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New ideas for Crimbo Eve tradition (day)?

(33 Posts)
Methenyouplus4 Sat 09-Jul-16 12:55:32

Every year since eldest DS was tiny, we have went to lock theatre on morning of Christmas eve and had lunch out. It's brilliant some years but others, not so great.

Last year my parents watched our youngest 2 while older DC went with us. It was actually the only panto we went to as I get really cheap tickets for one in next town (which was actually much better).

This year it would be overy £100 for 6 of us to go, I just can't justify it, especially as there's a chance we'll end up in entrance porch with the youngest if they won't sit still!

We need a new tradition!

We have a lovely evening tradition with new pj's, Christmas film etc but what do you do during the day?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 09-Jul-16 13:54:38

My DC are teens now (they'll be 17 and 14.6 by Christmas) but when they were little we did:

Traditionally we have our main meal at lunchtime (always fish fingers/fish for DC and visitors, vegetarian grills for DH and I, lots of chips, salad, breads then pudding (trifle, ice-cream)
I do a late night buffet (French breads, cold meat/Quorn, dips, crisps, cakes, ) about 10-11pm.

After lunch, we went out to feed the geese at a local lake , or reindeer at a visitor centre (though they're stuffed to the gills so not bovvered fgrin ).
And before we left the house, I just had to "check the back door was locked" and put the Christmas Eve Hampers by the fireplace - aka The Elves pop round while we're out.

We did go to Panto when they were little, I tried to make it the night before my DParents came down, so they'd sleep in, and when they woke up, Gran and Grandad were here fgrin

They always used to dress up after their walk (Fancy Dress) to watch TV.

Now, it's changed (of course)
We still do the Christmas Eve Hamper.
I take DD to ballet , usually mid December
Last year we went to London on the 23rd, it was great, not too busy and we didn't need to buy anything, just a wander. We're doing that again this year.

I've taken them to the cinema on Christmas Eve if there's anything on that's Christmassy.
I think Christmas Eve is a nice quiet day, in anticipation of the Big Day. Unless I had to visit people, I wouldn't want to be driving round.

We used to try to do things behind the DC backs so it all went seamlessly and magically (not now though, they can't be tricked)
DH and I booked a day off when they were at school, so we could go shopping.
DH took them to the cinema one evening (about the 22nd) so I could shop in peace with my Sainsburys Rewards and get the big food shop.
We took them to London to see the lights (no shopping)
I save £2 in a tin all year so we cash it up and each person has to buy themselves a random thing (DS likes to save his money )

I do feel fenvy when I see parents and infant school aged DC, they still Believe.

TheWoollybacksWife Sun 10-Jul-16 00:51:41

When my DDs were small I took them to my local farm park on Christmas Eve. They put on a Nativity play in the barn with the children playing alongside the animals. It was really sweet. We'd have lunch in the cafe, cuddle the bunnies and visit Santa in his workshop. We'd leave in time to go to the children's service at church and then home for party style nibbles and fizz before opening just one present (strangely always new PJs from nana) and watching a Christmas movie - usually Elf fgrin

Little DS still believes but for the last two years we have just gone out for lunch then church etc.

NapQueen Sun 10-Jul-16 00:59:11

Are you near the coast? A brisk walk out wrapped up along the seafront is my parents Boxing day tradition.

123MothergotafleA Sun 10-Jul-16 01:07:07

No, not bloody Christmas yet pleaseeeeee.

giraffesarefab Sun 10-Jul-16 08:07:40

Erm 123....it's a Christmas thread in the Christmas topic - what do you imagine we talk about?

If you don't like it, don't join in pleaseeeeeee.

Methenyouplus4 Sun 10-Jul-16 08:56:13

Haha, if you don't like it 123 then probably best not scrill through the Christmas section? Chances are it'll be about erm, Christmas?

Thank you all, there are some fab ideas here. I'm going to make a note of them and revisit them nearer the time. I live idea of a coast walk but as our youngest 3 are still young, might have to be reasonable weather/ brief . Will also check out idea of local farms/garden centres etc.

Party style tea sounds great. We normally have a party supper after littles in bed with our eldest but will do one for all of us this year and just make enough so plentry of leftovers for a late supper too.

Thinking this year we'll watch a fUn kids Christmas film early on and then let our eldest (12) watch Gremlins which will feel like a real grown up treat for him (only 2nd year not believing, was worried it would seem less exciting last year but he was great with younger ones and loved being part of the secret, plus was still really excited himself).

