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My 12yo will be home alone Christmas Eve. Any ideas?

(110 Posts)
HappyHollyween Thu 10-Oct-19 11:50:19

For the first time ever (I know - I've been very lucky so far!) i have to work Christmas Eve. I'm also working the 23rd but DD's friend's mum has offered to take DD and friend shopping that day.

DD has always said she loves Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day as it's just us two, it's really relaxed and there is the excitement of 'just one more sleep!' We usually do some wrapping, karaoke, film and snack fest, walk with a scavenger hunt (still loves these at her age!) or a drive into town to look at the lights. She's quite disappointed this year that she'll be on her own.

She'll likely not get out of bed until 10am at the earliest and I will be home around 4.30pm. I was hoping to leave her a list of ideas she can crack on with to still enjoy the day without me.

E.g. I can leave her a Christmas Eve box - she can have a nice bath with smellies.

I can leave her some Christmas films to watch.

She can wrap the presents she bought the day before with her friend.

She can build a gingerbread house.

Any other ideas that your tweens like doing around Christmas? These all sound like things she'll probably get bored of doing on her own and will likely just sit on her phone all day! I want her to enjoy Christmas Eve just as much as she normally does and hopefully the day will go by quickly for her until I'm home.

tomboytown Thu 10-Oct-19 11:54:22

Can she not have a friend over?

runwithme Thu 10-Oct-19 11:56:48

Can she meet you for lunch?

bethany39 Thu 10-Oct-19 11:58:01

Could you schedule a different day with the two of you to have your relaxed day with Karaoke etc? Sounds like she really values a special day just the two of you which is fab smile so I would try to make that happen even if it's not Xmas Eve!

To be honest if you try to exactly replicate your usual day together I think she will end up feeling a little disappointed by the day because you're not there - so I would probably go for something completely different to the norm so she doesn't automatically make the association's of "this would be more fun if mum was here".

Do you trust her to use the oven unsupervised? When I was about 13 I used to like baking, and she could bake something that everyone could have the next day and praise her for! Or maybe some crafty bits and she can make decorations or presents?

NaomiFromMilkShake Thu 10-Oct-19 11:59:01

I would leave a nice breakfast and then when you get home have Christmas Eve on speed.....

Really loud music, house slightly too warm, if you aren't going to drink it red wine of the cheapest description mulling on the hob. Decent wine if you are.

And so on and so forth...

User478 Thu 10-Oct-19 12:05:10

If she likes a scavenger hunt, would she like a treasure hunt around the house for a Christmas Eve box?

If she's happy to use the oven she could bake some gingerbread? Make a gingerbread house? (Takes ages, involves a mountain of sweets)

Would she like to facetime relatives (if they would be free? -maybe give them a heads up first!)

Gigantic jigsaw in front of the telly?

andannabegins Thu 10-Oct-19 12:05:23

I have almost the opposite. My 9 year old is in pants this year and so will be out of the house doing 2 shows Christmas Eve, we have to try to fit all Christmas Eve into the morning!

andannabegins Thu 10-Oct-19 12:05:54

Panto, stupid bloody antocorect

HappyHollyween Thu 10-Oct-19 12:07:59

Thank you - her friends are all doing their own thing with families Christmas Eve. Already feel like I'm putting the mum out who offered to have her the 23rd. We live rurally so our village bus wont be running Christmas Eve for her to get anywhere either. She'll be stuck at home on her todd. My lunch break is only 45 mins so I can't pop back either to meet her for lunch.

I think you're right - we'll try to do our usual Christmas Eve stuff over the weekend when I'm off instead of her doing it solo when I'm at work. I don't yet trust her with the oven but she could maybe do some decorating of biscuits/cakes etc that we make the night before.

I'm back pretty early (4.30pm) so would be possible to have a mini/speedy version of our usual day that evening.

Thanks all!

HappyHollyween Thu 10-Oct-19 12:09:45

House scavenger hunt is a fab idea too! She will love it. We're going to visit family Christmas Day but I'm sure they'd love to hear from her Christmas Eve too. We can schedule in a Whatsapp call for her. Thanks all! Feeling better about it so much already.

Coffeeandchocolate9 Thu 10-Oct-19 12:11:05

I think something that's not the usual stuff she'd do with you would be good. Do your usual stuff when you get home grin

Peppermint creme recipe and ingredients? Icing biscuits that are already made? I like the sound of a treasure hunt around the house! Naice hot chocolate with marshmallows etc.

