giving, for receiving, and for getting really, really stressed as that perfectly laid table gets covered in an upended bottle of red wine and the cat coughs up another tinsel furball. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Out of all the matriarchs (and poor Kevin!) on the BBC sitcom Motherland, including perma-smiling “Alpha mums” overlord Amanda (Lucy Punch) and desperate-to-be-accepted, permanently harangued Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin), it is the blunt-talking Liz (Diane Morgan) who has the right idea. Basically: as long as everyone stays fed and watered, and no one dies, Christmas is easy.

With that in mind, here are Liz from Motherland’s 13 tips for a no-frills, stress-free family Christmas.

1 Give yourself a Christmas Day lie-in: tell the kids it’s Christmas Eve.

2 Make it feel all wintry and turn the heating off.

3 The best gift you can give a child is a handheld hoover.

4 Save yourself the money and time and buy a big chicken. Cook it for an extra 20 minutes to make it taste like turkey.

5 Reuse your Halloween pumpkins to make orange snowmen.

6 Defrost your wine three days before Winemas.

7 Earrings make great Christmas tree decorations.

8 Reduce your washing-up by serving Christmas dinner on paper plates.

9 Avoid hours of peeling potatoes by boiling them in their skins then plopping them in iced water. The skins will just slide off as you laugh thinking about all the dicks who don’t know this amazing trick.

10 Santa’s empty sacks make great bibs when drinking/eating in bed.

11 Make Christmas crackers by inserting a tool and some dice into a bog roll tube, then wrap in foil and twist at both ends.

12 Tell the kids you’re having an exciting Victorian-themed Christmas, and give them an orange and a wooden soldier as their main presents.

13 Give the kids a bin bag and play the theme of Mission: Impossible. They have to bag all the used wrapping paper and empty boxes before the music ends. Don’t tell them there isn’t a prize.

Motherland Christmas Special, tonight, 9pm, BBC Two


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