My Dads last Christmas

(29 Posts)
myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 04-Nov-12 10:16:16

My Dad has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis and barely a year to live, so realistically this will be the last Christmas he is with us. Therefore it has got to be the best ever!!!

Could I have some ideas of presents and things to do to make it a fun and festive time for us all.

StopTalkingAndEatYourDinner Sun 04-Nov-12 10:23:29

I'm so sorry, I know how hard this is as am in exactly the same boat.

We have just decided to make it as much like every other christmas as we can. We thought about doing some different things but then decided that it would just be a reminder of why things are different this year and I think my dad just wants to carry on being normal for as long as he can.

I will be taking a lot more pictures and videos this year though. My children are young and feel so sad that they might not remember him when they grown up so want lots of stuff I can show them.

Have you asked your dad what he would like to do? Maybe he has some ideas of his own.

I hope you can have a lovely Chrsitmas together x

Oh bonkers that's so sad!! I'm sorry for you terrible news!! But a lovely idea to make Christmas special!

My in laws do 'table presents' basically cheapish presents with a funny meaning or that spark a memory!! They also do an open house sort of thing on Christmas eve, so everyone comes and goes, and there's mince pies and mulled wine, it just gives the whole family a chance to get together!!!

Oh and me and DH always get up super early And spend the whole day together, just being really indulgent to our kiddie sides, eating chocolate in bed, opening presents by wildly ripping them open and not really caring about the mess we're making!!!

Oh and Christmas dinner? You could go the extra mile with presentation, setting a magical table etc

But also speak to you dad. See what he wants, he may want to just go on as normal

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 04-Nov-12 10:36:12

Thank-you every one.

I too have young boys and I am so scared they will not remember him sad

He is about to start chemo and radiotherapy which (by my calculation) will take him up to Christmas itself so I don't know how well he will be following that.

I usually love Christmas and everything about it - the adverts, decorations, crappy songs, shopping, wrapping and this year just fills me with dread

maclover Sun 04-Nov-12 10:44:10

Bonkers, I'm so sorry. When we were in this position 2 years ago, I made up a hamper of lots of home-made food goodies, things that I knew my dad liked, as well as seasonal fayre. My dad was also in the middle of chemo and so his appetite tended to fluctuate. He loved this, as it was food he could dip in and out of when he felt like it.

I don't know how and what you are planning to tell your boys, if anything. My DS was just 3 when Dad died, and a few months younger for his last Xmas.

We found the book 'Badger's parting gifts' really helpful. Would it be too upsetting for your DF to share this with your DC?

tacal Sun 04-Nov-12 10:46:06

I am so sorry for you and your family. It is so very sad. This will be my second christmas without my dad. Enjoy every moment you have with your dad. I hope you have a lovely Christmas x

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 04-Nov-12 16:36:31

Thankyou everyone. I felt fine when the doctors told us the prognosis two weeks ago but I seem to be getting more and more tearful. Have had a couple of weeks off work as I just needed some time out (am a nurse) but go back this week

owlelf Sun 04-Nov-12 17:26:13

So sorry that you and your family are going through this. Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year, but I think that sometimes the pressure to make it special can make things very tricky. Be kind to yourself Bonkers, I think it's a great idea to plan an extra special celebration but don't heap the pressure on and give yourself a chance to feel sad if you need to.

BeaWheesht Sun 04-Nov-12 17:28:30

No ideas really other than take lots of photos / videos.

I'm in a similar position - a week ago it didn't look like he'd make it until this Christmas but things seem a bit more positive now, relatively speaking.

rhondajean Sun 04-Nov-12 17:32:39

I am so so sorry.

My lovely wee gran died on Christmas Day 13 years ago and missed seeing my first dd by two days. It tinges every year with sadness for me and the worst part is that neither if my children knew her or have any memories of her. The one thing I would want in your situation would be for the children to spend as much time as possible with him and take away memories.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 04-Nov-12 20:47:29

thanks everyone - so very very kind xx

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 11-Dec-12 04:54:09

Just a little update if anyone is still following this. The treatment was withdrawn as the tumor was to aggressive. Dad may not make Christmas now and even if he does he probably won't have much of an awareness about it.

mamakoula Tue 11-Dec-12 05:11:49

I am sorry Bonkers. Let him know he is loved. Take care of yourself.

Bertrude Tue 11-Dec-12 05:14:29

Oh Bonkers I'm sorry to read that sad

Hope you and your boys are spending as much time with him as possible and he's not suffering too much x x x x

TrazzleMISTLEtoes Tue 11-Dec-12 05:17:12

Sending lots of love <holds Bonkers hands>. I'm so sorry.

changeforthebetterforObama Tue 11-Dec-12 06:45:32

So sorry Bonkers. sad

BeaWheesht Tue 11-Dec-12 10:10:04

Oh bonkers hmm it's so horrible, I'm so sorry.

homeaway Tue 11-Dec-12 11:05:40

Bonkers what terrible news for your family. If you dont think that your dad will make xmas could you have a festive afternoon before so that he can be part of it. Wishing you lots of strenghth.

luanmahi Tue 11-Dec-12 11:26:26

I'm so sorry for you. Wishing you lots of love and strength.

Although under totally different and non-tragic circumstances, the best Christmas I ever had was a few years ago when we did it in October. It was just my mum and dad, my sister and me. My sister was living abroad and wasn't going to be home for Christmas so I took her out for the morning and my mum and dad came round to my house with a tree and some decorations and some cheesy Christmas CDs. They put a turkey crown in the oen and when we walked through the door, it was Christmas. It was the middle of the week so my boyfriend (as he was then) was at work and we'd all taken time off to spend with her while she was home so it was just us and was like Christmas was when we were little. We all gave each other little jokey presents and gave her her real ones so she could take them back with her.

The real Christmas spirit is about the happy feeling you get from spending time with people you love, and has nothing to do with a date. Can you do something like that for your dad in the next week or so? It might take the pressure off when the actual date comes round.

susanann Tue 11-Dec-12 11:34:18

so sorry to hear your news. love the idea of bringing xmas forward and celebrating it asap. Hope you enjoy it as much as is possible in the circumstances. x

gingemum Tue 11-Dec-12 11:45:23

So sad it must be very hard for you. Would he be up to reading one of these personalised books with your children? It might be a good thing to make for your young boys to help them remember all the good things they have done together. Here's a link to a demo book Thinking of you, my FIL had cancer just after we got married, so sad as he never knew his grandchildren.

twinklesparkles Tue 11-Dec-12 13:05:25

Hugs for you hunny <3

My grandad is terminaly ill, hoping he makes it until christmas. I won't be able to see him before he passes (he's over 600 miles away) but my dad/aunty and other family are with him smile

What about photos in nice frames or albums ect. Something he can enjoy looking over before he passes and something that can be given to another family member after he goes.

I'm sure a lovely christmas day with you and your family will be all he needs/wants smile

Also, little luxurys. Bath products/chocolate/treats ect smile just little yummy things smile

I'm sorry you, your dad and family have to go through this <3

twinklesparkles Tue 11-Dec-12 13:07:05

How about having an early xmas hun?

<3

WhereTheWildOnesSnow Tue 11-Dec-12 15:08:25

Im so sorry to read this OP, I was in pretty much the same situation last year, I really dont know what to suggest as he may not even be aware of whats going on by then.
Can you do "Christmas" early, all get together for a special meal, doesn't even have to be about gifts just about spending as much quality time with the family as possible. My heart goes out to you all.

myBOYSareBONKERS Tue 11-Dec-12 17:19:26

Thankyou everone. I have already given him an early Christmas present - a blanket with our photos printed on. Have also got biscuits and festive chocolate to give him. A photo poster has also just arrived for him.

He is moving to a hospice tomorrow and we are taking the boys on Sunday. Mum is bringing a couple of their Xmas gifts so he can see them open them. Thought I would get some crackers to pull. Any other thought of what I could do?

TiredMule Tue 11-Dec-12 20:14:34

I'm so sorry bonkers. My dmil was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in March and was told she would not be here for Christmas. She's still here, so we are hopeful to have Christmas with her. I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to make it special, but to be honest as long as everyone is there, and the children are happy and excited, that will make the day the most special. Take lots of photos and videos, maybe the children could make a Christmas decoration with him to keep. Bring it forward if you need to. I'm so sorry, this is an especially bad time of year to be going through this (((hugs)))

almondfinger Tue 11-Dec-12 20:27:22

Oh, you poor, poor thing. My dad had a couple of last Christmas's too. I remember the last as he cooked us a gorgeous meal and my sister and I got to help him. We played board games by the fire and he got to watch 2 of his grandchildren play. We usually fought like cat and dog at Christmas (the whole family) so this peaceful Christmas was v special.

My heart goes out to you. That terminal diagnoses is the worst thing that can happen to any family and at this time of year it's a every worse I think. Enjoy the time you have left with him and make sure he knows how much you all love him.

CarnivorousPanda Tue 11-Dec-12 21:32:11

Bonkers sorry to hear your news. We were in a similar situation a few years ago with FIL.

I think just to spend time together as a family and be guided by what your dad wants/is able to do is the best way. I do think when time is suddenly short, the important thing is just to be together and make the most of what time you do have.

ImaginateMum Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:11

Does he still have the energy to read stories? Lots of time snuggled up while he read might be nice. Or if he doesn't, you could read and they could all listen.

If he can still get through a story, it might be nice to record him? Then they can play that back in future and listen along.

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