Teens and preteens at christmas(19 Posts)
I am actually feeling a bit sad about christmas this year as the magic seems to of gone. I have 4 children 15, 14, will be 12 and 10 year old and the magic just is not there. Last christmas it was only my 10 year old and me doing the tree. Does anybody have ideas of things I can do or places to take them to make christmas special?
change the activities to more grown up ones but still only done at Christmas - your magic is more about doing stuff together than the specific of the activity...
Mine are 16 and 15 this Christmas - I do the tree, just me and the cat. We have a few traditions. We used to take the kids to some sort of live show when they were little. Now we have a pre Family Christmas movie evening, we pick a blockbuster, for last few years it's been Star Wars/The Hobbit etc and we book a nice meal before or after. Then we have a DVD on Christmas Eve that has been pre-agreed/bought last year was the Great Escape, before that it was Planes Trains and Automobile, Die Hard or something Christmas related. Teens get a weak Snowball to drink and we have nibbles. Christmas day after presents and before dinner we go for a walk. That's really it apart from Christmas dinner obvs.
You can still have a good time and do family stuff, it just takes a bit more commitment from the teenagers.
I thought it was only me who started to worry about Christmas in August!
My DCs are 9 and 11, so I have no idea what Christmas will be like when they are teens. I guess that your traditions will have to change slightly to fit your now older DCs in. I'm sure you can find a way to have everybody involve AND enjoying it.
We usually make Christmas notes every year after Christmas, because we just can't remember enough from year to year. We note down what worked and what didn't work, so that we can make adjustments next year. It doens't take long, and it means that we all get to discuss what we like and what we don't like, and it makes next year easier. We read last year's notes in November so that we are all reminded. And we might add new things. It does by no means make our Christmas perfect, I am always slightly (understatement of the year!) stressed and disappointed, but it does help avoid a complete breakdown. Perhaps worth a try? Start with a November Christmas meeting and then evaluate after Christmas? I know it sounds like a work place things, but it works for us.
You could have other things such as a family board game on Christmas afternoon, Ice skating, Panto, Santa Fun Run, Cup cake making, basically find something that suits your family dynamic and go for it. You could have a buffet night that everyone makes a dish for. Do a proper Christmas pudding/cake and get everyone to have a stir.
Or you could have family Christmas "try something new" day. You could vary the activity each year to try something that you haven't done. Go karting, Badminton etc. You could even get the older teens to help organise.
Things do change once nobody believes in Father Christmas but we have adapted things. DC here aged 10 to 20.
Winter walk to collect greenery and making garlands for stairs and mantelpiece
Buck's Fizz after breakfast when we are prepping dinner, ranging from mostly juice to rather stronger
Family secret Santa. On December 1st, when the Advent calendar goes up, we do a lucky dip and everyone gets an envelope with a name and £10 in. They choose, buy and wrap present and put it on person's chair before Christmas ddinner. It's nice to have a present at lunchtime and the kids loved trying to guess who their mystery buyer was.
Silly/funny crackers/after dinner game. Moustache crackers were a hit and Name that tune game with kazoos.
One of the surprise hits is a puzzle which arrives Christmas Eve in a goodie bag. The puzzle goes on kitchen table and gets done over the Christmas break with everyone helping out at different times. Mary Berry does this in her kitchen so that makes me feel like Queen of my kitchen
Christmas Eve goodies, really only stuff I would buy anyway but it just spreads things out a bit (in a home bargains Christmas pudding bin bag last year):
Hot Chocolate stirrers from Lidl
Christmas pasta from Lakeland
White Stuff Winter candle
I love the idea of a family Secret Santa and I shall be starting that this year, thanks Chilly.
We do still have younger children that believe, but I'd like to encourage the teenagers to put a bit of thought into Christmas gifts. For the last few years they've bought chocolate or sweets for each other. I think having just one person to focus on will help, and also keep the cost down when they're all adults.
Mine are still little but I remember this for myself when I was about 12. Mum was studying for a degree and working so she was really busy right up to Christmas Eve and I remember feeling that the magic had gone, there was no more Father Christmas but I didn't believe in God and Jesus so there was no magic there either (I love the Christmas story so if I believed in it that would be the magic I was after, with Midnight Mass etc).
