Hosting Christmas with a three month old

(24 Posts)
Catnoise Sun 10-Jul-16 09:44:46

Are we mad to even consider hosting Christmas with an approximately three month old (due end of sept/beginning oct)?

Usually we split the day between my family and the in laws with about a 45 minute drive in the middle of the day (a right pain) but we really want to be at home this year. We don't really want to miss out on seeing family though and know that they will want to see the baby on his first Christmas. There could be up to 14 adults (including us) plus the baby although I reckon that there will likely be eight.

This will be our first time hosting Christmas but did a practice run with Easter this year when I was hugely nauseous and it turned out well. We had a starter, main (chicken and pork) and cheese/biscuits. Could have done with more vegetables and we didn't have a chance to organise desserts as it was all very last minute. We had also just moved house and were at Ikea buying furniture on the Friday, finishing unpacking and prepping on the Saturday before cooking the meal in the Sunday! shock

We could probably recruit others to bring starters and desserts (I need to learn to relinquish control!) so that we are just doing main course and providing cheese and biscuits (and booze!)

It seems doable but this is from the point of view of someone who hasn't yet given birth! What do you think?

Is there anything you would recommend doing in advance?

PotteringAlong Sun 10-Jul-16 09:47:25

For this year i would just do what you normally do. It also has the advantage that when you've had enough you can just go home; you don't have 14 adults in your living room outstaying their welcome.

Afreshstartplease Sun 10-Jul-16 09:49:20

You would be very very brave!,

We will have a 2-3 month old this year too and I'm already thinking of ways to make it easier!

If we do eat at home it will just be us (me dp and 4DC) Others can visit throughout the day briefly but stuff having a house full to entertain

welshweasel Sun 10-Jul-16 09:50:56

I think it depends on your family and how helpful they will be. Worst case scenario you will be stuck on the sofa feeding for most of the day so if you are happy that they can crack on and sort everything themselves then I'd say go for it. If they are the sort that need to be waited on and entertained then say no! At 3 months I would have been fine with this but DS was on formula by that time and was sleeping quite well at night so I wasn't knackered. If you do go for it, delegate as much as you can and go for ready prepped M&S stuff for the main course.

RaeSkywalker Sun 10-Jul-16 09:51:36

We're expecting DC1 in late November. No way would I host this year- I want to be able to leave the celebrations when I want. We're planning to have a few hours with family and then make our exit. But then I am a selfish git 🎅🏼

peppatax Sun 10-Jul-16 09:51:47

I disagree - start planning early, get online deliveries arranged and organise the day to suit you and the baby. The guests will fall into line. Much easier than taking baby to others at Christmas and working to someone else's schedule.

ChickyDuck Sun 10-Jul-16 09:53:28

I think you will be fine! There will be loads of lovely grandparents desperate for a cuddle with the baby, so you can hand him over and get on with whatever you need to!

Just keep things simple, get other to bring all the bits and pieces and just do the main yourself; meat, potatoes, a few nice bits of veg, gravy. Don't feel like it needs to be really fancy, Christmas dinner doesn't need to be smile

rollonthesummer Sun 10-Jul-16 09:53:45

I wouldn't!!

I'd start a new tradition. Yours on Xmas day, parents on Boxing Day, in laws on Xmas eve-that sort of thing?

If I'm totally honest, I'd go to my parents for Xmas day and my in laws for Boxing Day-but then I'm very lazy and detest cooking!

BettyOBarley Sun 10-Jul-16 09:55:37

We did it with a 1 month old, but there were only 5 of us, not 14!

It was fine actually, I found it easier being at home than at someone else's house and everyone helped out so I didn't actually end up doing that much! smile

applesvpears Sun 10-Jul-16 10:01:38

This year we are having my family, OH's 3 kids and our daughter who will then be 9 months old. However.. I am not doing a roast I have said everyone bring something and we will just have a really nice all day buffet. That means there is more time to spend together, play games etc. Everyone is up for it which is good. And everyone can snack/pick on food when they wish.

tass1960 Sun 10-Jul-16 10:04:47

We did it with a 10 day old (emergency Caesarian section) - most of the planning was done prior to the birth but hadn't planned on section. Anyway my sisters and my mum all helped (While I sat like lady muck - disappearing to my bedroom every so often) - it was really tiring but it was great ...

Disclaimer: it was only my mum, 3 sisters and their partners and 2 other children. No-one who expected to be run after all day.

Catnoise Sun 10-Jul-16 10:06:32

Thanks for everyone's varied Opinions. It's good to get different perspectives.

I forgot to say doing what we usually do isn't really an option. I don't think the journey will be enjoyable with a small baby and it all turns into a bit of a rush as it is. We usually arrive with my family at midday after a drive, do presents, eat Christmas dinner no. 1, leave theirs at about 4, get to in laws at about 5, do presents, eat again, stay the night. Staying the night won't really be possible with the baby as there will be nowhere sensible for us to sleep and it is also going to be tricky doing the night feeds there due to lack of space, so this means we would then have to drive home.

