We all dream of a smooth-running, drama-free Christmas, so a recent study of 2,000 adults who celebrate the festive season has conjured up a list of the most common mistakes to avoid.

The poll found many of the things that go wrong are centred around food with soggy vegetables and undercooked greens both in the top five.

Other top mistakes made on 25 December were forgetting vegetarian and vegan alternatives, not having enough plates to serve all guests and running out of wrapping paper.

It also emerged that while 44 per cent of those polled think mishaps are simply part of the big day, 62 per cent prefer to stick to what they know to avoid mistakes.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by the bakery brand, St Pierre, the study found disasters especially leave people feeling frustrated (41 per cent) and embarrassed (41 per cent).

Although looking back, they now feel entertained (42 per cent) and nostalgic (39 per cent) with 43 per cent claiming many of their fond festive memories centre around food.

Top 20 Christmas disasters

  1. Burnt turkey
  2. Burnt stuffing
  3. Undercooked roast potatoes
  4. Soggy vegetables
  5. Hard, under-cooked vegetables
  6. Forgetting gravy
  7. Food being served cold
  8. Forgetting vegetarian/vegan alternatives
  9. Forgetting Christmas pudding
  10. Lumpy gravy
  11. Watery gravy
  12. Fridge/freezer breaking    
  13. Not having enough plates to serve all guests
  14. Oven breaking        
  15. Waking up late        
  16. Running out of wrapping paper
  17. Not having enough chairs to sit all guests        
  18. Microwave breaking
  19. Forgetting which gift is for who
  20. Kids seeing me wrapping Santa presents

The study also found people have typically hosted nine Christmases, experiencing three disasters each time, but 55 per cent are confident they’ve made fewer mistakes over the years.

And 43 per cent admitted such catastrophes create amusing stories to retell years later and hearing about other people’s mishaps makes 45 per cent feel better about their own.

“It’s safe to say the majority of us have experienced some sort of unplanned mishap at Christmas,” said a spokesperson for St Pierre. “A lot of the list of disasters are food focused because food is such an important part of the occasion and it’s something everyone wants to get right to impress others.

“That said, it’s always useful to have something in the cupboard as back-up and there are clever ways to cheat your way to a magnificent Christmas spread.

“No matter how bad it might feel messing up on Christmas Day, those who have experienced such a thing agree that it’s all part of making memories.”

For 40 per cent, food is a central part of Christmas and 68 per cent have had a “practice run” before hosting — with 60 per cent of them admitting the trial was better than the real deal.

Keeping track of the time (45 per cent), chatting to others (44 per cent) and music being on (40 per cent) are among the scenarios which impact the success — or lack of — festive dinner.

But in order to avoid mishaps with Christmas dinner, 62 per cent prep some elements the night before and 56 per cent write a to-do list.