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Christmas as a young adult

(10 Posts)
AgeingArtemis Tue 15-Nov-16 23:39:19

I am the oldest "child" of the youngest generation of my family. The others are aged 9 to 17. In previous years we all go to my maternal grandparents house as a big "family" celebration. We ate amazing food and still did the "Santa" pretence though the youngest figured it out a couple of years ago grin

This year cousins are spending Xmas with their other grandparents, so my dad has decided that we wont go to my grandparents either, but spend Christmas just us.

It's just not going to be the same. My parents are probably going to separate in the near future, so the atmosphere won't be great. My grandparents come from a different country and culture so even Christmas dinner will be different food. I'm not dreading it by any means, but I'm not looking forward to it like I would normally be.

I basically just have no idea what to do or expect at the first Christmas at my parents house (I no longer live there if that's relevant) and also with no children.I'm kind of imagining it like Sunday roast but with presents...but I rarely go home because I find it stressful and upsetting so that's not really an ideal image hmm I would like to visit my grandparents (who will be alone) but it would be almost impossible and my parents would get offended probably.

Sadik Wed 16-Nov-16 08:25:46

It sounds pretty grim, but not because of the lack of people (I've had lovely christmasses just me + my parents), but because of the strained situation.

Personally, I'd be very tempted to leave parents to humph at each other, and either (a) to go visit grandparents - and if your parents are so not-grown up that they sulk about it, then tough luck to them or (b) to go somewhere else entirely (friends? abroad? volunteer at a shelter?).

Inevitably Christmas is different once you grow up, but for me it became much more about a season for having fun with friends, going to parties, dressing up, with the actual day far less relevant.

Actually, having then moved into the 'making it magical for dc' stage, I've now got a teenager, and I think it's heading back that way completely. I'll cook a nice lunch for my elderly parents, watch the Doctor Who /Sherlock/ delete as appropriate special with DD, but really as a day it isn't much more than a Sunday with (a few) presents. That doesn't mean all the surrounding parties, decorations etc aren't fun smile

Sadik Wed 16-Nov-16 08:27:05

Just to add, my best Christmasses I reckon were when I lived abroad with ex-H before dd was born, and we made pizza with friends and went to the beach . . .

girlywhirly Wed 16-Nov-16 13:56:46

Under the circumstances, I would go to your grandparents. Where does your dad get off deciding on your behalf and your mums that you will not be going for Christmas there? You are an adult who lives independently and you can make your own decisions about where to have Christmas, regardless of their marital breakdown. In fact, you say you rarely go to their home because you find it stressful and upsetting, so to go on such an emotionally charged day as Christmas would be much worse. Let them take offence. Say you'll see them another time.

The thing about adult Christmasses; yes they are a bit more quiet and sedate, but if spent with people you love can be really enjoyable. Mine used to be based around good food, thoughtful and lovingly chosen gifts, a few luxuries. Nothing wrong with watching TV later on, or having a half hour walk after lunch. I think you would feel better and more relaxed with your grandparents who will support you at this difficult time.

HairsprayBabe Wed 16-Nov-16 15:01:27

I am in the same position, eldest "child" of my generation, on both sides, cousins ranging from 24 to 13. I am 25.

We still all rally round and have a massive christmas dinner at either my DMs or her sisters, alternate years last year my DM had 16! We still do all the same traditions we did when I was small, I think thats why i love christmas so much. I can understand why you are so unhappy about the situation, I would be broken hearted.

Do you drive? Could you spend the morning with your parents and then go you your grandparents in the afternoon? If your parents don't want to host could all of you go out for xmas dinner?

Presumably you know your cousins and their parents well, could you ask to spend Christmas with them as extended family?

AgeingArtemis Wed 16-Nov-16 15:53:46

Unfortunately my grandparents and cousins live in a different country, so I can't really go over for part of the day!

I should also have mentioned that I have a teenage brother who will be home for christmas (he goes to boarding school) and I don't want to abandon him with the 'rents either.

I'm trying to mentally plan out how the day will go to try and avoid the anticlimax of just eating lunch then sitting around trying not to argue with people. One advantage is that I will get to watch christmas special TV for the first time ever- looking forward to call the midwife wink A walk is a good idea, family board games probably best avoided....

Dozer Wed 16-Nov-16 15:56:20

Do you or your brother have any friends locally? Go out together to meet them, leaving the parents at home?

Dozer Wed 16-Nov-16 15:56:40

BOoze and online shopping?

Sadik Wed 16-Nov-16 16:04:03

I think this year then you probably just have to think to yourself that you're doing this for your brother (and that's a lovely thing to do, to give up your own ideal holiday to support him) and remember that hopefully you'll have many more Christmases to come which will be special in their own way.

girlywhirly Wed 16-Nov-16 21:14:17

Well your update message changes a lot. I think you will have to go to your parents, if only to support your DB.

I think it's worth trying to spend some of the day away from your parents, for your DB also. It would be really reassuring if there is a friend's home you could escape to if the atmosphere becomes horrible.

Hopefully you and DB can get through this Christmas and the situation will be different and better next year.

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