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Alternative Christmas celebration

(28 Posts)
AmyAmoeba Tue 26-Apr-16 17:29:24

So for reasons that aren't worth going into in any great detail I've realised that I'm going to have to concede Christmas Day to my ILs for the foreseeable future sad
But I love Christmas, or at least I did until the ILs sucked the joy out of it, and I'm thinking that I could have a special Christmas celebration, maybe on Christmas Eve, at our house and just for our little family. I'd like to at least keep some of our special traditions going and have something to look forward to to keep me sane in the days to follow
Does anyone else do this, or similar?
I'm thinking of having a nice roast not turkey , setting a poncetastic Christmas table, having choc biscuit pudding and a snowy pavlova for dessert, or maybe a gingerbread house. I don't want to just have Christmas dinner a day early though it's tempting to upstage the main event but I want to create a special tradition not a petty battle so I might leave off on the crackers.
Would love any ideas for making meal, which is basically an ordinary roast dinner, into something special and worthy of the season.

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot Tue 26-Apr-16 17:53:00

Sounds lovely!

You could go all Eastern European and have fish - wouldn't have to be the traditional carp, maybe salmon (en croute), or cod wrapped in Parma ham?

AmyAmoeba Tue 26-Apr-16 20:16:24

Ooh I like that. Googling European traditions now.

DonkeyOaty Tue 26-Apr-16 20:25:29

Scandi rice pudding is AMAZE We cheat by using Lidl sour cherry jam warmed in a small saucepan and omit whole almond if anyone's teeth are a bit dodgy or you have small children

AmyAmoeba Tue 26-Apr-16 21:06:19

Oh wow- 3 of my favourite things in one recipe donkeyoaty! I may have to try out that recipe soonish, just for research you understand

DonkeyOaty Tue 26-Apr-16 21:37:18

Tis a faff but delish! Too good to have just once a year <laces fingers over tummy>

pearlylum Wed 04-May-16 19:31:38

I wouldn't stand for ILs dictating christmas - sorry.
When I had kids christmas was at my home.
Time to dig your heels in and start your own traditions.

AnotherShirtRuined Sun 08-May-16 08:10:36

You could go completely Scandi and have roast duck or similar before the rice pudding. That's the Danish version. I believe the Swedes go more for ham. Not sure about the Norwegians. But Christmas in Scandinavia is celebrated mainly on Christmas Eve so a Scandi theme could fit nicely.

HanYOLO Sun 08-May-16 08:15:00

We got jealous of our Dutch, German and Swedish friends so we always have a proper fancy Christmas Eve dinner and often go a bit Swedish with the cooking - we do salmon and potatoes various ways (hasselback, janssens delight etc). Then we are way more low key on Christmas Day.

NapQueen Sun 08-May-16 08:17:59

Steak Day?

Maybe a nice selection of pastries and fruit and hot chocolate for breakfast, a nice walk out somewhere (we like to walk along the coastline on boxing day so something similar?), back home for a festive movie in the afternoon, then steak, chips, grilled tomato, peppercorn sauce. Followed by your pavlova. Delish! Oh and wine. Much wine.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 08-May-16 08:24:02

I might leave off on the crackers.

Nooo don't leave out the crackers. You can have crackers with every big meal over Christmas.

Blu Sun 08-May-16 08:32:07

Indoor sparklers!

Spottyladybird Sun 08-May-16 08:36:25

My parents always used to have a special meal on Christmas Eve, mostly because my DB and I were too excited to eat on the big day.
It was always a special table- candles, crackers etc.
three courses- often simple starter followed by a roast or Wellington then simple pud.
We then played board games etc before getting ready for bed and Santa.

My DM has said now it also kept a lid on excitement and kept us going until bedtime. Then nice full tummies and into bed!

We did it until my DB and I started going out o Xmas eve!

TelephoneTree Sun 08-May-16 22:16:30

I'm with Pearlylum - I've refused to go anywhere for Christmas since having kids. It's for them to take over, not the adults!

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 10-May-16 09:26:16

Depending on whether you have to work or not obviously but we have set up our Christmas Eve tradition as:
Baking cookies (for santa) and crafts in the morning and then Panto or crib service in the afternoon.
Dinner is a hot buffet with dressed table and crackers and then the Christmas Eve hamper gets opened with new pjs, hot choc, Christmas dvd to watch. Stockings etc get put out and then bed. In many ways I love it more than Christmas Day!

