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Making Christmas special with teenagers

(21 Posts)
Enkopkaffetak Sat 05-Dec-15 22:29:40

As the title really

How do you all go about making Christmas special when there no longer are small excited children who are waiting or Father Christmas or want to make wonky decorations etc..

What works well for you all? I know board games are a good one for many but what about the small things that seem to make it just that little bit more special?

imwithspud Sat 05-Dec-15 22:39:07

I'm not at that stage yet but how about a Christmas movie marathon? There are loads of timeless ones like Elf and Home Alone which people enjoy regardless of their age.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 05-Dec-15 23:01:51


I was actually a bit envious yesterday at couples walking round the shops with preschool toddlers because they had all the innocent fun of small children at Christmas (though I had my rose-tinted glasses on because I remember the trials and tribulations of young DC grin )

My DS is 16 and DD is 13.6.
I am aware they don't 'do' Christmas like they used to.

DS isn't in the least bit food orientated and thinks it's child cruelty to make him sit at a table to eat a family meal.

We used to plan a day out - Winter Wonderland, Kew Gardens, Harry Potter.
This year I haven't booked anything.
DH and I are going to London, I asked DD if she wanted to go but she prefers one of the shopping centres. (And it's a pain in the neck carrying all her bags from London on the train)

We do a cuddle up on the sofa with a film (or Big Bang Theory) session.
Cinema trip
Pub meal

We still do a Christmas Eve Hamper . DS is very fhmm about the PJs (not Christmas ones , I got him tartan this year) but we have family visiting so he has to look cared for and no walking round in his pants.

Board games - we have Sherlock Cluedo, Big Bang Theory Game, Christmas dominoes, cards.

Sometimes though, they want to go off to their room and do teen things. We all need a break from each other over the festivities !

Enkopkaffetak Sat 05-Dec-15 23:16:59

I have had that " almost" envy too.

Film is not something i find we get on with. means half of us are here the other not.

This year I did buy some extra special advent calenders and they have gone down really well.

Mine are almost 18 16 14 and last one was 12 last month (dec Jan Feb birthdays) I do feel somethings are a lot nicer Like we do cookies together every year they take great pleasure in this..

We have introduced having mulled hot apple juice ever Christmas day Today DS (age 14) said he loves how that makes the entire house smell all warm and christmassy..

I think I would just like some extra little things to make it lovely.

ohtheholidays Sat 05-Dec-15 23:20:53

We have 3 teenagers(5DC)our oldest 2 DS19 and DS17 went through a stage of not wanting to join in with any of the extra Christmas bits and trips we'd usually do but now it's kind of gone full circle and they want to be involved again.

Last week myself and DS19 went Christmas shopping together,it's a family tradition where I go Christmas shopping with the children(usually 1 child at a time)I help them shop for the presents they want to get for they're Dad and they're siblings and then I treat us to a nice lunch.

DS treated me to lunch this year(he wouldn't let me pay for anything)we went to a nice steak restaurant,had a 3 course meal and tried a few of the cocktails(3 each)we had a really good laugh that day and came home quite merry in more ways than one grin

Today we went to youngest DD8 Christmas school fete and our oldest 2 wanted to come but our youngest teen DS14 didn't,so he stayed at home and watched some tv and played on the computer for a while.

Tomorrow I'm doing the Christmas pressie shopping and a treaty lunch again this time with DD12 and DD8.

The week after I'll be doing the Christmas pressie shopping and special lunch again this time with DS17.

I'm not sure if DS14 wants to do that this year but we are taking all 5DC to a Christmas Market once they all break up from school that has stalls,Ice skating and rides.We know they're all like that.

Also going to take all 5DC out to a restaurant for a buffet breakfast one day as well.

Iusedtobecarmen Sun 06-Dec-15 00:02:40

This a great idea for a thread!.have ds who is 16. The excitement we used to share has gone. I still have two younger dc so the magic is still there but id like him more involved.
He does like Christmas and to be fair does join in Christmas day and we always play a board game.
Hes a real foodie so loves sitting down to nice grub with us. However he literally never comes out for a meal anymore even to places I know he would love. Its apparently boring. This

iwantbrewstersmillions Sun 06-Dec-15 00:04:46

I think they will still want to go ice skating and Christmas market but maybe suggest they bring a friend along too?

Also Christmas Day start everything a little later, so say from 10am.

DickDewy Sun 06-Dec-15 00:09:20

I don't know. I have 2 teenage boys, 17 and 13 and they are just as excited as they were 10 years ago.

Eldest and I have just spent a fun hour buying very silly presents for their dad from Amazon.

They enjoy the food and tradition side much more now and tomorrow they are both icing the Christmas cake (God help us).

revealall Sun 06-Dec-15 00:11:29

I remember the magic fading when Father Christmas did. Twas all a bit meaningless without the magic.
However I think although teens can get really bored of family having a party with friends and other teens works well.
They can be involved with making a few nibbles or passing them around and then slink off together leaving the dull adults to it. As long as it's not going to end with paralytic parents or loud arguing, most teens see the point of enjoying the season with friends. Good excuse for making nice food together, getting the house ready and dressing up ( or getting dressed in DS case)

GlitteryShoes Sun 06-Dec-15 07:24:51

We have a few traditions that work with our teens

- 'mean christmas' - we buy a load of cheap tat and couple of nice things, wrap them and put them in a sack. We all roll dice. 1 means you get a present from the sack, 6 means you take someone else's unwrapped gift. We play until all presents are gone from the sack. The teens love organising - buying and wrapping and running the game. It is much better with teens as little kids cry if you take their present.

