Christmas away... in Shanghai....in two minds about it and need persuading it will be nice...(9 Posts)
Ok, so I will sound like a very ungrateful cow, but I love Xmas and had some plans already for what we were doing this year...until a call from BIL and SIL who live in Shanghai...They want to pay for us to go over there this year for Xmas, from UK. Me, DH and DD, 2.5.
I am just a bit in two minds about it - my parents have just moved to be closer to us, they look after DD full time and I am sure were looking forward to Xmas, although haven't actually mentioned it yet. PIL live abroad, we had discussed asking them over for Xmas for big family do, which although it would be painful (they get on my nerves, mine and DH parents don't get on brilliantly..) it would have been nice to have them all here, especially for DD.
DD is at the age where I am worried about the flight, 12 hrs with a toddler is no fun, and we are now in a quandary about presents as can't take a lot with us - luckily things I had planned for DH are small, but presents for DD was going to be a play kitchen and a scooter...
However, on the upside, we are trying for a baby so we wouldn't get to go next year probably, as will have to be at home. DD doesn't really 'get' Xmas yet properly so won't mind, we will be with BIL and SIL who we get on with brilliantly (DH and BIL are twins) and we will get to trial the long flight but with none of the hassle of independent travel as they will be there to pick us up, plus we are confident in China as have been before and she will love it. We haven't done any long trips with her yet but were planning a massive trip to south america once we have another baby so this is perfect in a way.
But I just can't shake the feeling that I will miss being at home, the tree, decorating, opening presents with the rest of the family, plus I feel bad I will be leaving my parents alone for Xmas - they don't know anyone here and I am going to have to tell them tomorrow and they will be gutted...
Anyway, just had to have an unload because if I say this to DH he will feel bad that I don't want to go, plus isn't that bothered about Xmas so doesn't understand how excited I get.
I am being ungrateful, it will be lovely, yes?!
I know Shanghai quite well.....and I would definitely not go there for Xmas!
The thing is, if we went, it would have to be for the whole time, I don't think I could do that flight and only stay a few days - I have to be back at work a few days after new year, DH will probably only get Xmas off and a few days after, thinking about going 22nd, coming back 3rd - or whatever we can manage really, we don't know due to DH's work what we can get.
I think the jet lag was worse going than coming back from what I remember, but still, DD will barely sleep and will need days to get back to normal.
Greythorne can I ask why? They know it well too, have both lived there years. I was underwhelmed by it when we went, but we were only there three days, had just done a long flight and were with BIL on his own, before any of us had kids and he was single - lots of drinking involved but not much else - I hope it would be different this time as they have much more of a home there.
Not very positive replies so far! Still worried!
Well it won't be Christmassy, but how often does someone offer to pay for you all to go to Shanghai after all? DD won't really be aware if you celebrate Christmas early with your parents, then you get the best of both worlds.
Yes, thanks doublemum, we were thinking that, the weekend before for Xmas dinner, have family over anyway.
I think it's a great opportunity to go. There will be many more Christmases but you may not get an opportunity like this again, yes, it may be great, it may not be but either way it's something different.
I think you are over thinking it with your DD, almost using her as an excuse not to go. Kids are adaptable and generally enjoy being in new places. We took our LO to Australia when he just turned 2. We thought it would be awful and the airline even broke our buggy, but the flight was so much easier than we thought, as was the travelling and on the whole LO really enjoyed it and by the time we got home had learnt so much.
It's definitely easier to travel with one kid than two... Though saying that friends of ours took two under 3s to Thailand to rural parts and managed great. The kids develop so much with different cultural experiences even at such a young age if they have the opportunity. And you have the added benefit of seeing family, your dd gets to spend some precious time with her uncle.
If you go on 22nd that's so close to Christmas you can still do the tree, decorations and everything throughout December and celebrate Christmas a few days early. Your dd won't mind when she opens her presents, with mine as toddlers, it normally takes them a month to open them all as they do one or two then play with them before being interested enough to open more. More often than not its more for the parents than the kids at that age.
It will definitely be different.... but for one christmas out of your life maybe that's a good thing! I've spent 4 out of the last 5 xmases in Shanghai (we live here) and while you do definitely have to put in the effort to make it christmassy like home, it can be really lovely and there are some things which are brilliant. remember that there are loads of expats here and many of them don't leave for xmas as it's not a long enough holiday to bother going far.
Maybe you should be asking BIL and SIL what they are planning? a lot of people actually get out of the city or they arrange a big meal at a hotel or at home with loads of other people - it really is what you make it. I would think that doing it at this stage with your DD would be better than if she were older and really knew what xmas was about.
and actually, despite what everyone else has said it can be quite christmassy here - there is a lovely christmas market (at Paulaner - like a proper german market!) and christmas fairs and many people hold xmas parties too - while the Chinese don't really celebrate it, there are enough people around celebrating that not only do you get the British stuff but also all the other nationalities' traditions. I really love it but like I said, it is what you make it - plus you can enjoy the rest that Shanghai has to offer.
Re the flight, I wouldn't worry too much - 2.5 year olds tend to be quite adaptable - I'm doing the flight next week with my 3.5 year old and as long as he has the ipad/tv on (all rules out of the window when flying!) he's always well behaved on the plane (touch wood!!) - also it's not like flying to Australia - it's really over very quickly - you'd be surprised!
I'd go like a shot if I were you.
Thanks for the replies guys, been really helpful. Lots of great reasons to go, which has helped loads. The stuff you mention sounds great soapnuts, I don't know what they have planned yet, but they do have lots of friends, most with kids, who we have met and get along with, so they might do something big with them. They have to work a bit too, overlapping some days off though, so we might have a day or two to ourselves, thought we might go on a day trip out to one of the water towns or something.
The market sounds lovely! Ironically, we were planning to go to one of the European markets, Bruges or somewhere - hadn't quite planned on going so far to one!
I am worried about the flight, DD doesn't sleep easily at the best of times, panicking about keeping her busy for that long
without being able to get drunk to get through it but then it will test us as we definitely want to go on a big trip with her at some point.
Thanks for the help - good luck soapnut with your flight next week, fingers crossed for you! If you have any suggestions of things we can do with DD whilst there that would be great, whilst they do have friends with kids they don't always think like that themselves as they don't. I heard there's an aquarium? I know the parks are nice, but not sure what the weather will be like.
Just got to tell the olds now, they are coming over for dinner later, scared!
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