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Keeping Christmas magical once they don't believe.

(27 Posts)
thelionsleepstonight Wed 17-Aug-16 12:04:22

I'm after some new Christmas traditions/ideas as this is going to be our first Christmas with no believers sad they will be 11 and 9 though I have tried to keep it going, they made it quite clear in the car this morning that there is no Santa, we have probably done well to get this far.

Just after some ideas of maybe more grown up traditions that we could start.

TiffanyAtBreakfast Wed 17-Aug-16 23:50:05

Christmas Eve boxes

Putting on Christmas bedding and letting them decorate their bedrooms

An evening baking festive biscuits / cakes

Christmas movie night

A naice meal out where you all get dressed up

Trip to the theatre or to the cinema

BaggyCheeks Thu 18-Aug-16 14:27:28

I'd just brazen it out fgrin

My parents still talk about Santa bringing presents, even though we're all grown up and have "so what would you like" discussions and thank each other personally. It's down to what you make of it!

thelionsleepstonight Thu 18-Aug-16 15:29:29

Oh I've trotted out the "if you don't believe, you don 't receive ' line and I will never actually admit he doesn't exist, but I know they know sad

So I want stuff we can do instead of writing letters and going to a grotto etc. Was thinking maybe a night time ice rink if I can find one anywhere near us.

We are all panto 'd out thank to queen of am dram dd !

FATEdestiny Thu 18-Aug-16 15:46:26

I've trotted out the "if you don't believe, you don 't receive ' line

I don't think it needs that. I don't insist that my eldest believes in order to receive (she's 11, I have younger believer children too).

But I just maintain the existence of Santa, whether DD plays along it not.

My own Mum still buys me (and my brothers) stocking filler gifts with a gift label saying "From Santa". I am an adult. Playing along with the Santa magic, even once you know, does no harm whatsoever.

FATEdestiny Thu 18-Aug-16 15:51:47

My eldest writes a Christmas wish list, rather than a letter to Santa. Serves the same purpose of letting me know what she wants for Christmas. But doesn't break the magic or imply there is no Santa.

Eldest grew out of going to Santas Grotto a couple of years ago. She's physically mature and do sitting on a strange mans knee became inappropriate some time ago. How about visiting special Christmas lights displays and lights instead?

girlywhirly Thu 18-Aug-16 16:09:01

You could have a games night, not computer but board games and similar.

Christmas crafts and decorations can be more sophisticated, perhaps they could make cards for family and friends.

Boxing Day can often feel a bit flat, so hold back a small present each from the Christmas tree to open then.

Make crackers with a small gift inside to have at the Christmas table, or maybe instead have a special Christmas container with a little present each for after lunch; this could be used for a few years as you are able to tailor the gifts to their changing ages. Also stretches out the gift opening.

Get them to research as many different Christmas facts as they can, also the different ways Christmas is celebrated by many different nations and their traditions, food, when they have presents, and so on.

PinkissimoAndPearls Thu 18-Aug-16 16:17:20

Mine are a bit older but do like a trip to the Christmas markets (and pancakes and hot chocolate at extortionate prices).

Agree with decorating their room - especially lots of fairy lights. Christmas music must be played whilst decorating smile

We still do MN tradition of new pyjamas on Christmas Eve - I tend to get them a new onesie, usually with a winter theme like reindeers.

Mine also have advent calendars with more "grown up" things, like nail polish, hair bobbles, hot chocolate sachets etc.

They also get something from the Lush Christmas ranges, usually a seasonal bath bomb to go wth new PJs.

I love Christmas and get little things for it each month <happy sigh>

thelionsleepstonight Thu 18-Aug-16 16:21:26

I did say it in a jokey way grin

Thank you they will love lots of these ideas.

BaggyCheeks Thu 18-Aug-16 16:39:45

Definitely do a Christmas market if there's one available to you. I can't wait to take the DCs, I wouldn't while they're little, it's probably perfect once they're past the actually believing stage - they'll see all the grown ups enjoying the Christmas spirit and get a bit of understanding about what it is to enjoy it once you're beyond Santa. If it's at all do-able, you could make a weekend out of it if there's a particularly good one further afield, e.g. Edinburgh, where you could take them ice skating, on the big wheel as well as around the stalls and shopping for other people's gifts.

FATEdestiny Thu 18-Aug-16 17:04:06

My friend really enjoys wrapping up presents with her children - garish ribbons and bows, or being all colour coordinated and sophisticated etc.

I still wrap my children's presents up in secret but I can see that enjoying the task as if it were a craft activity with older children might be fun.

8FencingWire Thu 18-Aug-16 17:19:42

We're baking cristmas biscuits a couple of weeks beforehand. We also make mince pies.
We go to a Christmas market.
Decorate a real tree. I celebrate christmas eve, so it's always a big party with friends, buffet type of food.
I have all sort of christmas decorations, so tje house becomes all festive.
Candles, hot chocolate, snuggly blankets, Elf on the telly.

