Carey Mulligan has Christmas rules you have to follow: normal?

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Carey Mulligan is promoting her women’s revenge movie, Promising Young Woman, which opens in theaters Christmas day. You can see the trailer here, it looks awesome. She plays a woman who enacts revenge on date rapey guys. Carey was on Kimmel promoting the film. She came across as funny and self deprecating and I especially related to her story about her rules around Christmas. I’m not like that about Christmas, I tend to go with the flow on holidays. However I’m particular about how I keep my house and appreciate when celebrities admit they’re picky like that. If one of my friends or family has rules like this I try to respect them in the hope that they’ll do the same for me.

Her Christmas rules
They’re not fun they’re just sort of rules where I insist on things being done a certain way and if they’re not I get sort of cross. My parents and my husband and everyone has to still be in their pajamas no one’s allowed to have a shower first. You have to get your drink ready [and have] had [a quick] breakfast. Sit down on the floor [and] focus, don’t be on your phone or like distracted with other things. Everyone has to watch the person opening the present.

Her brother pranked her one year by pretending he’d opened a present without her there
As we come through [the door] I see my brother and he’s got like a bit of wrapping paper and he’s going ‘oh my god I love it.’ I say ‘I can’t believe you started without me’ and I burst into tears and walked out of the room and locked myself in the bathroom. My brother was like ‘oh my god it’s a joke this is a bit of wrapping paper.’ I was convinced that he had begun and for like 20 minutes Marcus was the only one who was allowed into the bathroom.

She loves Jennifer Coolidge after working with her
The way that she can improvise, it really feels like you’re watching a genius. I’ve been such a massive fan of hers in the Christopher Guest movies.

[From Jimmy Kimmel Live on YouTube]

Isn’t it just like brothers to pick the one thing you’re sensitive about, press you on it and then to tell you it’s your problem for being upset with their “joke?” They know just how to get you! I’m on Carey’s side, if she loves Christmas and wants it a certain way there’s no harm in doing it like that. Her Christmas sounds very much like my family’s Christmas growing up. One person opens presents one at a time on Christmas morning and everyone pays attention. When I was married to a German guy we opened presents on Christmas Eve and I didn’t mind that though, I’m not fussy about Christmas. Plus I got two Christmases because I would Skype with my family the next day too. I don’t agree with the “no showers before present opening” thing though. I don’t mind having a definite start time, but as I got older I wanted to look good for the photos. Christmas pajama photos are overrated.

Oh and Carey barely talks about her kids with Marcus Mumford but they have daughter Evelyn, five, and son Wilfred, three. She’s been married to Marcus for eight years and they keep their private life quiet. I bet their kids are well trained on what’s expected for Christmas!

Here’s that interview:

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Girls and Boys Opening Night - Arrivals.

Photos credit: and Getty

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57 Responses to “Carey Mulligan has Christmas rules you have to follow: normal?”

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  1. Eenie Googles says:

    Telling other people they can’t shower and then chalking it up to « Christmas whimsy » is a jerk move.

    • sa says:

      I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I think the amount I’m allowed to have an opinion on how to celebrate is limited, but that sounded pretty bad to me too. Like set a time and if someone wants to get up a little earlier so they can shower and still be on time to Christmas morning that should be up to them. Telling other adults they can’t shower seems over-the-line.

      • DS9 says:

        Depending on how many people are over and how many bathrooms are available, you can end up with a bunch of people taking 20 min showers one after another while your antsy children are absolutely dying of impatience.

        It really doesn’t take most kids that long to open their gifts and if you take a shower the night before, how gross can you be in the morning?

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Yeah she sounds really exhausting and somewhat unstable, tbh. What adult locks themselves in the bathroom for 20 minutes because of something like that? Ridiculous. Acting like a spoiled teenage brat isn’t cute. It’s just annoying.

    • Esmom says:

      Eh, I just saw it as her clinging to tradition — kids generally want to open presents immediately and parents insisting on showering first would be agonizing to them. No one in my immediate family cared if I was showered or not and vice versa. Plenty of time to do that after opening gifts. A whole day, actually.

