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If you host Christmas do you set the 'timetable' to suit yourself or others...

(35 Posts)
PogoBob Fri 29-Aug-14 17:40:46

Timetable sounds horrible formal but can't think of a better word.

We're staying at home for Christmas for only the second time. Last year we organised Christmas around what suited family members best. It generally worked but there were some really trigger points for toddler tantrums that could be avoided wth a slightly different approach.

This year I'm tempted to work out what would work for us and tell family what we are doing. To be honest I suspect that everyone will fit in with us if we set everything out but as host it feels wrong not to start with what suits others!

Frontier Fri 29-Aug-14 17:55:15

Yes, absolutely you do it the way that suits you. Tell them what time you want them to arrive and what time dinner will be, the rest doesn't need to be formally set but as the host you get to direct things.

The only exception would be if one of the guests had toddlers or a new baby and if planning things around feeds/naps would make the day easier for everyone.

PogoBob Fri 29-Aug-14 18:09:57

Cheers Frontier, we're the only ones in the family with young children so it is still quite alien having to factor their needs in IYSWIM rather than just doing what all the adults need (still haven't managed to get some family members to understand that serving dinner to a 4yo and 20mo at 9:30pm isn't a good idea!)

Frontier Fri 29-Aug-14 18:19:27

Flippin' heck, serving dinner to me at 9:30 would be a very bad idea grin

amyhamster Fri 29-Aug-14 18:21:49

Oh yes say please arrive at 12.30 for bucks fizz & presents & dinner will be at 2.30pm

BellaVida Fri 29-Aug-14 18:24:43

We just taken into consideration who is coming and travelling, then set a suitable approximate time to arrive. Everything else just free flows from there. Less stress!

PogoBob Fri 29-Aug-14 20:14:27

Will work out what's best for us and tell everyone, already know that we're going to annoy some of the aunts but it's us who have got to deal with the fall out of the DC not them - will have to sweeten the pot some other way I guess smile

Hassled Fri 29-Aug-14 20:19:25

Absolutely work out the schedule that suits you and then just tell them - I host, and I call all the timetabling shots. If they're not happy they can go elsewhere.

rookiemater Fri 29-Aug-14 20:19:55

When we have people staying we do it so it kind of suits everyone. However I hate eating a big meal in the afternoon it feels weird to me, so I serve Christmas lunch around 1 rather than later - haven't had any complaints about it.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 29-Aug-14 20:22:13

yy- work round small children and diabetic parents/anyone who has to take medication with food.
otherwise - you choose grin

Methe Fri 29-Aug-14 20:25:59

I'm considering having our meal early evening this year, primarily because a Christmas table looks better when it's dark outside sad. But also so that I don't have to spend the majority of the day in the kitchen and can have a proper breakfast. I'm thinking about asking them to come over about 3 to eat about 6.

We're hosting dh's family and there will be 6 adults and 4 children under ten.

Bonkers idea or not?

Methe Fri 29-Aug-14 20:26:52

I should say we would normally eat about 3. Dh's mum likes to cook Sunday roast for 1 which is far too early for me.

Dawnlight Fri 29-Aug-14 20:27:55

I'm a bit crap at knowing when dinner will actually be ready, it always takes me a bit by surprise, so people just have to fit in with me.

I find it all usually goes well as long as the quality street are plentiful and the prosecco is flowing. grin

sixlive Fri 29-Aug-14 20:28:42

We eat at 1pm, I like to get it over and done with and enjoy the afternoon.

WipsGlitter Fri 29-Aug-14 20:29:41

We did a late dinner once but I'd not recommend it. We aim for 2.30.

Methe Fri 29-Aug-14 20:43:14

What was bad about it wips?

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Fri 29-Aug-14 20:53:48

Absolutely fine to suit yourself OP. We always had to suit everyone else when DS was young. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the world should revolve around my child but some consideration from my own family would have been nice.

DS struggles with a big meal mid afternoon, so last year we had our 'starter' around midday, chocs for afternoon snack and the main course around teatime. Worked perfectly, and we didn't have that whole stuffed to the gills, but peckish early evening situation we normally do! Still had room for nice cheese and wine in the evening too grin

Ragwort Fri 29-Aug-14 20:55:58

Methe - we've always eaten Christmas dinner in the evening, and it has worked for us, it should be fine. We prefer to get some fresh air and a walk in and no one can be bothered to go out if we eat earlier grin.

Our routine is - Stocking presents/breakfast/church/light lunch/walk/main presents/board game/Queen's speech etc Grandpa's nap/eat 7ish.

But yes, the host should specify the arrangements and if the guests don't like it they can stay at home. grin.

SquattingNeville Fri 29-Aug-14 21:01:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Methe Fri 29-Aug-14 21:17:56

Thanks ragwort. Your day sounds lovely smile

PogoBob Fri 29-Aug-14 22:40:15

Interesting to read what everyone gets up to. Thinking of being a little unorthodox with Christmas dinner and having it on Christmas Eve.

The dinner is a big part of it for me - big decorated table, multiple courses etc. and last year it was overshadowed by DD who had just got completely overwhelmed by all the gifts and grandparents visiting etc. This year DS has also got to the age where to much excited equals meltdown.

PIL have dinner at their own place just the 2 of them due to FIL being fussy so it would only be DM, DH, myself and the 2 DC having it anyhow.

This way means we can go all out on the Christmas Day breakfast of crossiants, pastries etc. whilst opening presents and then have a relaxed buffet afternoon meal without having to spend all day in the kitchen or giving ourselves total indigestion.

Only potential issue would be DM who I know won't commit to Christmas Eve (has her own business, non Christmas related but seems to want to be open on Christmas Eve morning) but I guess I can only invite her to the meal and see what she does. She would still be with us for Christmas Day so wouldn't be leaving her on her own!

Dawnlight Fri 29-Aug-14 22:45:58

I think that's a lovely idea pogo. There's so much chocolate to eat happening on Xmas day, I would love to just have a salad.

I have a friend who goes out for Chinese on Xmas day. They have their Xmas dinner on the 27th when all the paper ripping is over and they can concentrate.

slithytove Fri 29-Aug-14 22:49:39

We set it, everyone ignored it, they aren't coming this year.


combust22 Fri 29-Aug-14 22:51:15

We have had an Indian takeaway several times in the past, still set the table, crackers and pudding, but get soemone elase to cook

I always work around the kids. We have the main meal at lunchtime, and often eatly- 1pm, as the kids have only eaten chocolate for breakfast so usually quite hungry by then.
Not sure this year as we are having guests staying over and the youngest will be 14, so may delay things till 3pm. That way we don't have to watch the queen's speech.

slithytove Fri 29-Aug-14 22:52:11


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