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How do you make Christmas special with Just 2 Adults and a Child?

(18 Posts)
SenoritaViva Sun 21-Aug-11 08:11:43

I am used to having large family christmas'. This year it might just be the three of us, DH, myself and DD aged 4. That is assuming the bump hasn't already arrived or that I don't actually go into labour on the day. My family are too far away and DH's are abroad but I still want to make it nice and 'Christmasy' for DD.

Other than the Christmas pud, what can I do in advance on the off chance that we have a 2 day old baby? And what special things can we do on the day so that it is still a lovely day for DD even without masses of family? I think Christmas is such an exciting time aged 4 and I don't want to make it dull for her just hanging out with mum and dad! (We will be doing stockings and a Christmas tree btw).

Littlepurpleprincess Sun 21-Aug-11 09:57:16

Could you go for a nice walk somewhere? All bundled up in coats, hats, scraves and gloves, then back for a mince pie and hot choccy? Then watch a christmassy DVD.

You could get a family present of a board game and play it in the evening.

Are you having a christmas dinner? You could prep the veggies and freeze them so on the day all you got to do it put them in the oven. Or you could do the food prep and cooking as a family. Put some christmas songs on in the kitchen.

Silly earings and/or headbands are a must.

Whatever you choose to do, take it easy and enjoy it. I have a massive family but at home it's just me, DH and DS(5), and I love it when it's just the 3 of us. No rushing around or trying to please other people.

I'm sure you DD won't think of it as 'hanging out with just mum and dad'. She'll probably love having all your attention, and that special time with you.

And your christmas will already be VERY authentic with a baby due! Congratulations.

LordOfTheFlies Sun 21-Aug-11 10:11:21

Aaah 4 yo are lovely at Christmas, they are old enough to do the Christmassy things but young enough to get completely caught up in it.
(Casts a judgy look at cynical 9 yo DD and 11.6 yo DS)

You need a Christmas Eve hamper.There's loads of ideas on here but in esscence:

new PJs pref festive. Primark are good and about £4
new slippers
a Christmas film- i vote Polar Express!
hot chocolate - I buy the Cadburys instant
marshmallows
new toothbrush
an annual
tube of smarties or fruit gums
something nice for the Christmas Eve bath to wind down

Father Christmas's Tray. My DD has an Ikea teaset.And FC has to leave a 'footprint'
Reindeer food -oats and glitter

When my DS was 3 I made an elf (soft toy with a flannel over its head, face drawn in make-up. I made a little hat with a bell.Elf in a cardboard box bed with blanket ( flannel). DS and I went to his playshed after dark with a candle in a jar to see the elf. Next morning he was gone( Before any awkwards questions were asked!).

Your DD could choose a special decoration for the year the new baby came.

One year we put a little teddy bear on every step.Have to be tiny though so you don't trip.And DD kept moving them to the top of the stairs.

We have a fibre-optic tree in the hall, put on a timer. When the tree lights up, it means he's been so DCs can go downstairs.

I give mine stockings in their room now for when they wake.(usually 6.30 am)

If there's any Santa's Grottos ,maybe at a Garden Centre? Better than hanging about shopping centres with an excitable 4 yo and a bladder that feel the size of a thimble !

On the year my DS was born, my DH and I were knackered with a newborn who didn't sleep.I cannot remember the meal.We didn't even open the presents until Boxing Day grin

Good luck with DD and DC2!

Tinkerisdead Sun 21-Aug-11 10:28:57

We had Xmas alone with dd who was two last year, and this year we'll be alone again. She remembers lots of the magic.

I made an advent calendar full of activities like visit Santa, make paper chains, make mince pies etc. So there was lots of excitement and anticipation. Dh was racing to the calendar each morning!

Xmas eve hamper with Xmas pj's, hot chocolate after she had a candle lit bath that she thought was magical.

I did stockings so the morning was quite leisurely, all of us piled in bed opening those.Then presents downstairs. She was allowed to eat sweets and pick at her dinner. Xmas tea we grazed on buffet type stuff whilst playing with toys and watched the snowman.

Even though she was only two she can remember loads so this year I'm hoping the magic holds even more for her.

Mowlem Sun 21-Aug-11 10:58:56

I think to make Christmas magical you need to turn the focus away from the presents and onto having fun being together.

Yes, of course for a child a huge pile of presents is amazing, so we tend to save the essentials they would already be getting (new vests, socks, pants, toothbrush etc). They are all wrapped up. But presents are unwrapped in turn, so we all see each other open their presents (and enjoy the anticipation) of your next one! We also throw in joke presents whereby a present is wrapped (and disguised) in about 12 layers with clues in, and we all have to guess what the present is. You are not allowed to open the present until you have worked out what it is. My children love this!

But it's also about the day, we always start with a special breakfast, then presents.

In the afternoon, we always play games together - cards like Newmarket or UNO extreme or Sorry is good for the whole family too. My four year old knows and understands these games.

The key though - just enjoy spending time together. In our house Christmas is the one day of the year that tv is banned, and we just enjoy being a family.

Mowlem Sun 21-Aug-11 10:59:50

Forgot to say my DDs are 7 and 4, both love these things ESP the joke presents and the games!