I remember crying on Christmas Eve evening and Mum put on a record of 50s Christmas music and we made mince pies and somehow that made things Christmassy again. I was easily pleased. . Looking back I must have made her feel well guilty, sorry Mum!
On the new ideas for Christmas Eve thread someone suggested a. Christmas PJ and mocktail and cocktails party so we might incorporate that.
DD1 20 likes to go to town with her boyfriend and friends but I'm sure she (and they) would join us for a cocktail first.
I don't normally drink much honestly but it looks that way with my buck fizz and cocktail talk
I have DS (will be 17) and DD (will be 14.6) by Christmas.
DD and I go shopping (last year we went to London) , we used to take them both out but DS doesn't "do" shoppping.
DH and I book a day off in late Nov to go out and buy all the bits we haven't bought online.
We go for a meal in early Dec (DS birthday is Dec) his choice, he always picks a Carvery.
They still have their Christmas Eve Hampers, and Stockings on Christmas Morning, that hasn't changed.
DD and I go out to the theatre or ballet but I cannot convince DS to go out with us.
He'll be going into 6th Form this year so I think he'll be off doing his own thing more.
We still have our Tradition of Christmas Dinner after dark (with candles) but before Dr Who.
As a teenager I remember a sense of the magic being gone.
Now I am working with my children to have family Christmas traditions that are not age related or adaptable. At the moment we have a day in London either south bank or winter wonderland and Christmas lights. Which I assume will grow into shopping drinks and smart dinner.
Christmas Eve we have got into the habit of lighting the fire pit and sitting out for a couple of hours drinking hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows before bed.
Love the secret Santa thing going to add that this year would easily adapt to extra guests as by Dec 1st we generally know who is joining us.
Ooh Strumpers, hot chocolate by the fire pit sounds great.
Will put fire pit on wish list
In our house "The Nannas", DMIL and DM get a gift on their chair too but If you wanted to keep Secret Santa small you could do it Christmas Eve like the Nordic countries/Germany ?
Ooh Firepit and hot chocolate................
We have a firebasket thingey, could light that, set out jam jars with candles in the garden (I used to do this when the DC were little to make a Lighted Runway for the Sleigh )
We can sit at the garden table with hot chocolate and I make an icebowl with candles inside to put on it.
Yay icebowl with candles sounds awesome!
Just as a side note (teacher so obviously around lots of teens in December), I find thete's more anticipation when they don't know what they are getting for Christmas. Some kids ask for something and know 100% (as told by parents) it's the gift (s) they'll open. Some even get their gift beforehand.
Certainly I would request things and write a 'santa list' in my teens, but I never knew what I would get until I opened it so there was always some build up.
Other things such as those mentioned above include having fun family traditions (as a teen, we always went for a family walk) but also recognise they are getting older and respect t their own things (again, this might be letting them have a drink/ a lie in etc).
I agree with the surprises Methen nowadays they generally have a good idea what they are getting (or at least what they have asked for) as a main gift, but I love getting extra things that I think they'll like or if they have a lot of ideas they know they will get some stuff from the list but not everything.
Family games night - get out all the board games and cards?
Ask them what they would like to do as a family? Recognising that they are growing but that you would still like some magic and want them to enjoy it too.
Suggest a family charity project - putting together a hamper for a family through Lions Club or whatever, and asking your DCs to buy toys and get involved with it?
Agreed with the others... Change the activities to make it special in a different way.
I have two daughters, so We have a Christmas shopping trip - stay in a hotel, visit a nice shopping centre, have some girly time. Throw in a manicure and It's good fun!
Also, now they're older we visit a Christmas Market.
In the week leading up to Christmas, we'll go to the cinema for a (Christmas) movie and go out for lunch.
My daughters now like staying up one night to help me wrap all the presents (not theirs obviously!). We play Christmas music, decorate the tree and wrap the presents. A lovely evening.
Over the Christmas period, we often have a party and just spend time with the children playing board games and the like.
It's family time - not the magic and pretence, but lovely in its own way.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.