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Just the 4 of us at xmas...how to make it special?

(28 Posts)
Potello Sat 14-Oct-17 21:08:45

For various reason this year we will be spending Christmas Day at home, me, dh and our 2 toddlers.

We usually host and have lots of family over for the day.

Part of me is looking forward to it, doesn't matter if dinner runs behind, can stay in pj's if we want to etc. Mainly though I'm worried it's going to feel like a normal day!

Any toddler friendly ways to make it special? I'm trying not to have too many expectations because with young dc we will have to go with the flow but I'm a bit worried we will be sad and it won't feel like Christmas blush

jenthehen Sat 14-Oct-17 21:17:24

We've been just a family of 4 for the last 3 years. It's odd at first but really chilled too. We have a real tree and lovely luxury food. Play Xmas music. Have a fun 'game' set of crackers. We all help in the kitchen (my kids are older) still have turkey and all the trimmings. Its actually lovely but then my family being outspoken and argumentative are the reason we chose to celebrate by ourselves 😜.

ChoccyJules Sat 14-Oct-17 21:27:55

This may be us this year too and I am also wondering how it won't feel like a normal day (aside from the presents).

SimplyNigella Sat 14-Oct-17 21:28:44

Watching this thread with interest. It will be our second year with just DH, DS (3.11) and I. DH loves it and because it means so much to him I sacrifice the big family Christmas that I would like, but it does make me feel a bit sad.

Winterfellismyhome Sat 14-Oct-17 21:34:44

My partner and i have had xmas with just the two of us for the last few years and we love it. We get up when we want, stay in bed for a while, take time over breakfast, open presents, watch xmas tv. Dont have to host anyone or get dressed. I would like a Christmas day with just us tradition to continue when we have children too. Maybe its because ive never been close to my family but I don't feel like im missing out

comeagainforbigfudge Sat 14-Oct-17 21:44:34

Ooooooooh I would love this. But big family one this year.

In my dream world

Xmas eve
easy dinner with minimal washing up. favpurite xmas movie - kids one
Bath time, teeth etc
Then everyone gets to pick ONE present to open before bed. Only one mind.
Put out mince pie, milk n carrot for reindeer obvs.
Then bed for little uns

adults watch fav xmas movie die hard whilst partaking of light refreshment, setting out presents etc

Xmas morn
PRESENTS
Chocolate for breakfast
And satsumas, for the vit c wink
Play with toys
Intermingled with prepping dinner/eating nice things like croissants and jam
Depending on weather, go for a walk
Light lunch - toddler gets cranky if no food about.
Hopefully crashes out for a bit so can prep rest of dinner
Aim to sit down for dinner 3pm onwards.
Collapse in heap on sofa following this.
Watch dr who special whilst wishing brownies were real and would come clean kitchen for me.... Oh and make me a cup of tea whilst their at it.

Not very special or Christmassy but I'd enjoy it grin

NapQueen Sat 14-Oct-17 21:50:16

I would have to plan in a walk out. Toddlers dont usually like staying indoors all day.

So id do:-
up, lazy breakfast (pastries fruit etc)
Presents
dressed
Out to the coast for a walk up the pier or similar
Take flasks of hot chocolate
Home for a snack
Toddlers down for a sleep while you and dh cook dinner
Nice family meal; crackers to pull etc
Play with toys
Early ish bath and into new pjs
Christmas movie
Toddlers to bed
Nice wine and nibbles and a board game for you and dh after the kids are asleep

LadyGagarden Sat 14-Oct-17 22:03:56

We’ve had just the 4 of us for a few years now. My girls are 9 and 6 now so a little older but we found doing lovely things on Xmas eve like ice skating and a show is fab. Then Xmas day they are happy to just chill with their presents, lovely lunch, Xmas film and board games in the afternoon. It’s actually been really lovely and has felt different to normal days!

Potello Sat 14-Oct-17 22:07:25

Some nice ideas thanks! If the dc were older I wouldn't be so worried because we could play board games, get them to help prep the dinner and things.

Will definitely need to get out for a walk at some point during the day.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Sat 14-Oct-17 22:14:56

Maybe add in some special Xmas plates and napkins etc to make the meals a bit special. Then they can become a tradition. Light candles at the dinner table, my DCs love that when we have Chinese takeaway! Makes it seem like a real treat. Just add a bit of festivity to everything. e.g. I bought a chocolate fountain and waffle maker for Xmas breakfast one year. We now use the waffle maker quite often, but for Xmas maybe bring out the whipped cream and festive sprinkles, or cinnamon etc to make them a bit different.

If you all have new PJs for Xmas eve (wrap them to make them seem like a gift) then you will look cosy and festive in the morning and can hang out in them all day (until your walk!).

Noeuf Sat 14-Oct-17 22:34:10

We always do Xmas alone as a family - my oldest is now 18!

So, Xmas eve - carrot and sherry at the front door, bed with empty pillow cases left out. Much creeping around by slightly tipsy adults to check if they are asleep.

Xmas morning, stockings on our bed.

Buck's Fizz and chocolate coins and croissants for breakfast

Crap tv or film while we prep lunch.

