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How to keep christmas magical when ds isnt interested.

(24 Posts)
RebootYourEngine Fri 02-Sep-16 20:35:05

Ds is 12 years old and isnt interested in anything apart from hiding in his room. He has no interests or hobbies. Isnt really bothered about christmas.

Me on the other hand. I LOVE christmas. I feel like it is a magical time of year.
It is only just september and i am already worrying non stop about everything from what to buy him to what to do on the day.

Has anyone else had this? How do i make the day magical and not just like any other day?

Present ideas also welcome. Pleeeeaaassssseeee sad

Lilaclily Fri 02-Sep-16 20:37:14

What does he do in his room?
Is he on the pc, phone etc? I mean is he okay ? It sounds a bit worrying to me

RebootYourEngine Fri 02-Sep-16 21:04:34

He doesnt really do much. He just watches you tube. The usual things like minecraft.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 02-Sep-16 21:14:45

fsad I'm 5 years further down the line (my DS will be 17 in December)

He doesn't want to go shopping,
He has to be pushed to write a list (made 100 times more difficult because his Birthday is in December)
He doesn't really like food and thinks sitting down to eat a full meal is a waste of his XBox time fhmm

Its better when we have a full house, he decamps to the sofa to give his bed to houseguests so he can't retreat to his little cell.

I don't think you can MAKE someone enjoy Christmas but the rules I employ is "In this house, you just join in and muck in"
And fortunately (for me) he goes along with it because I'm a complete Christmas Fiend (my Mum never did Christmas so when I was a child, I didn't have the Christmasses I thought everyone else was having).

When he leaves home, he can do what he likes!

RebootYourEngine Fri 02-Sep-16 21:36:23

So i have at least another 5 years of dull christmases sad

You have just given me an idea. I might invite my family for christmas dinner. That might make ds be a bit more sociable.


featherpillow Sat 03-Sep-16 08:38:13

I'm not suggesting that you make it all about your DS but to entice him downstairs could you have lots of his favourite foods out for lunch/dinner on Christmas eve.
Do you have a Christmassy film he likes (Home Alone or something like that) that you could have on, even just in the background so he doesn't feel like he's being made to watch it with the family!
My DS is older now but when he was a young teen he used to make fun of me for loving Christmas. He would mock that i had Christmas music on everyday from 1st Dec and when i asked him (half way through the year!!) to give me some ideas of presents.
Now he's totally on board though and its is his favourite time of the year. (I even think I've secured him and his future family coming to me every year at Christmas wink.
Hang in there

Chillywhippet Sat 03-Sep-16 12:58:15

Loads of us refusing to give in to teen lethargy here

RebootYourEngine Sat 03-Sep-16 17:21:22

feather we have a christmas eve film that we watch every year. He loves that. Just doesnt seem to like christmas day. Maybe it is boring for him with it just being him and me.

Will have to read that other thread.

Heratnumber7 Sat 03-Sep-16 17:24:08

Christmas stopped being magical if you're childish enough to call it that when DCs stop believing in FC.
Let your DD enjoy it his way, and you in yours.

ExAstris Sun 04-Sep-16 06:10:33

Not sure I buy that Heratnumber7. DS has never believed in FC, it's not something we do, but Christmas is still fantastic and exciting for all of us. I didn't believe in FC beyond maybe age 4 or 5 and always really loved Christmas too, still do! :D

OP, have you asked him what his perfect Christmas would be? My DC are only small, and I know teens/preteens often don't talk but when I was 12 I would've given a useful answer so it might be worth a shot.

ExAstris Sun 04-Sep-16 06:11:11

Argh grin fail!

PrincessHairyMclary Sun 04-Sep-16 06:23:33

OP what would make Christmas magical for you.

Do you want to go a Christmas carol service, light switch on, Pantomime, "the nut cracker", shopping or browsing around London or a Christmas market. I think for the lead up to Christmas you should plan what you want to do, make your own traditions as your teen won't be at home forever and then invite him (tell him he's going) or go with friends.

For Christmas Day it's self turn off the internet so it affects everyone and spend the day together sans technology, warn the teen first. Have friends and family around, get some old boards games out for some nostalgic playing and party games.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 04-Sep-16 06:44:30

Does he have friends at school/ from primary? Could you cajole him into some seasonal activities with the offer to bring a friend? Maybe ice skating or Christmas market. It might make the season seem slightly more appealing if he has a fellow grinch friend to share it with. I share your pain, dd(11) is just beginning the Kevin the teenager transformation.

Ifailed Sun 04-Sep-16 06:53:18

Your DS sounds quite sensible to me. Not everyone falls for all the marketing at xmas, and if you're not religious it can be so relentless and tedious, especially if people add in Compulsory Fun. Why not just agree to do your thing, and he does his?

randomer Sun 04-Sep-16 22:22:04

Ifailed that is the most ridiculous thing i ever read. You simply must have a magical sparkly time and force everybody else to feel magical and sparkly.

How very dare you suggest that the young person may spend his free time as he wishes? No he must be chained to a bored game or hide and elf or some such worthwhile activity.

RebootYourEngine Mon 05-Sep-16 06:16:48

Hairy thats a good idea. For the last 12 yrs my life has been basically all about ds and now that he is older he doesnt need me around as much. I need to start doing my own thing.