I suppose the alternative is to have a slightly different Christmas at home and tell everyone they are welcome to pop in/come round in the evening. I'm a control freak though so the popping in may not work (I hate not knowing approximately when people will be there). We do both love spending time with our families at Christmas though so it would be nice to have them there on the day.

With Easter DH took control. He did 90% of the cooking while I instructed! He always insists he can't cook but it was a really tasty roast!

I expect it is likely to be eight rather than 14. One sibling is unlikely to travel with his wife as they usually spend Christmas at home and we see them in the run up to it. The other is hopefully going to be in their new home and are excited about spending it there. This reduces it by four (husband and two adult children).

I know everyone will offer to bring things. My DM likes doing big meals so will be happy to arrange starters and a trifle and DMIl always offers to being desserts so I reckon we can have that covered.

FenellaMaxwell Sun 10-Jul-16 10:08:34

I will be 8 month pg at Christmas and am hosting for 10 people. My plan is to do all the veggies, pud etc way in advance so I can take my time, and freeze them all so I just need to defrost them the night before so there will only be the meat and potatoes to actually worry about.....

Catnoise Sun 10-Jul-16 10:10:56

apples the buffet is a really nice idea and something I might consider. At least there won't be so much cleaning up and washing up.

Thinking about it everyone does tend to pitch in usually they are really good at clearing the table, washing up, etc...Actually this thread has made me realise that usually when people don't help it's because I get a little bit controlling over doing everything myself! blush I'm going to work on that!

Tass wow that is impressive! If you can do that then I'm sure I can do this. Although I will wait to make a final decision once the baby is bee at the reality of life with a baby has hit!

Catnoise Sun 10-Jul-16 10:12:58

Fenella you sound very organised. I've never tried doing veggies in advance. Do you literally chop and boil them all then reheat them on the day?

I have a slow cooker that will definitely come in handy as well. At Easter we used the oven for the chicken and slow cooked the pork.

Vlier Sun 10-Jul-16 10:19:30

You could invite everyone for a lunch. Lunch could be just some soup, bread and fancy cold cuts or something. A lot easier to prepare.

MadSprocker Sun 10-Jul-16 10:19:37

Sounds like your extended family will be lovely and supportive, and it is much easier to be at home rather than driving backwards and forwards.

Delegate as much as possible. With veg, I chop and leave them in pans of water overnight on Christmas Eve so there is less to do on the day.

Another thing I do is work out the timings to the last minute and stick to it!

FenellaMaxwell Sun 10-Jul-16 10:19:41

I was thinking of things like spiced red cabbage, and you can parboil the potatoes then freeze them and just do the roasting part, and also chop up the carrots and the parsnips ready and freeze those too.

Princesspinkgirl Sun 10-Jul-16 10:20:52

I'm hosting Christmas lunch and I'm due Christmas day

OhTheRoses Sun 10-Jul-16 10:23:01

Hmm, your family Xmas day and they bring starters/puds, etc. DH's family boxing day with leftover cold meat, etc., made nice with salads, good crunchy spuds etc. This is your chance to stamp what you want on the Xmas routine whilst making it as easy as possible. Personally I don't think chikdren/babies travel well at Christmas. You can alternate every year.

Christmas lunch I a big roast, usually with bought puds. Go the M&S route - prepared stuffing, gravy, accompaniments and foiled veg for 8. They even do packages for the whole shebang.

The only fly in the ointment is a sick baby. I had one admitted to hosp. Once on 21st Dec with bronchiolitis but we got home on Xmas Eve morning, thus relieving MIL of further catering responsibility. Baby was 6.5 months.

One thing I would say OP is don't let your controllery build a rod for your own back. 25 years on I've hosted Christmas for the ILs every single year - the only one I missed was when my dad was in a hospice and I could have been called at any time. MIL showed off. Oh and the year DS was born (on Christmas day grin).

Good luck x

tass1960 Sun 10-Jul-16 16:12:19

I didn't actually do anything on the day though - it was much easier for me because I was only 10 days post section no-one expected much (anything). However we had a lovely day and have great memories. Said baby is 27 this Christmas

SimplyNigella Sun 10-Jul-16 17:05:27

I think now is a really good opportunity to change traditions into something that suits your new family. We will not travel anywhere on Christmas Day and don't split our day. DS is only 2.5 so I may feel different as he's older but right now he wants to be in his own environment and play with his toys.

If people want to see us then they visit and they bring food and drink and they are helpful when they get here. We have lovely, stress free Christmases that we can all enjoy.

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Sun 10-Jul-16 18:18:47

If it was me I would have your family round as much nicer to be in home day with baby BUT for the first Christmas I would only invite everyone over after lunch and have a great afternoon/evening with buffet food etc. I would have my own Christmas lunch early or even on Christmas Eve! Alternatively I would suggest we all met for lunch at a (local to me) restaurant and then back to mine for the rest of the day.

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Sun 10-Jul-16 18:21:01

We also have had a no travelling rule on Christmas Day since having DDs but everyone is welcome at ours

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