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Christmassy things to do in December?

(48 Posts)
curiousgeorgie Tue 30-Jul-13 11:51:56

I really am looking forward to Christmas this year and have plans to make it the best Christmas ever with my 3 year old and 6 month old grin

I keep reading that people do Christmassy things with their DC everyday in December?

Because of how booked up things get so far we've booked to see a big panto with all our family, and a small panto in a local theatre with all our friends and their DC.

I'll take them to see Santa somewhere obviously...

What else do people do? Any ideas?

We're in Surrey if people have any specifics grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 31-Jul-13 00:11:04

99% of the pleasure of Christmas is the build up to it and the anticipation.

I said to my DD that one of my favourite things is driving away from Sainsburys with a bootfull of shopping into the dark of a evening a few days before Christmas.
And I have all the shopping on my list plus a few added extras.
All paid for with my Nectar points saved through the year.

DH is hmm . DS is <<tumblweed>> DD understands grin

noddyholder Wed 31-Jul-13 07:48:34

I love Xmas but not in July! Build up is december surely.

PoppyWearer Wed 31-Jul-13 07:58:35

Part of my Christmas ritual with the DCs is a trip to a pottery cafe to paint gifts (handprints or footprints when babies) for the relatives. Christmas baubles are good if the cafe has them, or decorations. They make for a nice present/keepsake.

As for stuff in Surrey, I've heard that the Santa/grotto at Painshill Park is good, but the grotto is a bit of a hike from the entrance. Bocketts Farm, Chessington and Brooklands Museum have all had good Santas in years gone by, also the Watercress Line and Mizen's Railway for railway-themed Santas.

Going into London for a day to see the lights and visit Hamleys is also part of our ritual. The South Bank usually has a fairground and Christmas market. You could look for a children's show such as Stick Man or the Gruffalo's Child.

PoppyWearer Wed 31-Jul-13 08:04:13

For all the nay-sayers, another reason for planning now is that tickets for Christmas stuff always sell out early. I finally managed to get tickets to take my DC1 to a Christmas show I've been wanting to take her to for years, thanks to a thread on here in May.

Top London store Santas sell out in September.

Also any hotel bookings are best done now, before prices rise.

PoppyWearer Wed 31-Jul-13 08:05:40

Also, if you plan/shop now, all that is left to do in December is wrap, relax and enjoy! My December last year was great because I had done most of the hard work by then.

MrsGSR Wed 31-Jul-13 10:53:41

I love this thread! I'm due with my first in January, so I'm using it to plan Christmas's in a few years time! (massively forward planning!) Loads of great ideas on here smile

elQuintoConyo Wed 31-Jul-13 11:19:35

Get some of those foam circles and decorate them like a wreath for dcs to hang on their bedroom doors/ over picture hooks.
Ask them what they'd like to do over Christmas, make a mental note of the doable ones, then put some of them in the advent calendars (they may want too feed ducks or something un-Chritstmassy or random!).
Many people do Elf on the Shelf.
Make decorations with egg cartons, glue and glitter - still got mine!
Make paper angels (circular angel, colour in, cut out then fokd together with a dot if sellotape), arrange on mantlepiece/shelf for a little 'party' of angels. If you draw the angels yourself, you could make them different sizes.
Paper chains - piss easy for a 3yo, can decorate their own room (perhaps make this one of the advent calendar activities).
Decorate Christmas cake: either one you made or store-bought, get a handful of little ornaments and set children free! (My DM still has a littke bix with old-fashioned looking FC, tree, robin - we were always allowed to choose their position).

Yes, Christmas is months away, but I've started making things already as we have bugger all money and I'll start work in October, bang will go my free time.

DelayedActionMouseMaker Wed 31-Jul-13 11:21:56

If you don't want to talk about Christmas then perhaps NOT visiting the Christmas thread would be wise? Leave us to our festive speculations!
Love starting to plan now, it means I can spread the cost and then we get our shopping with nectar points too 70. I fact I think we'll be able to cover off all Xmas presses with the points from our credit cards this year, and as we've paid off the balance every month that's a real bonus! smile

Poppy, which show you going to see? Always divided about London at Xmas, we used to live there and whilst I love the atmosphere I hate the crowds! Love going to a show at any time of year though!!smile

NumTumDeDum Wed 31-Jul-13 11:22:35

Go into London and have a walk around Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, big german christmas market and a christmas themed funfair.

