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Ideas for a friend who may be spending Christmas alone

(33 Posts)
seastargirl Tue 22-Sep-15 07:01:11

My friend has just come out of a very fraught marriage and is likely to be alone on Christmas day as she is thinking of allowing her husband to have their daughter for part of the day.

I want to do her a little basket to help cheer her up on the day and I'm looking for ideas to go in it. I'm thinking of things like a cocktail, chocolates, colouring book and pencils, face pack etc. Does anyone have any ideas?

PeaceOfWildThings Tue 22-Sep-15 07:03:25

A really good film featuring her favourite actor. Nothing Christmassy.

Savagebeauty Tue 22-Sep-15 07:04:13

I wouldn't be cheered up by a colouring book and a face pack smile
And I've just divorced.
I'd appreciate a decent bottle of wine/ fizz and some nice chocolates

BikeRunSki Tue 22-Sep-15 07:05:29

In a similar situation, my brother volunteered for Crisis. Not because he is altruistic at all, more the opposite, to seek out company.

Secondtimeround75 Tue 22-Sep-15 07:21:43

Get her a regular grown up gift
The colouring book ect is a bit hmm .

My first thought was that you were doing her up a pity pack to keep her entertained for the day.
I think it's toughtful but might be a bit insensitive too.

I think , Wine & chocolate ,
Invite round for drinks or
Call to her for a visit.

seastargirl Tue 22-Sep-15 07:23:57

I'm working up to suggesting the idea of volunteering somewhere, think at the moment she'd break down at the thought.

Thanks savage beauty, I know she's in to that kind of thing. She's trying not to drink as then she gets upset and trying to lose weight, but I'm figuring that always goes out the window at Christmas.

I remember the year my dad left someone bought my mum a tea for one set, that broke her for about an hour, although she laughs at it now, I'm desperate to avoid this kind of mistake!

lighteningirl Tue 22-Sep-15 07:25:08

can you invite her over for drinks I was childless one Xmas and went to friends for lunch, left quite early as it was all too much but I appreciated being asked. We had my dh best friend round a couple of years ago in the morning for late breakfast as his stbexw wouldn't let him see the kids. He went elsewhere for a late lunch.

seastargirl Tue 22-Sep-15 07:26:05

Hmmm, I hadn't thought of it like it might be seen as a pity pack. Maybe I'll just buy her a load of baking stuff as a general present, she loves baking and some new bits will keep her entertained if she feels the need.

seastargirl Tue 22-Sep-15 07:34:53

We go away to family so unfortunately can't invite her to ours.

BabyGanoush Tue 22-Sep-15 07:40:46

If you can't invite her to yours, it may come across as a bit patronising?

Just an extra nice gift and card maybe?

seastargirl Tue 22-Sep-15 07:54:29

Thank you, it looks like I was going to be doing a sad gits teapot after all! I'll have a rethink.

bulletpoint Tue 22-Sep-15 08:07:56

Surely OP meant the colouring book for the daughter and thought the friend? hmm

bulletpoint Tue 22-Sep-15 08:08:24

'not' the friend

OneBreathAfterAnother Tue 22-Sep-15 08:10:26

If she wants to volunteer, she needs to look now. There's literally nowhere round here to volunteer on the day anymore, they get a huge surge in Christmas volunteers. I looked at the end of August but nothing.

seastargirl Tue 22-Sep-15 08:17:28

It was one of those adult colouring books as she has said about buying herself one but can't afford it at the moment.

Yes I've heard that before about volunteering Christmas day, will have to try and catch her on a good moment.

mmmuffins Tue 22-Sep-15 08:24:44

I spent Christmas on my own once, and my boyfriend at the time made me a goodie basket. It contained a lot of Christmas ready meal type food from M&S, since I obviously wouldn't be having a Christmas spread on my own! And the obligatory chocolates and wine/mulled wine. It was great I was pleased someone one to all the thought!

The adult colouring books seem to be very popular now, I see quite a few in the shops. If she wants one definitely get it, as I would guess they are meant to be therapeutic.

SealSong Tue 22-Sep-15 08:28:38

You are being kind, but you are taking on too much responsibility for your friends Christmas Day. You don't need to be suggesting volunteering or anything else, she is a grown woman and can think for herself what she wants to do on the day. Just buy her a nice present.
I have spent some Christmases on my own and I'm sorry to say that if I'd had a friend behaving like you I would have found it patronising.
Not meaning to be harsh on you, I know you're just trying to be nice, but honestly if you fuss it will just make her feel more like a sad singleton on Christmas Day.

bulletpoint Tue 22-Sep-15 08:28:44

shock never heard of them. If she's already indicated she'd like one then i can't see why that would not be a nice addition to her gift basket. Also why is asking her to volunteer any less patronising than a gift basket?
I'd be mightily pissed off if my friend suggested I should volunteer on xmas day, that's a decision for me to make! maybe she's not feeling particularly altruistic right now who knows?
I would've thought the basket of things would be very welcome.

LimpidPools Tue 22-Sep-15 08:45:46

I think if she's skint this changes things a bit. It makes it less of a pity pack and more of a saving you from sitting on your own at home with a pot noodle pack.

Also, don't let other people's attitudes necessarily put you off. You know your friend, we don't.

There's every chance you'll be pretty much the only one to give her anything to open at all that day, so some luxuries and some small other gifts that she's said she wants (like the colouring book) seem fine to me.

Are there any other christmas/ luxury foods you could include. Maybe you could find out her Christmas traditions. Eg would a stilton be appropriate? Or, as she won't be cooking full dinner for one, does she love chorizo and olives or something?

The point is, this isn't a pity pack. This is a lovingly chosen and thoughtful gift from a friend who wants to make their friend feel better when they're having a tough time.

Secondtimeround75 Tue 22-Sep-15 12:10:49

Agree with this ^

You know her we don't.

RubyGrace17 Tue 22-Sep-15 13:25:02

I think it's a lovely idea smile I'd perhaps make it more of a really nice, thoughtful gift instead of specific things to 'keep her busy' on Christmas Day.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 22-Sep-15 13:27:55

I would including the colouring book, but make it more of a general Christmas hamper.

ImperialBlether Tue 22-Sep-15 13:28:32

Is he having the child at the start or the end of the day? It's always easier if you can look forward to them coming home.

I'd want a bloody big book and a box of chocolates if she was coming back later and a book, a bottle of wine and a box set if she wasn't coming back later.

ImperialBlether Tue 22-Sep-15 13:31:50

I wouldn't mention volunteering but I'd back her up if she said she wanted to do it.

trian Tue 22-Sep-15 18:59:49

agree with Secondtimeround75 totally, don't let other people put you off showing her that you care, even if some of your gifts aren't totally "right", if she's a sensible person she'll appreciate that you meant well, even tho this appreciation might take a while to surface if she's overwhelmed with the split at the mo etc and will miss her girl.
The thing that has helped me most through times like this is people writing a few encouraging words (or loads!, but to write just a small uplifting thing is all it took for me).
There's no way anyone could tell who she is from your post, so maybe even just letting her know that you went to this trouble to try and get her the right gifts. And that we, a bunch of total strangers, cared enough to try and comment helpfully xxxxxxxx

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