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A 'holiday' for Christmas?!

(21 Posts)
LingDiLong Tue 11-Nov-14 09:47:08

Has anyone else done this successfully?! I'm sick of buying the kids toys that they get bored of by boxing day. A few years ago we went to Center Parcs before Christmas (not as a Present) and the kids absolutely loved it and they still talk about it loads. So this year we decided we would get a family gift of a couple of days in Center Parcs and cut down on the toys we got them. We're basically going to give them a main present and a stocking but that's it. They will get other stuff from family on boxing day and we'll then go to Center Parcs on the 27th. Kids are 9,7,4. I'm starting to panic that they'll just be gutted when they go downstairs and see less presents than they're used to - although admittedly we've never gone overboard.

Please tell me it'll be ok! Plus if you did do it, how did you reveal what the present was? I'm thinking of a big card for them to open before they're allowed downstairs to see the presents (or lack of).

halestone Tue 11-Nov-14 09:50:15

It will be fine, we use to go abroad some years for christmas and got token gifts. Tbh the thrill of being away was better than receiving presents.

LineRunner Tue 11-Nov-14 09:56:25

You could write out what the surprise is with some pictures and put it in a big box and wrap it.

I do stuff like that and it always seems to go down well. My DD who is a student now will just be hoping for a bit of money (!) so that will go in a box with some other studenty stuff in.

Maybe you can add a few bits for the journey.

CaisleanDraiochta Tue 11-Nov-14 09:59:07

I did this last year, a trip to Disneyland Paris 27th-30th December. It went down very well with my then 6 and 7 yo DC.

The way I did it was a huge wrapped up box under the tree, so it 'looked' like a big ticket item. Then inside that box was a smaller box, then another and another until they got to the final layer, which was their tickets plus some euros spending money in an envelope.

I also put a few small, inexpensive things in between each layer, a bit like pass the parcel, all related to the trip and hinting at what was inside e.g new hat/scarf/gloves (it was freezing cold) and hand warmers, Disney themed activity books and snacks (from poundland) for the journey.

saintsandpoets Tue 11-Nov-14 10:13:39

I'd get a massive box, put the tickets/print outs/brochure inside and wrap that.

It gets the message across, and pads out the present pile.

LineRunner Tue 11-Nov-14 10:15:05

And their passports!

LineRunner Tue 11-Nov-14 10:15:29

Sorry, wrong holiday.....

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 11-Nov-14 10:20:20

Yes, we're doing it. Ds is 15, there's nothing he needs and means I won't be tempted to buy shit he doesn't want. We're going to Iceland (Northern lights, hot chocolate and whale watching) and flying back on the 23rd, then going to the panto/cinema after Christmas. I'll buy him a few bits and bobs to open on Christmas day (graphics card for his laptop, a few games and chocolate) but not a lot.

HolgerDanske Tue 11-Nov-14 10:26:21

Of course it'll be ok!

Enjoy smile

LingDiLong Tue 11-Nov-14 10:35:10

Ooh I like the box idea - thank you!

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Tue 11-Nov-14 12:27:06

Like the idea of a pass the parcel type present with themed small presents in layers.

Don't know how it fits in with school holidays, but it would be really magical to be in Spain on the 5th January (and much cheaper than being away at either Christmas or New Years day) for the Three Kings Parade. It's like Christmas eve there and its an event that happens in most Spanish towns.

We went to Tenerife for the first week in January a couple of years ago, and there were the three kings on camels and a parade with floats etc and everyone turned out. The participants all threw sweets and small presents out for the children in the crowd.

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 11-Nov-14 13:18:08

Could you do a parcel advent for things they may need for their trip? On the 1st December you could give them 1 sock, the other on the 2nd, 1 glove on the 3rd, the other glove on the 4th, then a scarf, hat etc, all little hints about where you're going. The day you go or the day before you could give them the ticket.

BiddyPop Tue 11-Nov-14 13:20:36

Perhaps get a helium balloon, put the holiday note on the string and seal that into a box, so it floats out when you open it?

Or fill the box with balloons already blown up, and a smaller box nestled in there with the picture/note/special envelope?

Absolutely it's a good idea - and you can make it look fantastically festive too.

LadySybilLikesCake Tue 11-Nov-14 13:46:00

Oh, careful there Biddy. I have visions of ds's much loved helium balloon floating out of the door and up into the sky, never to be seen again sad

GooseRoasties Tue 11-Nov-14 13:51:11

Out of all the presents I got as a child/teen, I will always remember going away to Disney world during the Xmas period. I loved it and looking back I still think it was the best Xmas gift ever!

poolomoomon Tue 11-Nov-14 13:51:20

We've decided to do it next year. Figured out I'd easily spent £3000 on Christmas in total this year despite the fact I was supposed to be 'downplaying' it and not getting many presents. Granted, I haven't bought as many presents as last year but with the North Pole breakfast presents, Christmas Eve hampers, Christmas stockings and other presents it still amounts to excessive stupid amounts of money. Plus the fact the few main presents I've bought them were all fairly expensive... And I had to buy decorations this year that were 'one off costs' but I say that every year- "oh this will be a one off cost, we won't have this to buy next year!" And the year after I find more shit to buy blush. That's including days out and the big Christmas food shop btw. It might even be more in the £4000 region especially when you take into account the amount of ingredients I need for baking over December! If you add the fact I spent £100 on Easter and approx £150 on Halloween it's just ridiculous!

So we're not doing any of it next year, nothing. No tree, will put the fireplace decorations up probably but that's it. Not doing a crazy easter or halloween either. Going to spend the money that would have been wasted spent on that on a holiday to Paris instead. Planning on Disneyland but will spend at least half the week holiday exploring Paris rather than just all of it in Disneyland which I imagine would get tedious. Christmas dinner with the characters, excited grin.

IMO it's far more worthwhile to spend money on building memories and having experiences than on STUFF. I'd say go for it all the way.

BiddyPop Tue 11-Nov-14 14:50:14

OK, helium balloon which is tethered to a weight, and halfway along the tether is the note....

(Lady Sybil makes a good point - maybe not Christmas morning in the sitting room with windows closed, but rushing out to grandparents car later or something could easily see the potential for disaster!sad)

ClashCityRocker Tue 11-Nov-14 18:33:38

I know he's not a child, but me and DH often buy holidays (well, mini reaks) for each other. It's great and keeps the excitement going.

If you're worried about the lack of impact, is there anything they need that you would be buying normally that you can wrap up? Things like pjs etc, maybe some clothes for the holiday.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Tue 11-Nov-14 18:36:24

We did a family holiday to Disney Florida one christmas, flew Christmas Eve, and had a small stocking of "consumables" on christmas.morning. Amazing. Spent Christmas Day in the Magic Kingdom!

Shockers Tue 11-Nov-14 18:43:08

I've got my lot a week skiing. I know it will make them far happier than lots of 'stuff'.

They'll get new ski gear to open on Christmas Day.

They are two teens and a middle aged bloke though.

girlywhirly Wed 12-Nov-14 13:15:19

I think it's a brilliant thing to do, you know that they loved it at Centerparcs before.

I don't think that they will be dismayed at the smaller number of presents, if you prime them for an extra special surprise on Christmas morning. The box idea to contain the details is great, maybe with a bit of spending money each. As you say they will have presents from other family on Boxing day.

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