JeanGenie23 Sun 10-Jul-16 09:03:42

We have a present swap with the family on Christmas Eve afternoon. Everyone comes here, the adults get a glass of prosecco and the little ones have hot chocolate whilst we bake cookies to leave out for Santa. We have a buffet lunch, everyone is responsible for bringing something and by 4ish they have gone. We (the three of us) then go to our local pub for a drink and a light dinner, back for bed time. Me and DH finish the stockings and get ready for the following day, constantly picking at cheese and drinking 😊

attheendoftheday Sun 10-Jul-16 20:49:08

Christmas eve is a big deal for us as I'm often working Christmas day.

We always go out somewhere - have done farm park, soft play and an adventure playground in recent years. Have lunch out. Come back to discover the Christmas eve hamper containing pj's, something fun for a bath, a dvd, snacks and some sort of craft or activity (sticker book, jigsaw maybe). The kids do their activity, then decorate the gingerbread house dp will have preconstructed. After that they have an early bath, put on pj's and we watch a film with a buffet tea.

MarmaladeTeepee Mon 11-Jul-16 09:08:58

We're yet to find our 'perfect' Christmas Eve formula (DC are 6 and 4). A lot of it depends on whether DH is working or not, but things that have worked well so far are:

A treasure hunt for the Christmas Eve box (huge success last year and can involve older DC with the planning of it or helping the younger the ones with the clues).

Having our main meal at lunchtime (ideally eat out to minimise stress and washing up!) so we're not too full the following day.

Baking cookies for santa.

Evening mass followed by light tea (sausage rolls or fish fingers sandwiches) with hot chocolate (I've seen a fantastic idea for a hot chocolate station on pinterest but my DC are still too young for that) Christmas film on in the background, then track Santa on norad, put everything out cookies, carrot etc, followed by bath (with bath bomb), Christmas story and bed.

ConstantlyCooking Mon 11-Jul-16 09:40:34

Last year, I introduced the Christmas Eve hamper and it was a great success with DC aged 16 and 19.
Usually we walk into town early in the day, just to wander and have coffee/hot chocolate then home when I nag children to wrap each other's presents. Then nag to go to church.
(The days with teens go much faster because they get up later and move slowly)

Dogolphin Mon 11-Jul-16 09:48:10

Ice skating or swimming, both mine would love that and I bet the pool would be empty! Cinema would be fun.

Methenyouplus4 Mon 11-Jul-16 21:57:07

Wow, so many fantastic ideas! I'm really excited now. I love that a lot of these don't cost £££. Thank you again for all the fab ideas.

mrsmortis Tue 12-Jul-16 13:56:51

We have a lazy morning, which includes helping the DDs to wrap their presents for each other, a light lunch, and then we go to the crib service at church. In the evening we have a family meal followed by bath and bed. Generally my sister will have bought them a new book which is read as a bedtime story. The most important thing is to put out milk and a mince pie for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph (and the Christmas Wombat - which is a brilliant book we got from friends of ours a few years ago - www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Wombat-Jackie-French/dp/0547868723/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468328094&sr=8-1&keywords=Christmas+wombat).

Once they are in bed I do any prep for lunch if I'm cooking (veg, etc) and then DH and I have a lazy evening until it's time for me to leave for the midnight service (this is my favourite part of Christmas and I'll always go, even if we've taken the girls earlier). We generally put out the presents before I go and collapse into bed as soon as I get back.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 15-Jul-16 00:32:40

Another Tradition I like to do is collect Christmas Crockery.
If you have a TKMaxx or Homesense start looking as soon as Hallowe'en tails off, they have stock in early.
Years ago, I bought Portmerion 'Holly and Ivy' in TKMaxx in September .

My Christmas Crockery buy last year was a Sainsburys jug with little robins on it . Love it .

I bought some small milkbottles (with lids) from Lakeland one year, I make milkshakes for the DC breakfast and chill overnight.
I saw some in The Range recently.

Paperblank Sun 17-Jul-16 15:59:39

We go carol singing on Christmas Eve - the local Lions Club organises it in a car park... sounds buzzard but it great fun. Every one wears daft hats, sips sloe gin and sings along until Santa arrives with sweeties for the kids.

