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In laws for Christmas

(15 Posts)
lizziejs Sun 08-Oct-17 13:33:28

We are a family of four with a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old. This year we are off to my husbands side of the family from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day.

My in-laws are fab and I couldn’t wish for kinder people. Christmas will be lovely and I’m really looking forward to it.

However, they aren’t that big on Christmas (it’s pretty much like a normal day but with presents, a tree and crackers.) I, on the other hand, love it and can’t wait to start making our own Christmas traditions as our kids get older.

As it will be pretty low key for the actual day, I’m looking for ideas on what we can do to make our own Christmas traditions in the lead up and the days following, so we will be able to have things we do as a family even on the years we go to my in-laws.

What family activities do you do in December and what traditions do you have?

Our car won’t fit all our stuff and all the presents so will take some for the kids (not all) and none for us. What do you do in this situation re: present opening.

I’m interested in how people create and maintain their own family traditions when you are going to your in-laws with your kids and so don’t really have a say in how it’s done.

Prusik Sun 08-Oct-17 13:35:23

We make a Christmas wreath every year for the front door. Generally the first weekend in Dec. Have done since we first started dating. This will be the first year we've done it with Ds.

Prusik Sun 08-Oct-17 13:35:55

I know thats not to do with being away though

misscph1973 Sun 08-Oct-17 13:40:04

Elf on the shelf? Make Christmas cake and Christmas pudding on Stirup Sunday? Get a real tree for all of December? Make Christmas cards? Sing carols every Sunday in December? Make mince pies? Make Christmas tree decorations?

Popskipiekin Sun 08-Oct-17 13:40:04

Is there a church nearby with a christingle and/or nativity service on Christmas Eve which would welcome children - your 2.5 year old might even be allowed to take part?
I would make a big deal of setting up for Santa/FC - e.g. my grandpa would always lay out carrots, mince pie, glass of sherry and flannel and soap - as FC would be dirty from coming down the chimney! grin
You can have special OTT Christmas stocking opening in your bedroom maybe, without your inlaws, if they're not into that. Everyone stay in PJs for breakfast, maybe you can even cook the breakfast, do something special the DC wouldn't normally have every day (pancakes?)

lizziejs Sun 08-Oct-17 13:40:34

What a lovely idea, I might have a go at that this year. They are so expensive if you want to buy a fresh one.

quirkychick Sun 08-Oct-17 13:41:12

We have a felt advent calendar, I put in little wooden decorations for one of those small wooden trees and little chocolates, so the kids hang up a little decoration and have a chocolate, you would have to supervise with little ones if small wooden pieces or put something bigger in.

Christmas Eve we have pyjamas wrapped up and opened for the dcs to open and wear, you could do this before you go and they wear them there.

Gingerbread house from Lidl, we make and decorate, you could do this when you get back.

GhoulsFold Sun 08-Oct-17 13:49:25

Just DH, DS and I go to a restaurant for a meal out on Xmas eve. Not a fancy restaurant, just somewhere family friendly.

We have a big family who all get together for Xmas day for a big old family shindig. Its raucous and loud. Its fun, and we enjoy it, but that cosy little Xmas eve dinner out, just the 3 of us, is our lovely little tradition.

PhuntSox Sun 08-Oct-17 14:03:29

Panto on Christmas Eve, new pyjamas and a book.

noramum Sun 08-Oct-17 15:58:26

For the whole of December:

Making stained glass biscuits for tree decoration. Maybe take some with you and hang it on the tree at your inlaws, they can be thrown out when the decs go down.

Christmas wreath for the door

Make paper snowflakes to hang on the windows. Make paper chains for the tree (ours are now at least 6-7 year old and carefully packed away each year). Saltdough is good for making decorations, just use Christmas cookie cutters, put a hole in, bake and paint.

If there are low key carol concerts go and just listen, put the radio on and get some children CDs with carols and listen throughout the day. Get some books (our library always starts a Christmas display with all kind of stories to borrow or read there) and start explaining the story of Christmas.

I got DD a small nativity set and we explained to her the history of Christmas. We are nowhere religious but it is important to us to teach DD the cultural side of it, similar, she knows the story of the real St. Nikolaus (for her very important, we are Germans and St. Nikolaus comes on the 6th December for sweets and a small gift).

When you are at your in-laws, make the best you can. My PIL are very similar and I always felt a bit disappointed until I decided it is up to me to do more. Luckily DD helped, it seems they see it as a thing for children. So, do a big stocking opening in the bed, it may also mean your inlaws can lie in a bit. Maybe offer to do breakfast and take some items with you for a funny one.

During nap time keep it simple, maybe go for a walk afterwards.

New pyjama on Christmas Eve, maybe get a copy of the Snowman, a treat, bath and bed.

jo10000 Sun 08-Oct-17 17:08:28

We always go away for Christmas and for that reason never have outside lights or a wreath (we go away for a fortnight). However we put our dex up early, do Christmas crafts, including making a craft wreath for inside the house, and icing gingerbread with music in the background, watch Christmas movies snuggled up together (esp Mickeys Christmas), go to lots of Christmas fairs, a Christingle on Christmas eve (kids love it), reindeer food and carrot out on Christmas eve (ruddolph always takes a bite before Christmas morning) and... Well Christmas day is full on because my family are big into it, but the run up can be even more magical.

lizziejs Sun 08-Oct-17 17:47:28

These are all lovely ideas everyone, thank you so much.

Bornfreebutinbiscuits Sun 08-Oct-17 18:51:31

I think its sad your in laws cant meet you half way and make a little more effort esp as you have young dc in tow?

Bornfreebutinbiscuits Sun 08-Oct-17 18:52:13

Otherwise turn the room your staying in into a grotto.....and make that room cosy and festive it wont hurt your in laws, and tyou can take it all down when you go.

lizziejs Sun 08-Oct-17 19:08:24

It’s not that they won’t do it -if I told them I wanted this or that they would bend over backwards to accommodate. They are wonderful and the way that they do it will be lovely and relaxing for us and brilliant for the kids - they adore them and can’t get enough of playing with them, helping at meals and anything else (which is what really matters.) I’m just looking for a few ideas about what else we can do as a family. There have been lots of lovely suggestions here and we’ll certainly be doing some of them.

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