BlueCornsihPixie Thu 10-Oct-19 12:19:39

I don't think she needs too much, if you are home at 4.30 you can still have most of your day together

I like the idea of laying her out a nice breakfast for when she gets up and a house scavenger hunt.

TheSandgroper Thu 10-Oct-19 12:22:36

There are weeks until Christmas. At 12, it’s time she became au fait with the oven. Now is the time to start practicing. Frozen chips on a tray for a start followed by a basic cake. Then she can have a simple recipe for Christmas Eve.

alwayscauseastir Thu 10-Oct-19 12:24:52

What area of work do you do OP? I'm NHS and it's very rare we work until the finish. Last year was 2pm if I recall. I've also had the same whilst working in small companies. Unless it's retail you might not have to stay all day?

Crawley65 Thu 10-Oct-19 12:25:00

I’d do all you normally do once you are home. Leave her a nice breakfast, a craft jewellery or such, m she could complete whilst watching tv. Then you’ll be home.

Straycatstrut Thu 10-Oct-19 13:04:32

Aww sad I think it'll be sad for her as she's not used to it. I did xmas eves and days without my dad as a kid too (firefighter) but was used to it from birth, and it made the times he was there much more special. Can you ring/text her on your break? Can she have a friend/family member over?

My kids are only 3 & 7 and it's ALL about xmas eve too. It's just far more exciting, it's when the big 'magic' happens, even when you're 12 and the santa stuff is all over, it's still magical. Lots of time to plan something now!

user1573334 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:46:48

Oh you can still do all your usual Christmas Eve things like seeing lights etc if you finish at half 4. By the time she has had a lie in, had a bath (with a christmassy bath bomb maybe) wrapped her presents and watched a movie you would be back.

I must say I am a bit surprised at the idea of leaving a 12 year old home alone all day though.

EmmaGrundyForPM Thu 10-Oct-19 13:53:19

We live rurally so our village bus wont be running Christmas Eve for her to get anywhere either.

Assuming you live in this country, Christmas Eve isn't bank holiday so the buses will be running as usual. She can't be the only one of her friends whose parents have to work on Christmas Eve so maybe she could pair up with another friend?

ChicCroissant Thu 10-Oct-19 13:54:41

How about a few small things to open as the day goes on? Like some music, magazine, film, food treat - could be in boxes with a time on them, it's noon so open the box marked noon.

Barbarara Thu 10-Oct-19 14:26:19

When I was 12, if I was left home alone for an hour my dm would leave a long list of chores to keep me out of trouble grin That’s not the list you’re after but it made me wonder if there was something that she could get on with so that when you do get home you two have more time in the evening? Peeling veg, making stuffing, assembling a trifle, peeling the spuds?

Spookydot Thu 10-Oct-19 14:35:28

The scavenger hunt for a Xmas eve box Ian great idea.
Not helpful but, If it’s was me, if I couldn’t take A/L, I would probably phone in sick to work. Ultimately work will get over it (assuming you’re on good terms and have a good reputation) and you’re daughter will be thrilled!

EmmaGrundyForPM Thu 10-Oct-19 14:45:27

@Spookydot that's a crap suggestion. Many workplaces only allow a certain number of staff t take AL on Christmas Eve. The OP has already said shes not had to work. it before. If she calls in sick on Christmas eve it puts additional strain on the staff who are working and who are hoping to get away on time to.be with their families but can't because their colleague has pulled a sickie. If one of my colleagues did this I certainly wouldn't feel very friendly towards them.

OP the scavenger hunt sounds fun.

HappyHollyween Thu 10-Oct-19 15:06:26

Thanks again for the suggestions. Unfortunately, I'm in a clinical role so very unlikely i'll get away early (I need to be really strict with myself to ensure I'm at least away on time) and I'd cause an absolute nightmare for lots of people if I phoned in sick. Village bus goes by ours and into town at 7.30am, 11.30 am and 3pm. They've already said the 3pm bus won't be running on Christmas Eve. And that's a long time for DD to spend in town (shops will also be shutting early) or disrupting her friends' plans with family anyway.

lots of great idea here and I'll put them to DD later. Oh yes - I'll definitely be leaving her some jobs to do too! smile

picklemepopcorn Thu 10-Oct-19 15:11:02

Some fun Christmas prep could be making crackers, paper chains, decorating the table...

Willow2017 Thu 10-Oct-19 15:28:30

Not helpful but, If it’s was me, if I couldn’t take A/L, I would probably phone in sick to work.
Really? 1st time in 12yrs op has had to work and you want her to skive off so someone else has to do it for her? How selfish can you Get.

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