      • Desert Lizard says:

        I chalked it up to her love of tradiiton as well until she said she locked herself in a room for 20 minutes bc she thought her brother opened a gift before she got there. Then I figured that she is just a spoilt brat who can force people to bend to her wants by tantrumming.

    • Case says:

      The idea is so that you’re not making people wait to have breakfast/open gifts because you’re busy getting ready for an hour. They can shower the night before or get up early to shower if they must, but she’s saying that she wants it to move along at a decent pace and not be waiting for people. Plus, it’s fun to open gifts in your pajamas. I don’t see how it’s a “jerk move” at all.

    • mytwocents says:

      It does sound a little obsessive, but, it makes me laugh as it shows all families fight and have their weird moments (and yes, 20 minutes in a bathroom over that sounds a bit weird!)

    • Becks1 says:

      We never shower before opening Christmas presents. I thought that was true for most families. We get up, get coffee, and then the kids start opening gifts – all of us in PJs, unwashed lol (although we do brush our teeth, haha.)

      • Yup, Me says:

        Our family doesn’t even open gifts until the evening so her kids would be losing their minds.

        Our individual families might do a small opening at home but then we (usually- pre-covid) haul most of the gifts over to the grandparents’ place and do stockings and gifts and then dinner together. Christmas Eve is my folks’ place (with my cousins) and Christmas is my in laws’ place withy husband’s siblings and their kids.

        I love it and I’m so sad to be missing it (and our families) this year.

      • Emm says:

        @Becks, I’m with you. I don’t think I’ve ever showered before opening gifts on Christmas morning, not growing up and not as an adult. If I absolutely needed to I would’ve done it the night before. Plus after having kids there is absolutely no way they would wait for me to get ready. Also I guess I’m in the minority but I love pics in Christmas pjs and not looking all made up. The only time I’ve been made up for opening gifts is when we used to go to my in-laws but that was always with everyone and planned for either before or after Christmas. We made Christmas Eve and Day our own for just our family after we were always the ones asked to travel for years

  2. MattyLove says:

    I don’t know—spending 20 minutes in the bathroom crying is—strange.

    • Lucy2 says:

      I’m hoping that was a bit of exaggeration for the sake of storytelling.

      • Esmom says:

        Yeah, I saw it as hyperbole. Kids can be crazy and frantic and dramatic on Christmas morning and upsetting the tradition could be traumatic so I didn’t see it as that crazy, either.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I do think that stories like this are for entertainment, not to be taken too seriously or literally.

  3. Smalltown Girl says:

    I have similar Christmas rules. I mean people could shower first if they really wanted, but it’s hard to make the kids wait that long and I really do like opening them all together. One at a time, everyone takes a turn. I also have anxiety and I do get irrationally upset if things I care about don’t go accoridinf to plan, so I get the crying in the bathroom.

  4. Darla says:

    Agree with the first two comments. Nothing cute about this story. She sounds like a lot of work, and no one tells me when I can shower.

    • YeahNo says:

      Her rules are my worst PMS day – but I’m more flexible most of the month. Thanksgiving I cook because potlucks or delegating produces inner temper tantrums.

    • Nikki* says:

      She sounds too inflexible to me, but when her kids are teenagers, that’ll be pounded out of her. Teens teach us to relinquish control.

  5. Malls_nyc says:

    I totally get her rules. Being on the phone, making everyone (especially kids) wait, opening presents at the same time, is just rude. I have those rules, albeit unspoken.

  6. Other Renee says:

    Locked herself in the bathroom crying? No one can shower? She sounds entitled, bratty and very controlling. 🙄

  7. Southern Fried says:

    Everyone has their own preferences so whatever. Some take the traditions very seriously, so what. Personally I hate everyone sitting & staring, doing one person one gift at a time but I’ll do it and try not to sigh loudly. I’ve only had to do that once and will have to again this year due to quarantining. My saving grace is knowing after this yr I’ll probably never have to do it again. Some of my family want to zoom opening presents, my vote was Hell No.
    I’d like to go see her movie but I’m not ready for public theaters yet.