TerraNotSoFirma Wed 31-Jul-13 13:04:57

This year I'm going to buy 24 of the tesco value stockings (think they were 50p or £1) to string up the bannister as an advent calendar.
Each will have a small sweetie for each DC and a card with a Christmassy activity on it (I got business cards from vistaprint which are blank with a little picture of a Christmas tree in the corner)

1.write letter to Santa
2.write Christmas cards for nursery friends baking colouring in (printable sheet from Internet)
5.visit to the reindeer centre craft (I'll buy two of the bbc art magazines, can usually get about 7 days crafts out of them at least)
7.make cards for grandparents craft book in the stocking of Christmas snap (from usbourne) DVD (Dvd's are ones we already have, the only new one goes in the CEH. baking
13.visit to garden centre to buy a decoration for each DC.
14.put up and decorate the little tree for DC room.
15. Put up tree and decorate the house. craft. colouring in
18.santas grotto visit.
19. DC Christmas shopping, nothing extravagant take DC to the pound shop where they buy a present for each other and mum and dad. present wrapping. DVD craft
23. Christmas parade in the next village and then a meal out.
24. A walk to see the lights and trees around the village, buy carrots for the reindeer. Return to find our elf on a shelf has returned to the North Pole and left the Christmas Eve hamper. smile

Need to think how to put numbers 1-24 on The stockings, no use at embroidery .

MooseyMoo Wed 31-Jul-13 14:39:34

Terra you could get some craft mini pegs, print out numbers on coloured paper and attach number to stocking and string with mini peg

elQuintoConyo Wed 31-Jul-13 14:53:47

Terra I have stockings winding down my bannister, too - great minds, heh? Get three times the length of your bannister in string as you'll be winding, too (ie, if bannister is 5ft, buy 15ft string iyswim; any leftover string: ornaments and other crafty bits).

We are in Spain, in Catalonia, and there is a tradition here of the Caga Tio: the shitting log. Sing a song, hit log with a stick and it shits presents. Close relative of the Yule Log. There's also a man taking a dump who you put in your nativity! My DM gave us a Knitivity last year, I had to ask if she could also knit a squatting man and a curly turd!

Oh dear.

Do you sing carols? We did this as a child, just at home not round the neighbourhood. Then we played games like pass the parcel on Christmas Eve, rather than watching a dvd, all dressed up in a party dress grin

I made our DS a Christmas stocking covered in 18 large felt 'baubles', every year I put a photo of him from Christmas Day on it and we can see how he changes. Then he can have it when he sets up a home of his own.

elQuintoConyo Wed 31-Jul-13 15:12:28

And specialsubject if you read the posts it isn't at all 'retailmas': there is a lot of baking, walking around looking at lights, making wrapping paper and cards, helping other people (a pp wrote about boxes for the elderly? Can't scroll and check on phone).

Your idea about Christmas might be shopping, or Baby Jesus, or being cold and lonely, or avoiding family arguments by naffing off to Barbados - mine happens to be make/bake/glue/sew as much as I can out of what I've got to create lovely memories for my DS. Each to their own and PEACE smile

NumTumDeDum Wed 31-Jul-13 16:34:46

Terranotsofirma, you could iron bondaweb onto fabric, cut out the numbers and then iron onto the stockings, then do a plain blanket stitch round the edge.

Sirzy Wed 31-Jul-13 16:37:30

If you can get to Drayton Manor Thomas land is lovely at Christmas

TerraNotSoFirma Wed 31-Jul-13 19:05:06

Ooh those are some good ideas for my numbers, thanks guys.
Tesco better do those value stockings again this year smile

TerraNotSoFirma Wed 31-Jul-13 19:05:53

Ooh those are some good ideas for my numbers, thanks guys.
Tesco better do those value stockings again this year smile

hippoherostandinghere Thu 01-Aug-13 19:45:11

Terra, some fab ideas there. I may well steal a few for our advent calendar. Think I'm going to buy a reusable one this year either a wooden one or one to hang on the door and fill with a little chocolate and a Christmas activity grin

Slainte Sat 03-Aug-13 10:52:04

I've just ordered these from ebay to decorate during December - I might add some to GP's, friends etc cards.

attheendoftheday Sat 03-Aug-13 20:01:21

They're great, Slainte , I've just ordered some for the kids to decorate as presents for various relatives.