- homemade secret Santa - we all have to make a present with a £10 budget. They get really into it!

- hunger games - we do our own version of the hunger games in the park, with nerf guns and a cornucopia of mince pies and hot chocolate. It's good for the afternoon after dinner

- karaoke - in the evening

- Christmas film bingo - we have bingo cards for things that always happen in Xmas movies. You get a sweet for every thing on your card when it comes up.

We fuel the day with alcohol for us and sugar for them.

mysteryfairy Sun 06-Dec-15 07:37:19

Do you have younger cousins to introduce into the mix? Mine love doing Christmassy stuff with/for little cousins.

Encourage them to shop for presents. This is a very big deal for my DD age 13. Later today we are planning a trip to Tiger, none near us but we are going to one in DS1's university town.

More adventurous food. Family Star Wars trip.

I still do stockings and elves still leave pjs on Christmas Eve. We bought the pjs yesterday to DH's disgust!

Nicknamegrief Sun 06-Dec-15 07:47:13

My in laws used to get together with a other family on Christmas Eve with similar aged 'teens'- have a take away and play games like spoons. They started when my husband was 18 (oldest) and stopped when the majority of us were married with little children. It was great fun.
My in laws used to also have an open house for their friends on Boxing Day and New Years. As my children approach the teenage years I realise that it must have been a sacrifice for his parents but the friends my husband is still in contact with all speak highly of his parents and think it paid dividends especially in the late teens.
They also semi converted the garage into a games room and a few Christmas presents were things like a table tennis table.
My own mum hated me having friends over but I was eventually allowed to go out to my friends homes instead and extended family visits were still very frequent, although they were kept shorter as I got older.

Enkopkaffetak Mon 07-Dec-15 21:13:53

Thank you everyone. It is I think harder to think of how to get stuff working.

Mine are the younger cousins with quite some years (my youngest is 12 her oldest cousin is 31) so no sadly not a possibility.

We will have MIL over for Boxinday this year so that will be a nice day with lots of games and stuff. Just looking for different things to mix in to make it lovely still.

Pantsalive Mon 07-Dec-15 21:38:14

GlitteryShoes your Christmas sounds brilliant. Does all that happen on Christmas Day?

GlitteryShoes Thu 10-Dec-15 20:27:43

Pants - it varies - we often do some of it on the Sunday before Christmas as lots of my kids ( there are a lot as we foster and they all stay in touch) work in retail, hotels and nursing homes so tend to take a Christmas Day shift. Christmas bingo happens all month. It usually wirks out really well, but I still worry in advance!

And everyone who sleeps over on Christmas Eve gets a onesie and comedy DVD that is maybe more risqué than we would normally allow ( such as the inbetweeners). That gets them off to bed!!

fuzzpig Thu 10-Dec-15 20:43:09

I've not had an actual Christmas Day with teens, but for my teen/adult DSCs our Christmas (on a day other than 25th as they spend the day with their mum each year) it's all about games, games and more games! We also have started making quizzes. We take turns, do it all on PowerPoint with clips/pictures etc and hook it up to the telly. DH buys a prize for the winner. Gets insanely competitive grin

We have a lot of board/card games and always play lots while they're staying. Always get new ones at Xmas too so there's generally new ones to play.

fuzzpig Thu 10-Dec-15 20:46:01

Actually, although I do really love Christmas with my DH and DCs, I really look forward to the 'second Christmas' with my DSCs even more than that. Not just because we have everyone together, but also because they are such fun people and to play rowdy games with them all is just brilliant, and a world apart from the boring Christmases of my childhood! fsmile

dementedma Thu 10-Dec-15 20:51:09

Ds is nearly 14 but will still make cookies and Christingles.
We do quizzes but aren't really into board games. We might all go for a walk on Boxing Day. Dd2 will be going to her boyfriend's for Christmas this year so it will be the first year one of the dcs isn't here.

CharleyDavidson Thu 10-Dec-15 21:00:32

They still have advent calendars, although DD1 is a bit lax in remembering to open hers.

We go to the Christmas market in Chester and do some shopping. They are enjoying buying gifts from their own money this year.

The local panto is hilarious and they haven't outgrown wanting to go and see it (which is good as I certainly haven't).

We bake together and will have a special family dinner on Christmas eve. Then CHristmas day at my Mum's.

JemimaMuddledUp Thu 10-Dec-15 22:20:01

We have gone for mulled apple juice for Christmas Eve too (I bought some in IKEA). I've also found some alcohol free pear cider as a treat for DS1 and DS2 for Boxing Day.

We are going to the panto, which they still love. We are also doing a cinema trip to see Star Wars and a Boxing Day local rugby derby.

Planning a long walk or bike ride on the 27th, just as soon as everyone agrees on where to go.

VoldemortsBaubles Thu 10-Dec-15 23:24:14

My dcs are 19, 16, and 13 and still really enjoy Christmas. Okay not in the same way as they did when they were small and sometimes I think I enjoy it more than they do.

The Christmas pyjamas extended to a hamper over the past few years. I wrap up a big box with everything we need for Christmas Eve and put a tag on it saying when the can open it. The dcs love the special treats for their showers and all the goodies to watch a movie.

For the first time last year we all put our gifts under the tree in the evening. That went down well but i still insisted that Santa would fill the stockings.

They also love having a hot chocolate bar set up over the Christmas period with lots of marshmallows and cream with sachets of different flavours.

Christmas morning has changed slightly. I don't do presents piles anymore. I pass the gifts out one as a time so it lasts a bit longer and we can show each other what we've got. Then the dcs disappear for a while until we have to go and visit family.

From Boxing Day onwards it's pretty boring though.

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