We will also volunteer for a charity around Christmas time.

I'm inventing a new tradition this year: cycle along the canal and back home for hot chocolate.

Hope that helps.

megletthesecond Thu 18-Aug-16 17:25:24

baggy my parents brazened it out grin. They knew I knew it wasn't real but they never admitted it, mum will still deny it now and km in my 40's. Any interrogation was met with denial and a wink .

tararabumdeay Thu 18-Aug-16 18:49:39

Are they old enough to plan, make or choose presents for family members. I remember making dried flower calendars or snake pottery ashtrays bowls for older relatives; bibs and rag dolls for the youngsters. Or saving pennies to go shopping with a well planned list in hand.

It really was about the joy of giving as my pile of presents grew.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 18-Aug-16 18:59:45

We go to concerts of Christmas music (gospel choir last year, fabulous), special Christmas events at local attractions (National Trust place nearby does a lights thing) in the run up. We still put a mince pie and whisky out for Father Christmas, and we all have stockings. I am 45 and have always had one!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 18-Aug-16 19:04:20

Mine will be 17 and 14.6 by Christmas.

We've done :
cinema trip
ballet for DD and I
meal out for DS birthday in Dec
family shopping trip ( dragging a reluctant DS along fgrin )
a day set aside to decorate
dress up nicely for Christmas Dinner - no PJs here !
Christmas Bedding

NotAsYoungAsIWas Fri 19-Aug-16 18:41:40

I'm one of those 'decs up in Nov' people! So the Christmas spirit in our house always starts early - I tell my children that if they don't believe, they don't get! Mind you, they are 24, 20, 18 and 13 now! wink

NotAsYoungAsIWas Fri 19-Aug-16 18:47:54


We still have stockings for everyone (and the dogs!) and leave a drink and a mince pie for Santa.

We've been to Bath Christmas Market for the last couple of years - really lovely. . . and you cant beat a carol service!

ConstantlyCooking Fri 19-Aug-16 22:09:26

I only started Christmas Eve hampers last year and dd (then 16) loved it.
We still have stockings and surprises plus leave a mince pie out. I think add and DS still enjoy the excitement (and the presents) and I work hard to find gifts that they haven't requested, so there is that element of surprise (obviously they get presents they want as well. Stockings still appear as if by magic. Over the years, we have moved to making it about family time.

Chillywhippet Fri 19-Aug-16 23:33:19

Some more nice ideas here

Haudyerwheesht Fri 19-Aug-16 23:35:07

Just marking so I remember to come back tomorrow. Ds is turning 10 at Christmas. He told me last year he wasn't sure about Santa anymore 😢😢😢😢 if he tells his little sister I will throttle him.

bad memories of when my brother told me when I was only 4 and I told all my friends in my class, mum was NOT happy

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 19-Aug-16 23:58:34

Ah, I looked on (and posted on) the PreTeens thread Chilly

Once they get to 12+ Christmas is different to the 7+ stage because they can appreciate the lead up more instead of desperatly racing towards the 25th.
And the leisurely Christmas Dinner (not just wolfing down a selection box)

We have more late nights - and lie ins fgrin - not the frantic trying to get them off to sleep and hearing them at 5am (though I do miss that bit)
Now there's no children (DD is 14, so all teens/adults) its more grown up and relaxed I think.

I always used to make Christmas "seamless" they never saw me shopping , wrapping or doing lists.
We decorated the house and presents magically appeared.
Now they know that it's hard work, I think they appreciate all the effort and we all muck in together.

I do tell my DS that when I'm ancient and he invites me round to his house I expect a similar standard of Christmas ...he is fhmm fgrin

PinkissimoAndPearls Sat 20-Aug-16 09:58:44

Last year I had to wait for my teens to get up! DH and I were downstairs with their presents all excited and eager and they all just kept snoozing. I felt quite nostalgic for the up at 5AM days smile

It was nice when they got up though DD1 even showed us a smile

whitesklyer Sat 20-Aug-16 10:58:11

A wise woman once told me to never admit there is no Santa. Always insist he is coming to your house. There is always a teeny tiny hope he exists until the words come out of your mouth, then its game over. Im gonna keep it going in this house forever! just a shameful whovillian smile

elderberryflower Sat 20-Aug-16 11:09:06

We never made a big deal out of Father Christmas when they were little so it wasn't a huge change when they got older. They still get a stocking in their bedroom (as do the adults), then downstairs for breakfast before opening the other presents slowly over the day. We see extended family on Boxing Day so they get more presents then. In the run up we do baking, watch Christmas films, look at the lights locally, go to a Christmas market and go to church. And as I said, as Father Christmas was never really mentioned when they were little it doesn't feel like the magic is missing now!

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