BiddyPop Tue 06-Aug-13 11:05:34

I have a list of things to do in December so that I can put something into DD's advent calender every day. Not all are treats, some are about getting ready for Christmas physically, and thinking about others and the real meaning of Christmas (I know that is not what everyone does, but we do a few bits). Lots and lots of what we do are free, or nearly free. It's actually a 5 page word doc, but a few things here are:

Go for a walk in a park/woods on a dry day. Enjoy the walk and the weather. Gather some pine cones/nice twigs/dead leaves as you do that. Look out for some signs of animals and birds even in winter.

Another (possibly wet) day, take out those cones etc, and paint them, cover them in glue and glitter, tie on some string (or nice ribbon if you have it) and make tree decorations for yourselves or for DCs to give to grandparents etc as presents.

Another wet day idea is to get sheets of paper and make wrapping paper or decorations for walls, by potato stamping or using the dead leaves to print etc. Or to make Christmas cards doing stamping. (You can get proper stamps too, and I have a few in reserve, but it's fun to start making your own).

Make some cookies. DD was whisking eggs and a few other bits of mixing etc as we baked from about 8 months old. You can give the DCs a small amount of dough (whether real or playdough) and a small rolling pins and cutters, to make cookies, while you do the real rolling and cutting. If they are using real dough, you can bake their work on a seperate tray so that you can keep them for you and Daddy to eat together. (More so that you don't foist them on unsuspecting visitors by accident). Let them present them to you and DH with pride!!

I usually tend to make a batch or 2 of cookies over the advent period - but always do at least 1 of a "roll up dough into log and slice off cookies" type - keeping enough of that batch in the freezer to slice and bake on Christmas Eve if we don't have the time or energy to bake from scratch for Santa.

Clear out the DCs wardrobes - go through the clothes to see what no longer fits (and put summer things away until summer comes again) or needs mending. It gives you a chance to see what may be needed (for you to buy or give gift ideas to anyone looking for them) and make sure you have nice outfits for whatever events are planned over Christmas (one may be enough if there is time to wash between events, but you may need more if more events or they are close together timewise). DCs love to help pulling things out - they can be less helpful putting them back, but that could be when you have them putting the things you are moving on into a bag or a pile somewhere else. (We usually talk about giving them to cousins who are smaller and some things going to children who aren't as lucky as us to have so many lovely things).

We also go through DD's other closets and clear out broken toys and toys that she really has grown out of. Again, we are making space for anything new that she might be lucky enough to get, and giving some things that are still good (usually through charity shop) to children who don't have so many toys. Those 2 "BIG PROJECTS" are at least 2 seperate days and possibly longer.

I give DD a box in early December of strips of coloured paper and a roll of sellotape. When she's bored, I send her off to make her paper chain for the hall decorations longer. With younger DCs, you can do taht together, or make chains of snowmen or santas or snowflakes from sheets of newspaper etc.

Free printable colouring sheets from the internet are GREAT!! There are loads, aimed at all ages. Some are just colouring in, while there are plenty of easy craft ideas as well.

DH and you keep an eye out the weeks leading up to Christmas, and devise a route. Then, some night Christmas week, load up the DCs in their pjs into the car, with cups of warm milk/hot choc (sippy cups with lids, or travel mugs if older), and a couple of marshmallows, and bring them to see the Christmas lights after dark when it's magical.

Write a letter to Santa. You may be the writer when they're small, or I know some people have suggested things like using the Argos catalogue or similar, and letting the kids rip out the picture of what they want, sticky tape it to the letter and put their name beside it. Get them to draw a picture too.

Get them to help tidy up every day. Just remind them to help, that the elves are watching. So they help you put toys away, or hold the dustpan while you brush up, or give you the pegs while you hang the washing out, or bring their own plates to the kitchen after dinner (small parts of a job that you are doing with them). Get them used to helping, but don't make it slavery, just gently introduce things you can keep going after Christmas.

Practise Christmas carols and songs together.

Watch Christmas movies - loads on tv, or borrow dvds from the local library. Or get some on dvd to have for years to come. That could be a special afternoon with a carpet picnic (not loads of treats - I find a bowl of apple chunks and bag of popcorn is still welcomed by DD and her BF's for watching DVDs, at age 7 - even the 12 year old big sis of BF accepts that if there are a couple of jellies or something in another bowl to share later).

