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How can I make Christmas Day 'fun'?!

(20 Posts)
Woofsaidthedog Mon 08-Dec-14 11:41:26

This year I am hosting Christmas Day at home again, with my husband and young toddlers; this will be our second year doing it at ours with my parents and the in laws joining (both sets of parents aged 60+).
I hate the idea of 'enforced fun' - but Christmas Day with the parents can be quite dull, and I hate the idea of them not enjoying themselves, or of us just sitting around, having the TV on and watching the toddlers for entertainment.
We do play games after the children have gone to bed at 7ish, but what can I do during the day to get them a bit more involved and enjoying themselves, other than plying them with alcohol and chocolate?!
I am just looking for ideas, what do you do during the day that helps you enjoy your time with your family? Any suggestions gratefully received!!

fuzzpig Mon 08-Dec-14 11:58:39

I sympathise as when I've spent Xmas with my parents it's really felt like we were celebrating around them rather than with them IYSWIM? This year we are spending it with friends.

Would they enjoy helping build toys or doing crafty stuff? For example I've got some blank cards to make our own find the pair game - we can all take part in making the cards.

Woofsaidthedog Mon 08-Dec-14 12:05:11

I wish I could spend a Christmas with friends but both our parents are so needy, if you want to spend a Christmas alone they instantly get narky and upset; especially my mother!

Your ideas are great but neither of them will want to get involved with the children - they don't want to play with them or help them make building out of blocks or read to them. Its like they just want to sit there and be entertained rather than assist with the act of making the day fun.

letsplaynice Mon 08-Dec-14 12:11:07

I made a quiz for my friends family one year all different tv programmes with the pictures cropped to tiny bits her kids were a wee bit older (pre school early / primary but it meant they all had to help each other to do it with the range of programs

EllieWid74 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:12:58

Where abouts do you live? Why not plan a day out?

Other ideas:

Pin the carrot on Olaf
Wrapping paper costumes


Spread presents out all day - one present an hour...that always keeps my kids entertained!

Thumbcat Mon 08-Dec-14 12:16:37

If they won't get involved with the children then I wouldn't feel too bad about not entertaining them! My parents come to us, but they play with DS and take an interest in all his new toys so it never feels that we're just sitting around.

How about a quiz for them to do? Other than that I'd just stick to the plying with alcohol. They might doze off and then you can be 'off duty' grin

Thumbcat Mon 08-Dec-14 12:17:22

Or an after lunch walk if they weather is ok?

TheMagicToyshop Mon 08-Dec-14 12:18:52

A quiz is a great idea - DPs family do this and it's really fun, maybe the little ones could be given little 'jobs' like collecting quiz sheets, handing out clues or mini bonus prizes?
One year we had Xmas crackers that each contained wind up toys that you put together into a silly racing game, something like that might be good if you can find it online.
Or how about a local walk after lunch, maybe some with some fun little outdoor toys in stockings for entertainment.

Woofsaidthedog Mon 08-Dec-14 13:12:56

Love the idea of a quiz! Will start thinking up quizzy questions, see if I can find anything on Pinterest.

I would like to go for a walk on Christmas Day however the family may not be interested, in which case maybe we should leave them to it with a bottle of Baileys and hope they are asleep when we return!

curiousgeorgie Mon 08-Dec-14 15:56:04

I second (third, fourth...) the idea of a quiz. We made one for our family and it was hilarious.

Also, we got racing reindeer and played guess who I am type games at the dinner table and ended up all sitting there for hours having a great time smile

FaFoutis Mon 08-Dec-14 16:02:01

That sounds like hard work.
Get the parents to come up with activities, ask them now so it becomes their resonsibility.

Pos1 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:44:09

Interested in the quiz- what sort of questions did you choose?

Nix01 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:01:11

There's an app on iTunes called Thinking which is a family quiz game. You set up the ages and grandparents can play against children.

florentina1 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:24:49

Get a big bag of Pom Pom pets get them to work in teams to see who can make the best Pom pom animals. Sounds stupid I know but our guests ranged from 84 - 2 last year and it was a good giggle.

oobedobe Mon 08-Dec-14 18:57:32

Slightly different to a quiz but what about a scavanger hunt/treasure hunt type game - you can buy board game versions but shouldn't be too hard to make your own eg find something purple, find some thing from nature etc, be easier to involve the kids than a quiz.

How old are the children, charades is a big hit with my 6 year old (we have cards with pictures on, if she can't read the clue).

Or Heads Up (off the Ellen show) is an app you can download and play (on phone or ipad) it is really fun with all ages.

goldenlilliesdaffodillies Mon 08-Dec-14 20:09:40

Get some musical crackers which have handbells or whistles in. They are numbered and you get sheet with tunes to play. It is great fun!

petitdonkey Mon 08-Dec-14 20:16:13

Do they stay over or come during the day? I only ask because Christmas Day is the one where I don't struggle to fill the time. What time do you eat? Do you have canapés earlier? (My children make these and serve them so that takes a while)
We eat at 4pm so that we can stay at the table and play games until late. Having said that, my youngest is five and it all got a lot more civilised a few years ago, no naps to think about, they will be adaptable about feeding time etc.

Wilf83 Mon 08-Dec-14 22:00:53

Christmas quiz?

Saz12 Tue 09-Dec-14 22:19:58

A Boppit or similar can be fun, and OK if anyone prefers to sit down on comfy sofa rather than on floor playing with toddlers. Crackers with clockwork racing penguins/robins/mice etc work well. Is it tricky for either set of parents to sit on floor with toddlers (or rather, stand up again?) If slight mobility/joint pain is a problem then maybe get kids playing at kitchen table so grandparerents can sit on chairs to join in.
A walk is a good option for an hour out of the house, but is often not "fun" in December!

alseb Tue 09-Dec-14 22:38:27

Have mentioned on another thread that I have bought a cardboard photo booth. It is a large frame with 24 card props, hats, moustache, glasses, lips etc. all Ges can take turns taking daft snaps of the big day. Also Lakeland have crackers with wind up elves which come with a race track. A bit of fun for all ages. The photo booths are in M & S, Matalan and Primark.

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