  8. Case says:

    I totally get her rules! My family is similar. We wake up, eat a quick breakfast, and then sit down together with our drinks to open gifts first thing in the morning. I see people are getting hung up on the “no shower” thing, but I think she just means it’s fun to wake up in your PJ’s and open gifts that way. I’m sure some people shower beforehand if that’s their normal routine.

  9. Sandy says:

    Her movie sounds great – but why is it opening in theaters? Are people going to the movies right now?

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      Some studios (like Warners) are still opening in the few theaters that are open, but are ALSO broadcasting on platforms (like HBOMax) on the same day… example being “Wonder Woman 1984”. Frankly, you won’t get my butt into a theater until some time in 2022, if then, and only for a VERY few pics that I *really* want to see in that setting. Until I am SUPER confident that this virus is under control, I’m more than happy to watch at home.

      I’d “buy” the movie to watch at home, sure. At movie tickets (here in LA) at $16-20/each, snacks another $10-15, sticky floors, people talking, texting, etc., sound BLASTING to the point I’ve had to use earplugs!, yeah…I’m happy with my big screen, Sonos speakers, and comfy couch at home (not to mention I can watch in PJs/sweats/NO BRA lol etc). AND I can pause if I need to leave the room for any reason.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      I am so excited to see this film, but no way am I going into a theater. Hopefully it goes to streaming quickly.

      • Arlene says:

        The movie is scheduled to be available to rent on a streaming service 17 days after it opens in theaters– presumably, on January 11th.

  10. manda says:

    My husband has christmas rules and OMG they are annoying to have to deal with. I mean, it’s supposed to be fun and relaxing, I think? I appreciate traditions but flexibility in life is key!

  11. Cee says:

    In Argentina we open presents on Christmas Eve, well – technically it’s already Christmas Day as we open them right after midnight: midnight strikes, we make a toast, go out to see the fireworks, and then open presents.
    Children are so excited about Santa they definitely don’t even need a nap – they’re super charged with energy.

    • Sof says:

      Our kind of Christmas sounds chaotic compared to theirs, right? I mean, some children are allowed to play with small fireworks too, and they do so all through the 24th and 25th.

  12. Marigold says:

    These are more like unspoken rules at our Christmas. You get up and go see what Santa brings. Most people are in jammies, but if you want to throw in real clothes, that’s ok. No ones usually does. Mom or a child starts passing out presents to everyone and you just go for it! Lots of “show me what you got!” And “I love it!” being thrown around. After we open gifts, we make a big breakfast. Generally, we’ve been snacking on cookies and all the great treats at my mom’s house. At some point, someone goes around with a big plastic bag and starts picking up the wrapping paper, invariably throwing away a part of a kids toy that we have to go dig for later. After breakfast, some (me) try to sneak off for a nap. Then it’s working on the big meal for the afternoon. Friends drop by etc. It’s a blast!

    Not this year though.

  13. Willow says:

    Some of those rules sound odd. My mom always had a set routine on how we opened presents. When my husband and I had kids we were more relaxed about it. So the first time we had Christmas morning present opening at my mom’s and she insisted we all follow her strict rules my stubborn 4 yr old had a meltdown. Then everyone was fighting. It was a nightmare. As adults during holidays, we need to just let go. It doesn’t matter that it’s your house or your tradition or how you imagined it. What matters is everyone has a good, peaceful time and it’s much easier for adults to make changes than it is for kids. Instead of rules have plan A, plan B, plan C. For example, If your brother opens a present early (plan A fail) instead of a meltdown, switch to plan B.

  14. Green Desert says:

    I don’t know guys…I think she’s being a bit cheeky here. I think she’s storytelling and having fun. 🤷🏽‍♀️

    Can’t wait to see Promising Young Woman!

  15. emmy says:

    People are really overreacting to this. If it’s her house and she doesn’t want everyone to do their thing for hours before the kids get into the presents, that doesn’t seen unreasonable. And let’s not act as if not all of us have certain rules about something and others indulge us. I’m pretty sure her family is fine with it or they would spend Christmas somewhere else.