DD got a bedtime story every night until last year (down to 2 nights per week now), and for December, it was nearly always some sort of Christmas story. We have a load of books ourselves, and there are lots in the library too to borrow. And lots of printable stories on the net (some have colouring in pictures on the pages!).

Of course, you need to fit in a visit to Santa (if it fits your household beliefs etc). And a shopping trip (I try to do my shopping in bits around work, rather than inflicting most of it on DD, but we always have a trip together to get any presents she needs to - for DH or grandparents etc - and to have a stop in the coffee shop together while watching the lights and the bustle).

I also try to involve her in the food shopping - even when she was small and safely strapped into trolley out of the way of the madness of Christmas shoppers, she had a small list of pictures of things we needed (not all the things on my list - but ones she'd know like bread, tomatoes, milk, cheese or whatever) to remind me. Even now, I try to shop a little out of peak hours and she will fill the bag of mushrooms or help find the right tins etc. And mark things off the written list.

A few other ideas from my "Master" doc (the brains of the operation, culled from years of threads here and elsewhere!! so not all mine and we don't do everything here):
Go and buy cat/dog/rabbit etc. a small gift (in order to help out the big man, of course)
Paint your own mug for Grandma/Grandad/Great Auntie Thingy
Choose Christmas charity
Visit ducks in the park to wish them a very Happy Christmas and give them some bread
Make secret den in order to discuss secret Christmassy stuff and wrap presents
making some place cards/ a decoration with names for Christmas lunch guests?
Make a Christmas crown to wear
Decorate a tree outside with nuts an d fat and toast for the birds, plus a star on top

Have a quiz:
What did the three wise men bring?
What do you think the Wise men would bring today?
Name three things you need to make christmas pudding?
Sing jingle bells backwards?
Name three things that glitter?
Imitate a turkey?
Do 5 star jumps
Think of 3 words that rhyme with "Yule"?
Think up the next line of this poem:
At Christmas time the thing I like the best
Name 3 plants or trees associated with Christmas?
Name 3 animals or birds associated with Christmas?
Name 4 reindeer?
Sing a Christmas Song
Name 5 carols?
4 3-letter words from Christmas?
4 3-letter words from stocking?
Name a carol with someone's name in the title?
Name a song with Santa in the title?
What was given on the 9th day of christmas?
In the 12 days of Christmas - how many birds altogether were given?
Name two animals in the traditional nativity scene?
Make a snowflake out of paper?
Tell the story of the first christmas in less than a minute?
Name 5 christmas foods?
Make something to hang on the christmas tree?
Think of 3 names for father Christmas?

Make glittery tree decorations using cookie cutters as templates to draw round on card. Cover in glue, add glitter and thread on a red ribbon to hang.

Reindeer food is basically a mix of porridge oats and glitter, the idea is that the reindeer will see it twinkling from the sky and come down and stand nicely for Santa to do his thing whilst filling their tums! A lot of people spread it outside, I find a bowl is easier as the DC can see just how much the reindeer have eaten in the morning.

does your church have a toy service to donate new/as new toys to families who can't afford xmas presents? Your local council probably do something like this, find out if they do and have a 'choose one of your toys to make another child's christmas' day.

bake stained glass biscuits to decorate the tree with
put baby jesus in the nativity scene if you have a nativity scene
make mince pies for santa
have a fashion show and pick the outfits that everyone should wear on christmas day
Go shopping for a tree decoration each.
Ice skating
Track Santa (for Christmas Eve)
stick cloves in oranges
make xmas decorations
cook some fudge/coconut ice for rellys
decorate xmas biscuits
put xmas decs up
choose xmas tree
write a letter
make a Christmas present for dad
go out and collect holly and fir
Make some reindeer food (porridge oats and glitter in a little jar).
put on Christmas Carols/Music and have a dance
bake mince pies
fill a shoebox for a xmas shoebox appeal
learn about how another country celebrate xmas (depends how old your dc are)
visit santa
drink hot chocolate and watch a film (polar express)
fly kites
make wreath or spray
Have a Christmas-sy bath. Use "Christmas scented" bubble bath/bath oil/essential oils or Lush bath bombs. Think orange, tangerine, cinnamon...

Slainte Sun 11-Aug-13 13:22:35

Thanks for that list Biddy.

Have your items arrived yet attheend, mine have and they're really good quality.

50ShadesofXmas Sun 11-Aug-13 21:03:28

Biddypop - can I come and live with you in December please? Pretty please?

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