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WWYD? Celebrate Christmas twice or put it off till boxing day?

(8 Posts)
aufaniae Wed 07-Nov-12 23:51:15

DSis and partner can't make it to our parents' till boxing day this year.

My mum's asked me what I think we should do. She suggested maybe "having a quiet Christmas day" opening presents on Christmas but saving the big meal till Boxing Day. That was off the top of her head though, it's not something she's really stuck on IYSWIM.

I'm not sure what we'd do without the meal though. DS will be 4, and I want to him to have a proper Christmas. I don't want to ask my mum to have to do Christmas twice of course, that's not fair if she's not up for it!

DP is a great cook (as is mum) and we can both muck in while there, we could maybe prepare a good proportion of the meal on at least one of the days.

I'm not sure about putting the meal off till boxing day. Wouldn't it make more sense to have a proper Christmas dinner on Christmas day, and just a nice day together on Boxing Day? Dsis and partner will get a proper Christmas dinner with her partner's family, they won't feel like they're missing out, and they're not the type to be bothered.

If it was just us grownups I wouldn't mind either way. The most important bit for me is spending time with family. But I want DS to have a proper Christmas, not a "quiet" one.

WWYD?

aufaniae Thu 08-Nov-12 00:08:31

Ah, DP (voice of reason!) agrees with mum that we should leave the serious cooking till everyone's there, and do something more focused on DS Christmas day.

That was a nice way to put it I think smile

So I think the question now is how to have a simple Christmas which feels properly Christmassy for DS, but not be too much work for the grown ups?

MumofWombat Thu 08-Nov-12 00:59:01

I think you need to have a quick chat to your DSis. You may find that she and her DP may not want to eat a full Christmas lunch two days in a row....And unless your sister is a Christmaszilla who expects everything to revolve around her, I'd be surprised if she would expect you to put your 'normal' Christmas on hold until she can be there!

But if she does, I'd suggest you eat whatever is your DSs favourite food on the 25th. As long as there is a tree up, presents and crackers, having his favourite food will just be the icing on the cake to a four year old.

If this was my family, we would have our normal Christmas Day, and then our normal Boxing Day, just with a few more presents and perhaps some more crackers!

HTH

3bunnies Thu 08-Nov-12 07:11:04

We regularly have this situation, have the turkey on Christmas day, gammon boxing day and leftovers the rest of the time. The key is to make sure that you don't get too big a joint of meat so you don't have leftovers forever. I would agree though talk through with DSis, as she may prefer not to have two turkeys and might prefer a gammon or something, in which case just have a moderate christmas lunch one day then meal with all trimmings next day. Else go with ds's favourite meal.

aufaniae Thu 08-Nov-12 08:46:53

Thanks for the replies, good food for thought (no pun intended grin )

Sorry I probably should have mentioned, DP, Dsis, DS and I are all veggies! Dsis's partner eats meat but she's not too fond of turkey.

Christmas dinner (on whichever day) will be a lovely veggie dish for us, it's unlikely it'll be the same as whatever Dsis and her partner have on Christmas. My parents aren't too keen on turkey either, and usually get a smaller bird: goose / duck / pheasant etc.

My mum's cooking is lovely, and after reflection I think it does make sense to save the serious cooking till all the adults are there. DP and I can offer to do a large portion of the cooking Christmas day, as I know my mum will want to spend sometime preparing for the big meal.

I'm looking forward to it now smile

I need to think about planning a day which is Christmassy for DS now. So .. crackers, hats, food DS loves, check! What else I wonder? ...

What makes it christmassy for a child?

WaitingForMe Thu 08-Nov-12 09:09:54

Last year we had my stepsons for Christmas eve and morning (we alternate so this year we get them for lunch) and I made crackers with them that we filled with sweets.

They were then on the breakfast table. Crackers and sweets at breakfast time literally blew their tiny minds. They were 6 and 3 and physically shook at the excitement of it all grin

This year there'll be a tiny tree in the dining room and I'll be introducing them to the concept of "table presents" (my late Nana's tradition aimed at keeping kids quiet and happy during a long meal). They're just mini Lego sets but I'm hoping that having gifts at an unusual time will be exciting.

3bunnies Thu 08-Nov-12 12:29:39

A nice christmassy veg meal that I've made is a kind of veggie coq au vin which can be made in advance, basically veg (aubergine, peppers etc), chestnuts and a red wine sauce (red wine, little bit of cornflour and water), seasoning and puff pastry. It can be made in advance and frozen, then defrost pop on a puff pastry top and cook in oven. Is fine for children as long as not allergic to nuts, and you cook the wine till it boils the alcohol off.

Crackers on both days sounds perfect, maybe download a christmassy colouring in picture to use as a place mat for your ds and give him a cup of pencils/crayons as you would get in a restaurant.

Plus less time eating means more time playing with presents which is probably more important at that age!

trockodile Thu 08-Nov-12 12:35:37

One of our best Christmases was just the 3 of us-we lazed around, watched a movie, opened-and played with the toys together, went for a walk and ate fajitas! DS loved that we had so much time to spend together and not racing around cooking.
Why not ask him for his favourite food suggestions?

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