Though dad and the kids offer to help in everything from tree decorating to preparing the turkey, it’s mums who are still doing the vast majority of essential tasks over Christmas.
Mums do thousands of pounds worth of work over the festive period, with families relying on them for everything from present buying to counselling.
Jobs that mums take on over Christmas include child care, counselling, food shopping, gift buying, meal planning, seam-stressing, tree decorating and taxi driving.
And according to new research, this all adds up to £2,500 - without even factoring in the double time that would be expected for chauffeuring on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
[Related: Meet 2012's must-have Christmas toys]
Debenhams Personal Finance adds up mum’s Christmas rates:
Chauffeur – Taxi drivers work on £13 an hour, and with all the festive ferrying children around to friends and family’s houses, plus parties and Christmas activities, that adds up to an average 14 hours, an overall total of £280.
Chef – Based on a basic salary of £13 an hour (though your mum might be worth more than that in the kitchen) for 11 hours (four hours planning festive meals, five hours preparing Christmas dinner, two hours sorting out leftovers on Boxing Day) is a total of £143. Plus, add to that waitressing and ‘bar tending’ at say £7 an hour for 18 hours over the whole period, adding £126 to the bill, totalling £269.
Personal shopper – An average 14 hours of personal shopping would be worth £840 by a professional, plus an extra £100 for general chores such as picking up the turkey.
Not to mention present wrapping, which stores charge around £8 an hour for. Around 12 hours of this over two or three days gives a total of £96.
Cleaning – With the family descending on the house, plus extra clearing away meals for more people, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and we’re talking around 14 hours of cleaning at an estimated £10 an hour equals £140.
Interior Design – Four hours equalling £120.
Laundry and General Housekeeping Service – With everyone home for Christmas, mum gets dumped with all the dirty laundry too, spending 11 hours of the festive period sorting clean and dirty clothes, washing, drying, ironing and putting away, four hours a week. At £10 an hour that’s a total of £110
Seamstress – preparing the costumes for the school nativity play. Four hours at £15 an hour equals £60
Life Coaching and Counselling – Mums are also expected to be the voice of reason when family rows break out, plus they give advice, make sure everyone gets along and even off relationship guidance for teenagers. At £20 an hour for 14 hours, we’re taking £280.
[Related: The best Christmas party dresses]
Phew! Makes you extra keen to give mum a hand this year, eh?