LittleReindeerwithcloggson Tue 10-May-16 09:28:29

We personally refuse to go out on Christmas Day and people come to us (will happily change when kids are older) but obviously I don't know your circumstances and it sounds like that might be difficult

MuddhaOfSuburbia Tue 10-May-16 09:32:37




...that said OP why not do half year Christmas on 25th June? I had a shit real Christmas one year so did this. Crackers, duck, fairy lights, pound shop presents, the fucking lot tho my family all thought it was batshit and so never been allowed to do it again

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 10-May-16 14:50:55



Rainy, windy, snowing recently. Your point is?

FinallyHere Tue 10-May-16 21:21:10

We have a christmas eve tradition of fruite de mer, followed by lemon sorbet with gin/vodka or whatever

Noone has to drive, its brill. Hope you find what works for you xx

QuimWilde Mon 16-May-16 12:16:28

Don't hold back on the crackers, OP! We have a 'mini Christmas' on the first Saturday after bonfire night, to mark the last calendar event before Christmas being out of the way and start the pre-run up. It sounds bonkers but it's a tradition and we love it. There's always crackers! And we're all allowed to listen to one Christmas song each grin

Crackers aside, I agree with PPs in saying that when you have DC you have Christmas at home if that's your preference. No way would I let ILs 'suck the joy' out of DCs Christmas, or my own (believe me, I've been there and would never do it again). It'll only cause resentment and bad feeling all-round. Why not go to theirs on Boxing Day instead if you absolutely must?

AmyAmoeba Thu 26-May-16 22:51:29

Ooh I haven't had a chance to pop in here for a while and thrilled to read all the suggestions!

So, crackers are definitely back on the agenda.

Blu indoor sparklers are bordering on genius. I will definitely look into that.

I'm salivating over the idea of spicy roast duck but may have to test out the recipe first ... Possibly on the 25th of June Mudda as a covert half-Christmas celebration

Loving the all day traditions that some of you have. Until now mine has been increasingly frantic cooking all day, with a yummy supper of slices off the freshly cooked ham between fresh buttery bread. Sigh. But if I'm not hosting Christmas Day that opens up a lot of other possibilities so I will explore the local options.

As to why I'm not just pulling ILs into line, , I have tried and tried hard. I can't post details here as its too revealing and Christmas threads are too visible for too long. Short version is although it's never actually been said DH doesn't feel "Christmased" unless he goes to his mums. She refuses to come to ours, and did a masterful job of sabotaging Christmas with my family last year to the extent that I can't ask them again ( they only come as a favour to me and would rather be at home, so I can't justify dragging elderly and not entirely healthy people from their home comforts)
So what's the point? DH would be miserable just ourselves and I don't have the force of personality to carry the festive spirit, the kids will still have a ball with the ILs and at least if I accept it and put my energy into carving out a little niche of my own I won't lose all of the Christmas joy entirely.
DH is deep in FOG and I have enough battles to fight. I just don't see a way to win this one

MarmaladeTeepee Fri 03-Jun-16 08:25:58

FWIW I think you're doing the right thing and it is only one day. I often find Christmas day to be a bit of a let down after all the planning and prep, so now prefer to see Christmas as the whole of December with lots of lovely festive things going on throughout the month. My DC are 6 and 4 and last year we did a treasure hunt to find the Christmas box which they loved and have said they want to do again. Loads of fab ideas on here and the focus of the day can really be on family as opposed to presents so I think this could actually be a blessing in disguise fsmile

vdbfamily Fri 03-Jun-16 08:52:01

My DH is of German/Czech heritage and so we enjoy their Christmas traditions. We will always have a mini Christmas on Christmas eve and then go to family Christmas day. You do get the best of both worlds and the kids love it. They even get to open a couple of presents before bed on Christmas eve and I have found that they sleep alot better as some of the excitement is used up!! Also, I sometimes have to work part of Christmas day so it is good to spread the celebrating over a few days!I would agree that crackers are compulsory at ALL Christmas meals!

KC225 Sat 13-Aug-16 05:24:51

I am married to a Swede, when we lived in the UK we would do Christmas Eve which would be a ham, Johnssons temptation and a Swedish christmas table. We would stock up on stuff at Ikea. Presents are opened after dinner, so the children would open presents from PIL and cousins. Christmas day would be an British Christmas with stockings traditional dinner etc. Now we are living in Sweden the days are reversed. Strongly believe in making your own traditions. Good luck with carving out your own day

Reallyhard Sat 13-Aug-16 05:32:52

For what it's worth when I was growing up my mum always had a big Christmas bash on Christmas Eve before us all going to my granny's house on Christmas Day. As a kid I LOVED it - it was like having two Christmas Days, and I was gutted when my GM got too old and we just started having it all on Christmas Day.

So I think you are doing the right thing and it will end up being a brilliant experience for your kids, plus saving you all the aggro and work on Christmas Day.

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