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First Christmas without the DC....

(22 Posts)
OohMrDarcy Thu 05-Oct-17 14:06:33

So my DC will be going to their Dad's 9am xmas eve until 9am boxing day. This will be the first time I've not seen them at all on Christmas eve or day and I don't really know how to deal with it.

I've planned to go out for lunch with my parents - though not massively into that idea, and in the evening my friend is coming over (once her DC off to their dad's ) for wine / cheese / film so most of Christmas Day will be ok I guess,

But Christmas eve for me is normally more magical... there will be no checking on where Santa is, no preparing his treats etc... along with no shouting to go to sleep or midnight finishing wrapping mind.

So - what do I do on Christmas eve??? How can I make sure I'm not miserable, and the same Christmas day when I wake up?

Sister kindly suggested I sleep at my parents, but given their latest 'thing' is suggesting constantly how I need a man I'm not up for that!

Isadora2007 Thu 05-Oct-17 14:15:15

I’m so sad for you. I’m sorry I can’t be much more help though... I’d be struggling as well. I hope someone can help you come up with some ideas. I’d maybe go out somewhere adult only and then a midnight mass. Could you volunteer somewhere??

Whattodoforthebest1 Thu 05-Oct-17 14:15:32

Does your sister live close to you? Could you stay at hers?

Whattodoforthebest1 Thu 05-Oct-17 14:16:52

Or could you spend the time prepping a treat for the kids on Boxing Day?

buckeejit Thu 05-Oct-17 14:18:44

That sucks. Could you volunteer somewhere for the day? Would be a great distraction and hopefully very rewarding.

Or go to your parents and just pretend that you've already met someone?!

Captainladder Thu 05-Oct-17 14:19:46

I was going to say volunteer too...

Not sure what else to suggest.

big hug though, it can be a tough time of year. xx

OohMrDarcy Thu 05-Oct-17 14:35:15

oh lots of lovely replies - thank you!

Absolutely not religious so midnight mass is out for me.

Sister is only 20 mins away - as are parents. But she will have her DC etc - which whilst lovely, would just remind me that mine weren't there iyswim? Kind of hoping to pretend Christmas isn't happening until the DC get home somehow.

Volunteering is definitely an option - no idea how you find out about it though - any suggestions?

I can and probably will spend some of the time prepping lovely plans for boxing day definitely - but that can only take so long can't it! Will probably spend some of Christmas Day prepping veg so I can have more time with the DC on boxing day etc.

haha I think pretending I've met someone might be worse - my mum is lovely but desperate for this crappy bit of my life to be over. I don't think she realises that in the 3 years since my marriage ended, I'm happier than I was in the 3 years before that!

suzisso Thu 05-Oct-17 14:38:51

Very tough- was also going to suggest soup kitchen type thing.
Will you have the same time with kids next year? Because it seems out of the 3 days he gets a lot more...

OohMrDarcy Thu 05-Oct-17 14:41:35

Oh next year it will be my turn - and I'll be as helpful and thoughtful as he has wink

In his defence, the last couple of years have been at mine - but alternating christmas eve, and he was always welcome here to see them, so this is the first year that either one of us won't see the DC on christmas day if that makes sense - and he always had them boxing day too - so it was fairly well balanced before. I knew a change needed to be made, mostly because I didn't want him in my home any more - so actually suggested he had it this year.

ICantFindAFreeNickName2 Thu 05-Oct-17 14:44:59

Could you get yourself in some really nice food & drink and several of your favourite dvd's. Get all your prep done early then just chill out. Maybe even get some sad films, and let yourself have a good cry, it does help sometimes. And just keep telling yourself how much happier you are now than you were before.

AliceTown Thu 05-Oct-17 14:45:53

Will you be doing a Christmas-y day at yours? I do ours on the 23rd usually. The kids love getting presents early, it’s no different to actual Christmas Day, and means that when everyone is still stressing out on Christmas Eve, our chaos is over and cleaned up smile
Definitely keep busy - whether that’s volunteering, going for a walk, binge watching box sets or whatever. The first year apart is tough xx

OohMrDarcy Thu 05-Oct-17 14:49:56

Boxing day will be my official christmas day - only downside being they won't wake up here.... might actually send them to their rooms for half an hour when they get home first wink

Doing presents, christmas dinner, everything then - so not worried about missing out on that stuff really, more just a general - first ever Christmas day waking up alone and Christmas eve mostly alone too. Feel like I need to keep myself busy in case I get emotional.

Typically I have a few good single parent friends - but their Christmasses are switched so will be with their kids... .though I do have one coming over Christmas night like I said.

