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I'm going to be working late on Christmas Eve.... how can I make it special for the kids?

(13 Posts)
headfairy Thu 01-Nov-12 16:20:34

They'll be with dh so it's not like they'll be weeping in to their stockings, but my mum keeps on telling me it's soooo sad I won't be there with them when they go to bed.

The dcs will be 5 and almost 3 (3 on New Year's Eve). I'm going to have to leave for work at about 10am and I won't be home until about 11.30pm. So what can I do in the 3 or four hours in the morning whilst getting ready for work or do I just leave it all to dh to do? Anything I can do to make it a bit more special for them?

BeaWheesht Thu 01-Nov-12 16:24:50

Watch a Christmas DVD? Go for a walk? Make cookies?

Leave a wee hamper but instead of the usual pjs you could put in a Xmas DVD to watch with dh, some stuff to bake (asda do ready made cookie dough) and some new gloves/ scarf for going on a nice walk? Or craft stuff to make you a Christmas picture for when you come home?

susiedaisy Thu 01-Nov-12 16:25:16

Create a special Xmas eve breakfast, may be pancakes or brownies, let them open one pressy from the tree, play Xmas music etc, and please don't beat yourself up too much about it, in the long run they won't remember that you weren't there later on in the day but they may remember a special Xmas eve breakfast, I work in the NHS so I know how you feel with shift work!

lightrain Thu 01-Nov-12 16:26:06

Don't listen to your mum, it 'll be lovely, they get an extra treat on Christmas morning by seeing you!

Numberlock Thu 01-Nov-12 16:27:40

And make the most of the days before Christmas Eve too. (Hopefully you won't be working that weekend of 22/23 December?)

So you can have Christmas films on those nights too, making decorations, mince pies, decorating the tree, wrapping presents for friends and family, visit to local Christmas market, Santa's grotto etc etc. That makes it a nice long build-up to Christmas and you don't feel like you're missing out because it's all only happening on Christmas Eve when you're not there.

Ragwort Thu 01-Nov-12 16:31:15

I think your mum is being really unkind and trying to make you feel guilty for working; just ignore her; your children will be with their father, having a lovely time smile.

Waitingforastartofall Thu 01-Nov-12 16:42:06

Ignore your mum for a start, I would make Christmas pancakes ect tree shapes and such. Then watch Christmas film or do pictures. Then leave them a little shoe box of treats like reindeer food and snacks with a Christmas book or something. They will b fine and will much prefer u being there Christmas day

headfairy Thu 01-Nov-12 16:51:33

ooh you lot are sweet <gets all weepy and hormonal>

I love the idea of a hamper... I will definitely pinch that idea!

Thankfully I'm not working the weekend before... to be honest I was dreading getting the Christmas day shift, I've managed to dodge it since having the kids, and now with dd here and her birthday being New Year's Eve I hold my breath every year when the Christmas rotas are published. Thankfully I've been granted leave for NYE!

I will spend the sunday night before making something lovely for breakfast, I'll try and make sure I'm super organised so I can spend as little time as possible getting ready and as much time as possible with them.

CMOTDibbler Thu 01-Nov-12 16:52:56

Just leave it to DH, I'm sure he's perfectly capable of organising a lovely christmas eve.
You could leave them a hamper for the evening of hot choc, marshmallows, a christmas dvd, and pjs/onesies so they can all cuddle up

everydayaschoolday Thu 01-Nov-12 21:22:11

My dad was a policeman and so worked shifts. When we got older, he'd volunteer to work christmas, to let the other officers with little kids have the time off for christmas day. However, when we were young, he frequently worked christmas eve early shift, day shift, back shift or night shift in order to try to secure christmas day off.

When dad was off shift, he'd bake with us (mince pies and gingerbread are still his speciality!) and I remember cuddling up on the sofa for any cartoons (Tom & Jerry is his fav) or kids Christmas movies on TV. My dad is a big kid at heart. He'd tease us that he'd ticket Santa if he caught him speeding, or come in from a backshift and say santa got a police escort and everything was officially on schedule.

Dad did have to work a few Christmas days, and it really wasn't a big deal. He tried to avoid the early shift so he could be there for the morning santa magic and was always more excited than we were at opening his stocking! I'm 38 now and I honestly can't remember my dad not being there for some christmases, but mum and dad tell me it's true. I do remember my dad wetting himself at Muppet Christmas Carol, teaching me to fill mince pies, making Christmas lunch, getting excited about stockings and taking me to midnight mass (just the two of us).

What I'm trying to say to all the lovely MN'ters that have to work over christmas to look after us all - military, police, NHS, fire service etc, is that your kids won't remember when you weren't there for the one day/half day. But they will remember whenever you are there, and what you do together.

So you're right headfairy smile to make that time special and create those memories. Have a kid-focussed fun morning - all the ideas posted are great (I think breakfast pancakes are a winner) and the kids will love it and remember that time. But they will also love the time they'll get with DH for the afternoon and evening. If DH needs a steer, perhaps suggest a few ideas to make his time with the kids as special for them - a treat takeaway tea, Christmas DVD, santa and rudolph treats out on plate, track santa on NORAD and goodnight phone call to mummy (if appropriate at work). Brief DH to have a nice glass of wine waiting for you when you get in smile.

Have a lovely christmas eve morning and enjoy christmas day together x

headfairy Thu 01-Nov-12 21:29:09

everyday your post has brought a tear to my eye... your dad is wonderful!

Thanks so much for your kind words thanks and wine

everydayaschoolday Thu 01-Nov-12 21:44:17

yes, he and mum both are. I know I'm very lucky, and so are your kids. <clinking my wineglass with you>

olibeansmummy Thu 01-Nov-12 21:45:27

A special breakfast sounds lovely, but honestly, don't beat yourself up about it, if you were your dh and had to work, I doubt anyone would bat an eye lid! Lots of lovely Christmas things in the run up to Christmas and a lovely Christmas Day will be all they need to make special memories.

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