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Help me create some Christmas traditions

(39 Posts)
Slowdownsally Fri 07-Nov-14 21:33:59

My Ds is nearly 4 and I'm a lone parent. It's our first Christmas at home since he was born and we have grandparents coming.

I know how to do their version of Xmas, but I'd like to embellish it and create some of my own traditions.

Day plan for Xmas day thus far is:

6/7 wake up. Stories in bed with Ds and GPs won't be up til 9.
Little pressies/stocking with Ds in his room

9- breakfast with everyone. Croissants and bagels, fruit, champagne etc

9.30 - presents!

Lunch at 1ish - how can I make this special?

Afternoon - play with toys, maybe a walk, telly?

Evening - no idea!

Boxing Day - thinking panto tickets, or day out at the beach

I'm a complete novice here, so any help is very welcome.

KnittedJimmyChoos Fri 07-Nov-14 21:51:40

is there anything special you can do on xmas eve too, christingle, or something

Slowdownsally Fri 07-Nov-14 21:56:16

We're very rural, so don't think there's any community services but will check. Carols would be lovely somewhere.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Fri 07-Nov-14 22:19:14

For me, it's the run up to Christmas that makes it special - Christmas baking, making cards, choosing and decorating the tree.

On Christmas Eve, we always hear some jingle bells when DS is in the bath - then he finds some new pj's, his copy of 'a night before Christmas' and a Christmas DVD for us to watch.

On Christmas Day, how about a board game to playin the afternoon? We stretch out ourChristmas dinner - a 'starter' for lunch, then Turkey with all the trimmings around 5. In the evening, cheese board, christmas cake, fizz and some Christmas telly (DS is in bed by this point!).

mineofuselessinformation Fri 07-Nov-14 22:27:36

Will DS be making any Christmas decorations anywhere?
For my dcs, decorating the tree with their things was a special part of it (and they had their own decorations which I bought for them - and added to each year).
If he's old enough to sit, watching Christmas films or having 'The Night Before Christmas' read would be nice too. My parents got personalised books which detailed them going in FC's sleigh which were lovely.
I wouldn't worry too much about Christmas Day besides present opening if I were you, just relax and enjoy!

KiaOraOAotearoa Fri 07-Nov-14 22:29:21

The tree goes up on the 1st of Dec. every year a new ornament, they all go in a box to take with him when he leaves home.
The weekend before Christmas we bake biscuits/mince pies and put them 'away'.
Party food on Christmas Eve smile
See if the church hasn't got a nativity service (again Christmas eve). New pyjamas and read a christmas story.
I think you might be a bit naive thinking he'll wait for a reasonable hour before he wakes the house upsmile the stoking always has a book and a DVD.
put the kettle and the coffee all ready to go before you go to bed.

Boxing day is always a long walk then home for soup and nice bread.

AimlesslyPurposeful Fri 07-Nov-14 22:43:20

We have the Christmas Elves visit on Christmas Eve.

I hear the door knock (Not sure why no one else can hear it) and say "Who can that be on Christmas Eve?" Ds3 and I then go to the door and there's a little hamper on the doorstep and I can hear bells in the distance or sometimes I can see the tops of little Elf hats down the road.

In the hamper is a Christmas DVD, new pyjamas and some chocolate coins.

DS then happily gets into his new PJs and we wind down watching the DVD before bed.

mineofuselessinformation Fri 07-Nov-14 22:46:51

Forgot to say - most important! - if any presents need assembling (thanks play kitchen and various Barbie houses etc) allow time before you've had too much wine or are too knackered to put them together!

makemineapinot Fri 07-Nov-14 22:52:09

My dc would NEVER EVER have been able to enjoy breakfast with a big stash of presents waiting for them! Will gp really not be up till 9?!! Our Christmases always start early and that's with teenage ds who never normally surfaces before lunch!

Yes to cutting through the crap packaging and putting batteries in beforehand!
Yes to the elf leaving a hamper!
We also do a decoration for each dc each year that they choose or make - plan is they get a box of them to take with them when they leave home.
Stockings, mince pie, drink for Santa, carrot for reindeer as well as sprinkling reindeer food outside in Xmas Eve.
Have a great time!

Acroyoga Fri 07-Nov-14 22:58:17

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starlight1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 22:59:12

We do lots of traditions xmas eve ( LP just DS and I)

We always do a craft activity. Make Gingerbread house which we always have for breakfast next day. I started last year a xmas eve box,New Pj's Xmas film, hot choc, We go to theatre. Settle down after leaving food for santa

Christmas day we tend to be apart from pressies when we get up and gingerbread house it is about quality time. We play with his new toys, loads of games.We do watch the queen's speech.

Dinner I tend to do what I liKe. We do a roast Dinner, but never turkey. Something DS likes but he is happy whatever.

Last year I fell asleep on xmas day in the afternoon as DS had been so excited about christmas for a whole week he had barely eaten or slept so I was shattered.

Apart from Making noise to wake GP up.. 9am seems a long time for a 9 year old to wait. I wouldn't worry about making it too structured.

Chillycamper Fri 07-Nov-14 22:59:47

We've had fun playing kids charades like these or you can make your own

kids charades

I like going for a walk on Christmas Eve to gather greenery for table decoration and mantelpiece swag thing.