Ohyesiam Thu 05-Oct-17 21:50:49

I did Crisis at Christmas one year, in central London. It was a truly amazing and humbling experience. You could try googling volunteering locally at Christmas.

buckeejit Thu 05-Oct-17 22:33:51

Spend all day reading a good book-another option. I'd recommend Eleanor & park-good on audiobook too

Ninjakittysmells Thu 05-Oct-17 22:39:43

I would be really tempted to have Christmas Eve 22nd, Christmas Day 23rd then pack them off the their dads on your “Boxing Day”. You will then get to wake up with them, and will probably relish a little bit of the quiet after your Christmas to get the house sorted etc.

Ds dad only visits once a month, but my heart goes out to you flowers

Chocolatecake12 Thu 05-Oct-17 22:50:17

Christmas Eve - pack kids off at 9am after a lovely Christmassy breakfast and an early present, go into town to pick up last minute bargains without worrying about the crowds and having to rush. Home for lunch, tidy up and then how about a cinema trip in the late afternoon? Do you have any friends who can meet you for a drink in the evening? Or get yourself a nice bottle of wine and a box of chocs and watch some crappy tv before bed.
Christmas morning indulge in a lovely long bubble bath before dinner with your parents.
And remember next year the children with be all yours!

Loopytiles Fri 06-Oct-17 07:10:00

Like the idea of doing christmas eve eve and giving them most of their presents on christmas eve, early.

I wouldn’t cook much on boxing day, would just do simple stuff and spend time with the DC.

What do you usually enjoy doing? I like exercise and would like a walk or gym session.

OohMrDarcy Fri 06-Oct-17 09:40:23


sorry was out at a secondary open evening with the eldest.

I like the idea of a really Christmassy breakfast and early present before they go off to Dad's - so think I'll make sure that happens.

Looking for local volunteering opportunities too.

I like to get out walking - so if the weather is good I'll find somewhere to wander and enjoy the wintery air.

sandgrown Fri 06-Oct-17 09:48:22

Anybody you can go out for a few drinks with while you are child free? Or a late lunch in a nice restaurant. Go shopping late Christmas Eve and snap up some bargains.

OohMrDarcy Fri 06-Oct-17 10:15:45

Not really - everyone else will be with their families - including my other single parent friends.... I can have a wander around the shops - though I generally just get annoyed by people and prefer shopping online near Christmas!

BiddyPop Fri 06-Oct-17 12:08:11

Would it make you sad to still track Santa for your own excitement?

I agree that a nice breakfast and sending them off happy is a good plan.

Then head into town while it is still bustling, and get yourself a nice lunch or hot chocolate and mince pie or whatever, and enjoy the atmosphere - buy a few things if you want but aim to just enjoy it.

Go out for your bracing walk.

And then come home to do your prep with some good music or good tv/dvd/streaming programmes on.

Have a nice treat for yourself for dinner and a nice glass of something you enjoy. Maybe a long hot deep bubbly bath to savour in peace.

DO check NORAD or whatever if you'd like. It's still magical even if different.

Perhaps contemplate going to midnight mass or a Christingle service if there's one locally and that is something you would like. Or maybe just go out to a safe but beautiful place in the evening to enjoy the peace and feel the earth being more still (or light a candle and wrap a blanket around yourself to sit in the back garden listening to the sounds of nature and looking at the stars).

And have a lovely cosy quiet night curled up with a good book and get a good sleep ready for all the things that 25th will bring.

I think what I am trying to say is to look on it as a quiet interlude between various seasonal things, and a chance for you to enjoy the peace, and recharge for other events, and enjoy the solitude rather than looking on it as something to be endured.

Not that you won't miss the DCs, more that even though they are gone, doesn't mean that you cannot enjoy a different kind of day.

I hope you understand what I am trying to say (badly)

OohMrDarcy Wed 29-Nov-17 09:54:03

Sorry Biddy hadn't spotted your reply! Lots of lovely suggestions again, thank you.

So plans have changed a bit now. Firstly I get to keep the children until 1pm Christmas eve (MASSIVE yay!) ExH tried to pretend it was because he was being nice etc... but the reality which he admitted to in the end was that he has once again asked for something he can't commit to and is working in the morning.

I've bailed on Christmas lunch with the parents on Christmas day as they really wanted a big family thing which I just couldn't face (read = burst into tears regularly for 24 hrs on finding this out).... so now we are all having Christmas lunch on Boxing day - with my DC there too. This is perfect for me as means I can really enjoy my time with them then rather than being cooking etc.

It does however mean I'm completely alone Christmas day until 6pm when friend is coming over. I've considered many options and to be honest I've decided to just hole up and wallow as much as I need. There will be tears, of that I'm sure, There will be baileys drunk, films watched... and I'm just planning on getting through the day. I didn't feel up to committing to volunteering this year - though may in the future.

Thanks for the listening ear and ideas all.

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