I love that it costs a couple of pound, it's always really cold and utterly festive.

I can't imagine a christmas when I don't go.

BiddyPop Tue 19-Jul-16 15:02:26

I keep forgetting my login so can't login from home (back at work from hols today!).

Our Christmas Eve is one of 2 options:

1 - "down home" year which usually means we are travelling on Christmas Eve itself or arrived the night before. Working desperately around getting to everyone else's houses and getting organized.

2 - Staying "at home" year - which means DD comes to work in the morning, we meet DH for lunch and any final shopping (my office is near main shopping street), mostly people-watching (all essential shopping is already done except for getting DD's birthday cake in M&S) and then home.
Go for a walk on the local pier or up in the woods if weather is good.
Peel veg and make stuffing etc.
Make cookies with DD for Santa (some years we make those from scratch if things are going well - but I ALWAYS make cookies earlier in December and freeze half that dough, so we can just "slice and bake" if necessary).
Nice tea (smorgasbord type affair - cooked meats, olives, cheeses etc).
Open Christmas Hamper - new PJs for DD, DH and I, bath bomb each for DD and I, and the "lump of chocolate on a wooden spoon" type of hot chocolate each; and other older favourites come out too - Snowman hot water bottle, "Twas the night before Christmas" book, Christmas mug, Christmas plate for Santa's cookies, stocking...
DD lays everything out (stocking, cookies, milk, carrot) and goes for bath. We have hot choc with her snuggled into new PJs and she heads for bed.

I like the shopping trip part of the day as that is relaxed. We have nothing left that we need to buy, (well, sometimes DH does while we are in my office, but that is his business). It is more enjoying the choirs on the streets and hot chocolate and a nice sambo while watching the people.

We often have had a crafty kit of some sort to do at home in the afternoon as well. Or I have had something up my sleeve if it's needed but not always had to take it out. Free printable colouring sheets, strips of pre-cut paper to make chains, an actual kit to make decorations or something...

I know lots locally go to a large park where deer roam free to see them "before Santa rounds them up for later". We enjoy a walk on the long pier or up into the woods if the weather is good, and feeding the ducks in town sometimes.

WutheringTights Mon 25-Jul-16 07:12:41

My kids are tiny but the past couple of years we've done a walk in the morning at a local national trust place to burn off energy then nap if needed and christingle service in the afternoon followed by an early tea out at a nice local cafe. Then home, stories, bed for the kids and present wrapping for the adults.

reup Mon 25-Jul-16 07:24:52

We always go out for a fry up on Christmas Eve am then a dog walk to burn it off. We are too full for lunch but we have an late afternoon buffet (all,easy cold food or hung in the oven) with a disco - we all choose our favourite songs for a playlist. We have an awesome collection of disco lights too! It's only the 4 of us and I realise it does sound bizarre but we love it.

reup Mon 25-Jul-16 07:25:23

Bung in the oven !

Scarydinosaurs Mon 25-Jul-16 07:31:01

We do a train ride on Christmas Eve Eve- but could easily be on Christmas Eve as the prices etc are all the same.

There are lots of places that do it now- ride in a steam train, and a visit from Father Christmas. Small ones love it, and older ones can also enjoy being allowed some mulled wine and dressing up in nice clothes.

ChristmasZombie Mon 25-Jul-16 13:12:30

My children are still very young, so we are still creating and shaping our family traditions. I think our day might go something like this:
A treat breakfast, like homemade pastries (as in those Jus-rol stick in the oven ones!) then bake cakes or biscuits to share with Father Christmas.
Walk to the playground and burn off some excess energy, followed by a nap for the little one and a bit of chill out time with a film for the big one.
Church at around 4 o'clock, then pizza for dinner.
Bath time with a Christmas bathbomb or something.
Put a snack out for Father Christmas and off to bed for the children. Wine and chocolates for mum and dad!

Methenyouplus4 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:55:35

I love all these suggestions. Is there a way of permanently saving this thread so I don't loose it?

CeeCee00 Mon 25-Jul-16 19:18:46

Oh my god, I'm now so excited about Christmas! grin

BiddyPop Tue 26-Jul-16 14:49:39

Methenyou - you could watch it, and then it will show up on the "threads I'm watching" page for you. Also - the Christmas topic is a forever one, so it won't disappear (it might drop down - but lots of the ideas come up again on other Christmas threads generally!) fgrin fgrin

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