We also have activity advent calendar - little envelopes numbered 1-24 which we hang from some twigs in a big vase. In each envelope there is an activity for the day which can be simple or more elaborate like baking, making paper chains, getting tree, reading story or watching film etc. there are lots of suggestions for advent activities on threads here if it sounds like something you and your ds might enjoy.

starlight1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 23:01:24

I also agree with previous poster. Give GP a drink while DC opens presents.

Slowdownsally Fri 07-Nov-14 23:03:11

Love the elf hamper!
Absolutely to all the brilliant preparation ideas... I hadn't even worked that out and it's probably the most fun bit!

Some great ideas, so thank you all.

I'm taking notes - and getting excited!

I think I'd been feeling a bit flat about the hugeness of getting it right, and now I feel a little more Christmas sparkle.

One thing we will do is the plate of food and drink for Rudolph and Santa... Carrot, mince pie, sherry and sparkly Rudolph prints in the hall on Xmas morning.

Slowdownsally Fri 07-Nov-14 23:05:15

Ooh, also like the activity advent calendar idea. That's my kind of to-do list!

starlight1234 Fri 07-Nov-14 23:11:20

I always get artificial snow from poundland usually sell it and tell Ds it has come off Santas sleigh. I also bought a bell off ebay, came from china for pence and said it had fell off his sleigh.

A tip I got off my neighbour was bit off bits off carrot so it looks like the reindeeers have made a mess off the carrots.

We do hot chocolate for Santa as that is what DS wants to leave him ..

makemineapinot Fri 07-Nov-14 23:11:36

When my dc were wee we went to a ceramic painting place and they painted Christmas tree plates - they are the only plates allowed to be used for a Santa and reindeer ( even tho they don't believe anymore - sob!). Nice activity that lasts forever!!

dementedma Sat 08-Nov-14 13:28:36

Mine are adults now but still insist on being home when the cake is made so they can take a turn at stirring and making a wish. We make christingles with oranges, cloves and holly/greenery etc. We used to all open our presents simultaneously but now do them one at a time taking turns, which makes it last longer and everyone gets to see the presents properly. Christmas Eve is always Carols from Kings with champagne and then quizzes.
For a wee one yes to leaving the mince pie and carrots, remember to take bites out and leave crumbs. And leave a thank you note on the hearth, written in curly handwriting and glittery.

VampiresLoveNECKtarines Sat 08-Nov-14 13:49:03

Lunch- you could decorate the dinning table in a special way depending on how big your table is.

If you have a largish table you could have a little Christmas train set in the middle surrounded by snowy houses and trees smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 08-Nov-14 14:01:46

Mine are older (will be 12.6 and 15 ) so the things we used to do have made way for new traditions.

My DC used to dress up in the evening on Christmas Eve ( Dalek (DS) Disney Princess (DD) )

We put tea-lights in jam jars down the path as a guide for the sleigh

Am Elf in the playhouse that DS and I went to look at with a candle lantern.(He's resting until the sleigh picks him up)

Going out wrapped up to look at everyones decorations

We still have the Christmas Eve Hamper - usually as we're going out I'' "just double check the back door" and put them in front of the fire.

We have lunch at about 1pm then a late night buffet

We leave their stockings (well a big gift bag) by their beds (wrapped up presents to last longer)

A fibre optic tree (that I bought when DS was a toddler) on a timer. They cannot go downstairs until it's on (Father Christmas switches it on when he leaves)

Wrapping paper across the living room door to burst through - and it stops them peeking

YY to have some coffee and toast then watch the present opening (if you want to open presents first thing)
We have a light breakfast on Christmas Day (no-one is hungry after eating late on the 24th)

TV is rubbish on Christmas Day so unless the GrandParents want to watch something, have a TV free day. (You can catch up later)

Leading up to Christmas - make cakes, buy an advent calender, Advent candle maybe?

PesoPenguin Sat 08-Nov-14 14:03:45

I also think you'll struggle to keep your ds entertained til 9! I'd definitely let him start with his stocking and make sure there are things in there to entertain him.

I agree with planning something nice for Christmas eve, preferably something tiring like a trip to the park.

Other than that your Christmas sounds lovely smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 08-Nov-14 14:04:40

Ooh - one year I collected tiny teddy bears (IKEA, Museum of Childhood, M&S ) and put them on the stairs :
"A Teddy on Every Step"

Warn everyone else so they don't trip over them !

Christmas Jumper (should be compulsary IMO) wink

Slowdownsally Sat 08-Nov-14 16:31:38

Xmas jumpers for all!

Yes to wrapping paper over lounge door! That's inspired!

Would love a big centre piece for table but only a small house and table. Will muse - edible decorations maybe.

This is a lot if fun! Thanks for all the ideas

KnittedJimmyChoos Sat 08-Nov-14 17:39:05

I hear the door knock (Not sure why no one else can hear it) and say "Who can that be on Christmas Eve?" Ds3 and I then go to the door and there's a little hamper on the doorstep and I can hear bells in the distance or sometimes I can see the tops of little Elf hats down the road.

Thats sooo adoreable.

KnittedJimmyChoos Sat 08-Nov-14 17:40:14

Yes to wrapping paper over lounge door!

It is inspired isn't it!! I heard this last year and was going to do it but knackered by end of mammoth wrapping session, however will try and remember to do it this year.

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