All I have to do on Christmas morning is turn on the oven

No crib for a... sausage roll

ZELLA COMPTON: A 21st century curse – how does a family manage the TV recorder?

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So the big day is almost here – and big is certainly the operative word in the Jackson household as my in-laws are coming for dinner.

I’m an only child, so have been used to quiet, intimate affairs growing up. But my wife Sarah is one of four. Along with her sisters’ two young girls, her mum and dad with their partners, it’s lucky we have a kitchen table that has two extensions!

The thought of catering for 12 sent shockwaves through me. I like to cook, but I’m no Heston Blumenthal.

As cooking is about timing, the veg would be like mush long before the bird was ready to go.

Terrible thoughts of the Royle Family Christmas Special from a few years back have been running through my head.

Remember the one where Dave and Denise had everyone round to them?

You can see me on Christmas morning having a bath with the turkey, hoping to thaw it out in time.

Meanhile downstairs, my wife will be making a punch so lethal it would remove nose hairs.

There are some positive things though. As man of the house, I’m looking forward to being at the head of the table, sharpening the carving knife with large, sweeping movements, scaring the children and making them duck.

But this will be pointless if I blunt the knife in a frozen bit of breast And so, to quote Baldrick from Blackadder, I have a cunning plan.

What kind of fantastic idea has Rick come up with this time, I hear you ask. Well, each member of the family is to bring a food item with them to relieve the burden of preparing the meal.

Yes, I’ve delegated!

My mother-in-law is bringing the meat, sister-in-law is on vegetable duty, one brother-in-law and his girlfriend will bring the puddings, father and other brother-in-law will supply all the drinks.

That means that all clever old Rick has to do on Christmas morning is switch on the oven.

All that’s missing is Noel Edmonds. I wonder if the BBC will be doing any repeats?

And finally another quote, this time from the genius poet Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone!