How to do Christmas

(22 Posts)
NightOfTheCactus Fri 25-Oct-13 11:24:44

I split up with H in April this year. Currently we are selling the family home with the plan to each rent separately when it is sold. At the moment he is staying with a friend.

In terms of our relationship, I can find him a bit bullying at times and we've gone through a bit of an unpleasant patch, but for the last 3 weeks or so he has been speaking to me like a decent human being and being quite helpful etc. I don't think he actually means to be as abrasive as he is or even realises, but when he's in one of his moods I find him very difficult to be around.

DD absolutely adores him. She sees him twice a week at the moment - on a Thursday night and all day Saturday. He is like the golden Daddy - she lights up every time she sees him. He adores her too.

She is 7 years old. She has found it pretty hard to get her head around the fact we are getting divorced. Now and again she makes a clumsy attempt to try and match-make between us.

Last night, H brought DD home for the evening and said in front of DD that we need to talk about Christmas.

DD then enthusiastically laid out her plan that he comes round first thing on Christmas morning and stays until the evening and we all do Christmas together. (She already has asked if he can stay on Christmas Eve and I have told her no).

I think what STBXH was talking about was when he'll get a chance to have her over the holidays and take her to see his family - but obviously DD is very hyped up about Christmas. I don't think he realised that in mentioning Christmas in front of her she'd be suggesting things and getting excited.

It was agreed that he and I would email to discuss it and sort it out, but DD became very upset because she thought that we didn't like her idea, and after her Dad left she was crying at the thought of him not being over here for the entire Christmas day.

Now for my daughter, I can put up with STBXH being around all Christmas day. The thing I'm concerned about and hoped to get some opinion on before I talk to him about it is would that be confusing for DD? I know she fantasises about us getting back together again and I don't want to build up her hopes with a "happy family" Christmas just to dash them afterwards.

At the moment I am leaning towards inviting STBXH around the for the whole day. I actually don't mind his company when he's not being abrasive and moody around me, so we could probably make it nice for DD - just don't want to do the wrong thing long-term.

Any thoughts? Thanks

NightOfTheCactus Fri 25-Oct-13 12:20:40

Bump

Bluecarrot Fri 25-Oct-13 12:25:55

I think you should def go with her plan. I'd also reconsider the overnight on Xmas eve. It won't be long til the magic of Santa etc is gone. Don't let it end prematurely x

Bluecarrot Fri 25-Oct-13 12:26:58

As for dashing her hopes, make sure there is sexier ate plans for Boxing Day where either just you or just your ex take dd to see family or whatever.

Bluecarrot Fri 25-Oct-13 12:27:28

That was an awful typo- it was MEANT to say very separate

NightOfTheCactus Fri 25-Oct-13 13:47:22

Thanks Bluecarrot

Will probably suggest to STBXH that he comes round for the whole day. Not sure about Christmas Eve though confused

Wondering if anyone else has done the Christmas Day together thing when they had recently broken up, and how it went?

Thanks for your help

Bluecarrot Fri 25-Oct-13 21:04:13

But waking up and seeing her open gifts from Santa will be the most important part for her.

It was almost 5 years between us splitting and DP meeting dd for the first time ( i was pregnant when we split) so can't comment on how it feels after a recent breakup. It was awkward. V awkward. But it was worth it for her memories.

2anddone Fri 25-Oct-13 21:10:34

I split from h in March, he will be staying Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We are very civil in front of the dc and I know I will be able to get through the day. As far as I am concerned I am happy to continue to do this for as long as dc believe in Santa. Once they don't it wont matter to have separate days.

starlight1234 Fri 25-Oct-13 23:10:43

I thnk if you can manage to be civil do it...Christmas is about the kids....We all grow up remembering Christmas...When she is older she will understand how much you did for her..At this age she just wants a magical Christmas...

I also think we are modelling for our kids..break ups are far more common and how would we like our kids behave should they be separated from partners with kids involved when they grow up.

I do also think if parents can be friends rather than kids assuming they will get back together can give more security.

BlackeyedSusan Fri 25-Oct-13 23:11:45

we do christmas day together. he comes to see the children. stays one or two nights. this is as much as we can manage without arguing. the children are fine with it. they prefer to see both of us. I spend time cooking, be spends time with the children and I oversee.

this year we will be at my mums house. the children's dad ill visit there at some point. it will be fil's first christmas without mil and mums first christmas at home without my dad.

BruceWillisLovesMe Sat 26-Oct-13 15:36:00

I wouldn't do the staying over thing on Christmas Eve. For one, it could confuse your dd and make her think daddy is home. And for another, if there's any arguments or tension when your dd has gone to bed, it could affect your Christmas Day. I'd have him come round silly early instead to be there for pressies opening rather than staying.

littleblackno Sun 27-Oct-13 22:11:11

My ex comes over for xmas day - it's been 4 years. He comes over early in the morning. I usually txt him when kids wake up if he's not already here but don't stop the kids form starting to open pressies. One year he stayed all day, another he took dcs to his parents at lunchtime (that was horrid) and 2 years he's left about lunch time (I do main food on xmas eve).
It noce for the kids and we can get on enough in the day. The focus is on them and helping them to open all the packaging/ batteries/ playing games etc so we don't have to really do much together.
I know what you mean about it being confusing for you dc however I think it sets a good example of how adults can behave after separating and it doesn't always have to be all tension and arguing.

ProtectiveMother Mon 28-Oct-13 07:14:48

Hi well I did Christmas with him at our house the first year of separation. It was not a really good idea and I remember breaking down crying in the kitchen at one point. My ex kept making a fuss of how much various things like new furniture cost etc. Last year, he didnt come over as my son was unwell and the three of us including my son said it was the best Christmas EVER! Similarly, my ex is/ was always as good as gold in the run up to Christmas hoping to get in on the act, my generosity etc. I will be keeping as far as I can from him. This will be a good example to my kids of HOW WOMEN AND PEOPLE IN GENERAL SHOULD STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES AROUND BULLIES AND NOT BE DOORMATS AND SLAVES ;-)

ProtectiveMother Mon 28-Oct-13 07:19:05

(Obviously the kids will do something with their dad/ at their dads on Christmas Eve/ Boxing Day but I won't have to see him other than to do the drop offs or pick ups.) In previous years we have also tried doing something all together in a restaurant on C.Eve. Unpleasant.

NightOfTheCactus Thu 31-Oct-13 15:00:30

Thanks guys - it's good to get some idea of different experiences. Definitely food for thought, and will help a lot

itwillgetbettersoon Fri 01-Nov-13 08:42:26

Second Christmas for us as separated parents. STBXH comes over Christmas Eve and stays until kids go to bed - about 10 that night. He then returns Christmas Day - but children had already opened their stockings. We went out for lunch - expensive - but well worth it - we had to be civil and meant I wasn't spending the day cooking while he played with the kids. Last year we Also went to the panto on Boxing Day - totally all for kids but to me Christmas memories are so important and it doesn't last for long.

TwoStepsBeyond Fri 01-Nov-13 10:00:48

Second one here too, last year X came over early on Christmas morning, they had opened their stockings already, but didn't open downstairs presents until he arrived. I agree, I didn't have to spend too much time with him as he was helping one or other DC while I was helping others or cooking, although with only one DC there will be more 'togetherness' for you.

I think if you can manage it, its good for the kids to see you being civil and getting on as friends and your DD is old enough to understand (although maybe worth taking a moment to explain) that this doesn't mean you're getting back together, but that it shows that divorce doesn't have to be the end of 'family time' either, that you will both always be there for her whenever she needs you.

We also share birthdays, generally going out to eat as a family, as does DP and his ex. It can feel a bit odd, knowing DP is out playing happy families with his ex and family, but we're both lucky that we are amicable enough with the exes to be able to do that.

losingtrust Sat 02-Nov-13 17:40:49

We did it the first Christmas. Kids were with me for Santa delivery. Then we had Christmas dinner together. Also had my dad as mom had died the same year. It was awkward but good for the kids first year. The kids then went with ex for the evening. Now we do them separate as he is remarried. I would consider it for your DD.

VixterH Mon 04-Nov-13 17:33:33

What do you do about who buys and pays for the Christmas presents? For the first year since the split I'm finding myself without the kids for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day while they stay with the EH. The plan is we take turns and so next year they will be with me. But what about presents?

would it be fair to leave him to sort it out and pay or it this year, and I cover it next year when they are with me?

losingtrust Mon 04-Nov-13 20:15:02

We buy our own. I hope you are going to see them for part of Christmas Day. You could do another Christmas Day on Boxing Day and give them your pressies.

ProtectiveMother Wed 06-Nov-13 18:43:22

Vixter that's horrible! I dread this happening to me as I have no other family. Just my DC. I hope you have a good Christmas anyway :-)

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 07-Nov-13 15:00:20

We each buy our own and then I ask XH for a contribution for the stockings/gifts from Santa. I don't think I'd manage not seeing them all day tbh, I'd much rather split the day and get part of it every year than have them all day one year and not at all the next sad

If one of them wants a larger present then we'll give it between us and also my DP and various aunties will contribute towards it, so it becomes a joint prezzy from everyone rather than just me and XH.

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