  16. KhaoManee says:

    One Christmas morning when I was 15 I made my family wait until I did full hair and makeup before we started opening gifts. I wanted to look good in the photos! My much younger brother was NOT happy. Lol

  17. Wilma says:

    British and American holiday season sounds very high anxiety and stressful to me. To me December is when I wind down and recharge. Can’t imagine baking and cooking for weeks and spending so much time on getting so many gifts and decorating multiple trees!

    • Esmom says:

      I’m American and I find it stressful. I don’t do nearly as much as most people — and our family made the decision years ago to be very minimal with gifts — but still my favorite day is when the tree comes down and we can get back to a normal schedule, because that is much more relaxing.

  18. Trillian says:

    She sounds like my 4-yr-old. Woe betide us it things don’t go her way.

  19. Mumbles says:

    These rules and stories seem so over the top I wonder if falls in the category of being made up for a talk show.

  20. Jules says:

    I’m more fascinated at how Christmas has become so materialistic, it’s all about the presents. We have strayed far away from the true meaning.

  21. PlainJane says:

    Almost the same rules here except the kids can ravage their stockings before the adults are awake and no breakfast before gifts.

    Coffee made, Gifts, and then big breakfast.

  22. LightPurple says:

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, every time I scroll the main page and see that thumbnail picture of Carey, I wonder why you are posting a picture of my cousin Leah. Carey looks so much like many members of my family that it is uncanny.

  23. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Wait until nobody shows up for Christmas anymore. We always woke, stumbled through coffee and Santa. As a child, and then my kids, we would have to sit down for simple fluffy buttermilk biscuits before attacking presents, and although there was no rule in place, we watched others enjoying the opening of their presents. The only rule in my house is to relax and enjoy. Do what you want when you want. Anything else is a chore.

  24. Normades says:

    I wanna hear her thoughts about the Shia situation. He really love bombed her and then it was quickly over. I bet she has stories.

  25. Alice says:

    Sounds similar to what we did growing up and still do (though I think she is exaggerating a bit for the sake of story-telling). The kids wake us up and we go out while still in our pajamas, they open their stockings while we put on coffee. Then we pass out gifts and take turns opening. I thought that was pretty standard until my first Christmas with one side of my in-laws. I carefully selected gifts and wrapped them as nicely as I could. By the time it took me to turn around to pass them to each person I saw that they had been torn open and they were onto other things. I found that quite rude. No idea if they liked them or hated them or what. There is no need for a big drawn out spectacle uncomfortably watching people ooh and aah over things but to see them open it and have some sort of reaction is nice haha.

    • JanetDR says:

      Same here. In-laws, everyone tears in at once and you don’t get to see what people got, let alone a reaction to your carefully chosen gift. At my house (as well as my siblings) we hold to our family tradition of one present at a time.
      When the kids were little I would make scrambled eggs, popovers, and cocoa while they opened stockings. After we took our plates to the living room, we would open one present at a time and really enjoy the process and take our time over it.
      Now they are grown up, we vary timing so it works the best for most and I might make a fancier brunch, but one present at a time never changes. It’s going to be weird this year though..

  26. Renee says:

    She sounds exhausting…..

  27. Atti says:

    Sounds yt.

  28. Julia K says:

    Never understood how she landed “Daisy” in The Great Gatsby. Have read the book 5 maybe 6 times at various stages of my life and in my mind she is not Daisy.

  29. Natasha says:

    Wow. This is why I tell people DON’T GET MARRIED UNTIL YOU’VE SPENT AN ENTIRE YEAR TOGETHER! You need to know how that person reacts to every holiday, every type of weather.

  30. onomo says:

    So she hasn’t spoken about Shia. She’s someone who seemed much sadder and older after dating him. I’m 999.99% sure he abused her as well. If women told the world all the things that happened to them, the world would break.

  31. Pzc says:

    My mum is like her around Christmas. It’s the reason I fully opt out of Christmas now. It’s too much pressure to try to please my mum, so I don’t even attend.