Scout19075 Sun 21-Aug-11 13:41:04

I like the idea of doing a little Christmas Eve hamper with PJs, bath toy/bubbles, etc., and I've always wanted to do milk & cookies for Santa (w/a carrot for the reindeer!) but .... is 2.2 too young to do with?

LordOfTheFlies Sun 21-Aug-11 14:19:25

I love the idea of the candle lit bath Doctors Wife. I could put little T lights round the tap end and on the tiled window-sill.

Scout I think 2.2 would be fine, if your DC knows who Father Christmas is ( or Farmer Christmas when DS was little)

My DS was 2 yo when I was pg with DD and we did all the pre-Christmas things with him. Though Santa Grotto can be a tad scary. We were at the Barney Christmas Star/ Night Before Christmas stage at that time. Over and over and over....

SenoritaViva Sun 21-Aug-11 17:50:52

scout I think you can do milk and cookies, even if 2.2 a bit young to really get they'll remember for next year. In our house growing up it was brandy for father christmas, he was more partial to it than milk...

Loving these ideas!

DuffyMoon Sun 21-Aug-11 18:57:59

A fab Xmas Eve bath ? lush do some lovely if a little pricey bathbombs...special festive ones or ones that would leave her all sparkly and fairy magic like...my dd's still like these at 16 and 13

Scout19075 Sun 21-Aug-11 19:12:58

Thanks Seniorita and LordoftheFlies. MrScout (I think) always did brandy or mulled wine and mince pies. But I grew up doing milk & cookies (and carrots). Milk & cookies are more American and while ToddlerSscout is growing up here (in England) and we have a very British Christmas I'd like to keep some of my family traditions going. wink

Have just spoken to Mom back in the States this evening and she's going to make an Elf for me/TS. Mom is a good sewer and used to make dolls and clothes for us when we were small. We'll pick it up when we go for Thanksgiving -- just in time for the elf to appear periodically throughout Advent to help prepare for Christmas. YAY!

Oh, and Seniorita, it's never too early to start planning your menu/baking/presents. wink

chirpchirp Sun 21-Aug-11 19:17:33

I think there were two occassions growing up that it was just me, my mum and brother on Christmas day. I remember having the best time as after the excitment of Christmas morning and presents we went outside and built snowmen/went sledging. If the last two years are anything to go by there is a good chance of doing this again! Then we came in and to get cozy we built a family size "den" in the middle of the living, pushing sofas together, putting blankets over the top, getting all the cushions and a duvet and then watched a Christmas movie inside the den with a massive bowl of popcorn all cuddled up together.

Tinkerisdead Mon 22-Aug-11 09:04:56

We too have no tv until the adult shows like east Enders special etc. I only ever had Christmas with my mum and brother, the year dd was 1 I had 15people in my lounge on Xmas morning all trying to push presents on dd. When my mum arrived I was freaking out as xmas for me is always a quiet affair.

I try to prep loads in advance so I make mince pies, stuffing etc and freeze it all so that on the day we have lovely homemade treats without killing myself in the kitchen.

girlywhirly Mon 22-Aug-11 10:30:56

There are distinct advantages to having a Christmas with few people. Do as many Christmassy things with DD as you can manage before the day, she will be so busy with her presents and playing with them that she won't be bothered about it being you three at home. Much better, as you don't get the scenario TheDoctorsWife46 describes. Plus you can have a snooze when you want.

Choose the bits of the Christmas meal that you really want to have, and do as much in advance as you can. Or do something completely different.

Even a little stroll in the afternoon can be enjoyable, nosing at peoples outside decorations and lit Christmas trees in their windows! I agree that your DD will enjoy the quality time with you and DH most of all.

Jojay Sat 27-Aug-11 19:29:25

Go to church! The atmosphere is great on Xmas Day, and you'll see other people, so you won't feel as if it's just the 3 of you all day.

gailpottertilsleyplatt Sun 28-Aug-11 17:43:59

Nowt wrong with it being just the 3 of you. It's nearly always just DH, me and DD on Xmas Eve and Xmas day and it's magical.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sun 28-Aug-11 20:37:27

Using masking tape so it doesn't mark - tape wrapping paper around the door frame so the children have to punch their way through. Great fun!

Doitnicelyplease Fri 02-Sep-11 23:46:11

Have a nice advent calendar for her to do each morning, we have two; one where you put little (velcro) ornaments on the 'tree' each day of advent and another which is a little wooden house with a small treat behind each door.

Make an event of picking out the tree, we went to a tree farm where you can cut your own down and they have hot choc round the fire afterwards. Then decorate it together.

A week or so before invite some of her friends over to decorate gingerbread men or cookies.

We did Xmas just the three of us last year and it was lovely.

I stuck to all the traditions. Christmas movie on Christmas Eve, cookies for santa and carrots for the reindeer. Stocking presents on Christmas morning, then breakfast and get dressed (do a special breakfast of pancakes or waffles). After that a big Skype session with family. Then big presents, then go out for a nice walk, then back to a cozy house for lovely Christmas dinner with crackers and candles on the table (DD 3, loves both of those). After dinner play a game or two, then play with new toys, then a movie.

We will probably do all the same again this year as it will be just the 3 of us again.

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