He has friends at school but anytime i suggest inviting them somewhere he never 'gets around to it'. He is in secondary school so i dont know the parents numbers to ask myself. All he wants to do is spend all day every day in his room.

user1471734618 Mon 05-Sep-16 06:23:58

Christmas is not "magical" it is a sick bloated horrible consumer fest. If you think it is 'magical' then you have been brainwashed by the marketing. As has anyone who calls me Scrooge-like.grin

Ifailed Mon 05-Sep-16 06:24:27


Glassofwineneeded Mon 05-Sep-16 08:15:25

It's really hard with teenagers. Could you do something different on Christmas eve? Go see a film and have lunch or dinner out. Or the pantomime if he would like that.
Visit family and friends.
Then on Christmas day itself you can make a bit more low key - agree a reasonable time to get up. Open presents, you could get him to help prepare dinner, and then watch your usual Christmas eve film in the afternoon. Could you invite your family round for dinner maybe or have friends round in the evening?
Also have you asked him what he would like to do? And told him that being in his room all day on Christmas day is not acceptable! He's old enough to start thinking about how his behaviour affects how you feel.

BiddyPop Mon 05-Sep-16 09:11:09

User, it does not have to be a bloated consumer fest to be magical - there is plenty of magic in nature in mid-winter, as well as free events and family gatherings to enjoy. The origins of Christmas are (depending on your beliefs) either a Christian celebration of the birth of the Saviour, or a pagan festival of life to tempt the summer back at the depths of winter. It is very possible to have lovely, and indeed magical, celebrations without massive consumerism. I wouldn't call you "scrooge-like", but this is the Christmas board and generally peopled by those who actually like the season rather than cynics. Maybe you and IFailed can establish your own "non-consumer, non-magic celebration" together and enjoy your misery together?

(Sorry, I know, that was bold, slapping my hands fgrin)

Reboot maybe Christmas needs a "reboot" in your house?! Sit down with DS and ask him what he likes and what he doesn't like about the season (and life in general). Is there anything he'd actually really like to do (may not be seasonal but - I don't know - a Monster Truck rally, or ice skating trip, or something)? Would he like to do something different this year? Are there things that you do that he does like and wants to see happen again this year? He may not want to spend time in the house together, but would he enjoy a decent long winter's walk somewhere? (So he might want to not put out cookies for Santa anymore, but might appreciate a stocking with some age-appropriate small things in it and 1 small thing that becomes your family tradition of "Mum loves Christmas and insists on giving me chocolate coins" eye-rolling-ness).

Just on stockings, I put a long list on another thread last week (one of the Christmas Eve boxes ones - I am rubbish at linking sorry, but there were 2 similar threads on the Christmas board) of ideas for older people's stockings - teens and adults. There might be a few ideas in there to help if you want to keep on with a stocking but refreshing it to DS's maturing.

Can he roll his eyes but let you get on with playing Christmas music some days/times, but maybe find some less traditional music to play other times that you can accept? Or maybe you can search out some Christmas songs by bands he likes - there is a whole wide world of Christmas music beyond the cheesy party tunes that are all over the radio. Look on internet radio websites or Spotify for Country, rock, or other Christmas music and enjoy exploring it together.

Would he do a large jigsaw with you, that you can pass by over the holidays and spend a half hour on here and there, sometimes together, sometimes just 1 of you?

Or a few board games or card games? Maybe find something new that is not "childish" - while he may still love "Operation" once he gets into it, starting with an entirely new game that you need to work out together and that is aimed at older people (there are lots needing logic or skill if you look beyond the usual offerings in toy stores - there's a shop in Dublin which sells online called "Cogs - The Brain Shop" that has really interesting games).

Do you both want the traditional turkey or goose roast dinner? Or prefer something else? Even if the traditional roast, is there anything that 1 of you loves that the other is not a fan of, and that the other could suggest their own alternative for it? Would he get involved in cooking at all - ask him to do something new and he makes it? Cooking is a lifeskill anyway that is great to learn. And if you both agree on not a roast, what else would you both like to enjoy?

And yes, lay out your expectations that he will get involved with a good grace for parts of the season. Make it clear he can have some times when he can hibernate in his room, but also that there are some times you will expect him to interact with you like a human. And try to get his take on it, and include some things that he will enjoy as well that are acceptable to you. And work around him on other things - so still enjoy some music, and decorating. But bear in mind that he is growing up and maturing, so some elements of the "magic" will be childish to him and may need to be abandoned or tweaked - not all, but show him that you do see he is growing up and you are not making it a totally "magical children's celebration" but keeping things that are important to you while acknowledging that he is growing up and changing too.

BiddyPop Mon 05-Sep-16 09:11:43

Ooops, sorry for such an epic post...blush

heron98 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:42:53

I'm 34 and not really arsed about Christmas. It's just one day of the year and if he's not excited about it I don't think you can really force him into expressing an anticipation he doesn't feel.

roseteapot101 Mon 05-Sep-16 09:50:27

theres a facebook group called Best Christmas yet!
they have loads of ideas

AverageGayLad Tue 06-Sep-16 15:56:48

For Christmas Day it's self turn off the internet so it affects everyone and spend the day together sans technology, warn the teen first


Would that not

A) Piss him off even more and make him even less likely to come out of his room
B) Be ineffective as you don't even need internet for a lot of console games or for mobile phones

OP flowers as I can understand how frustrating this is for you, but like people have said make it about you smile Offer him the chance to join in, but if he doesn't want to then you can still go out and enjoy yourself.

Not long ago when I was 12 I was exactly the same, still am really, I'm best left alone and then I'll come down and interact with people in my own time. Do you know why he doesn't like it?

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