Board game, playing with stiocking stuff.

Lunch at 2

Presents around 3.30

TV and dinner (8/9pm)

Bed

FoddyWaddle Sat 14-Oct-17 23:41:15

We do christmas with just us. When the DC were toddlers i would always dress them up a bit (and me) so it felt more like a special occasion. We would play music and dance around in the living room and just have fun. Plus a mass of chocolate is always a winner

skankingpiglet Sun 15-Oct-17 00:18:59

I have insisted on a quiet Christmas day with just the four of us, with the hordes coming Boxing day (there will be 18 of us! shock) this year. We have a 3yo and 1yo.

Our plan is stockings, breakfast of chocolate for the kids and eggs/salmon/fizz for us, presents, telly, Xmas dinner, more telly, chocolate, left-overs sandwiches. I don't plan on changing out of my PJs and I expect to spend a large portion of the day in a food coma with a fire roaring in the stove.

Last year involved rushing the kids to eat breakfast, rushing them to open their presents, then making them abandon their new shiney things to go out. I raced around all morning to prep the food we needed to take with us to family. Lovely afternoon/evening with family, but then two very tired but excited children to attempt to wrangle into bed. I just wanted a lot bit more laziness and chill out to the day, and to enjoy the present giving and DC's excitement without clock watching.

HeddaGarbled Sun 15-Oct-17 00:34:33

The best thing about Christmas without relatives is opening stockings together in your bed without a time limit. You don't have to get up to travel or to make breakfast for guests so you can make the most of the best part of Christmas.

What can be really fun, is to make stockings for the parents with the children. They enjoy the choosing and wrapping of stocking fillers and really really enjoy the opening.

mmgirish Sun 15-Oct-17 04:41:31

We did this a few years ago and just had the greatest time. The kids loved it too! Buy everyone's favourite breakfast food, drink bubbles, let the kids watch Christmassy tv, play Christmas music in the background. It will be great!

GinYummy Sun 15-Oct-17 07:47:32

We have done this for the past four years and it is wonderful. No rushing around, no waiting for late relatives to arrive, we can stay in our pj's.... 😂
The one thing that really helps is getting outside for a walk before lunch. Father Christmas normally puts a new bubble wand in the stockings for this purpose.

BroomstickOfLove Sun 15-Oct-17 07:49:19

Small household-only Christmases are lovely! You get to do what you want, when you want, without having given to co promise, and there aren't any drunken quarrels or simmering family resentments. Play, snuggle, eat, and soak up the Christmas Day atmosphere.

oldcrownie Sun 15-Oct-17 08:04:28

We always stayed home just us and the dc when they were younger. So much less stressful. Having a big roast at lunchtime made it feel very different as we usually eat in the evening the rest of the year.

GreatBigPolarBear Sun 15-Oct-17 08:09:45

We were supposed to do this a couple of years ago but 'chickened out' at the last minute (well, a couple of weeks before) and invited friends.

Stokey Sun 15-Oct-17 08:09:51

We did it two years ago and will hopefully do it again this year if SiL goes to her parents with dB.

My Dds (8 & 5 now) absolutely love it. It's really nice not rushing off anywhere and just going with the floor.

That said, part of me would really love to rent an alpine cottage for a few days and snuggle up somewhere snowy.

MarmaladeTeepee Sun 15-Oct-17 08:12:29

I totally agree with all the others. We tend to have a big build up with lots of Christmassy activities and then come Christmas day it's nice to just have a lovely relaxed family day. I always put a pack of bubbles in their stockings and we take these out when we go for our walk just to make it a bit more special.

Potello Sun 15-Oct-17 12:19:26

You've all made me feel much better, thanks!

So I'm thinking stockings opened on our bed, we used to do this when I was little. Bubbles are a great idea and some chocolate. Not sure what else to put in them yet.

Easy breakfast of pastries and fruit.
Presents although I may stagger them out as dc may get fed up.
Out for a walk.
Nap for dc while we get dinner on.

Chipsahoy Sun 15-Oct-17 13:37:59

We have done Christmas just the four of us for four yrs now and i won't go back to big family do now.
We do santa presents, breakfast, get dressed and play, a few more gifts, lunch, walk to and play at the park then home for more presents. Skype with over seas relatives, play, movie, dinner, last present each and then bed for dc.

goose1964 Sun 15-Oct-17 14:55:51

Only 3 of us, and child is also an adult, we stick to the traditions we had when we had big family Christmases but also have created some new ones. Best thing about it is not spending ages in the kitchen

NotEnoughCushions Sun 15-Oct-17 15:10:42

How about a Christmas picnic? Take some soup, sandwiches, mince pies/cakes and a flask of hot chocolate (and a small bottle of fizz for the grown ups). Maybe do a simple treasure hunt or a search to fill a matchbox with as many tiny things as possible?

Come back for a snooze and then a Christmas dinner - doesn't have to be turkey and all the trimmings. Cheese/pâté and crackers for you and DH when the children are in bed.

We've had a couple of Christmases on our own and I've enjoyed it more when we have been out and about and doing something different for a few hours rather than staying in and doing a 'full' Christmas on a small scale.

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