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It’s my last (probably) Xmas with the kids. Ideas to make it special

(151 Posts)
Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 21-Oct-19 17:06:15

I have been diagnosed with Secondary Breast Cancer, a particularly nasty type which means My prognosis is 9-12 months.

I’m feeling physically fine on this chemo so looking forward to Xmas with the kids aged 16, 15, 12, 10 and 3.

We already have little traditions like new pjs on Xmas Eve. But this year I will have the whole day with them instead of splitting it with ex so I get to make them dinner etc.

Any other ideas to make it special?

20viona Mon 21-Oct-19 17:08:45

Sorry to hear this. I'd say take tons of photos with everyone so everyone can look back on them fondly. Don't just keep them on phones though, print them off!

PlasticPatty Mon 21-Oct-19 17:14:57

Ongoing 'Best Hug Ever' competition. Every moment will be precious, whatever you do.

Pikachoob Mon 21-Oct-19 17:15:01

Sorry to read this OP. Not sure about Christmas as such but I lost my Mum and Dad in an accident when I as a teenager. I would suggest writing out your own recipe book of anything you make that they enjoy. Despite trying loads of recipes there’s loads of things my Mum made that I just can’t recreate because I don’t know exactly how she did them - gravy, steak pie, chilli, chicken soup...

It’s quite niche and may just be me who wishes I had that, but growing up and even now, I just really want my Mums cooking sometimes.

Rosehassometoes Mon 21-Oct-19 17:16:33

Maybe buy everyone a nice blanket to snuggle under the sofa with. They could then use these at future Christmases.

Write down any special family recipes in a recipe book for each child.
If you don’t have any perhaps choose some to try in December with your older children. My kids choose mocktails for us to make each year.

Make a Christmas cake and make a wish as you stir it.

Buy them each a set of Christmas pudding charms. I loved these in my own childhood.

NeverTwerkNaked Mon 21-Oct-19 17:16:46

What a glorious number of children smile. Hopefully the 3 year old will keep everyone in the moment.

Things we enjoy (as a big family too)
-making Christmas decorations together and decorating the house
-making a gingerbread house
-christmas walks to took at the Christmas lights
- finding a game we can all play together
- watching a Christmas film with blankets and hot chocolate

Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 21-Oct-19 17:17:07

OMG @pikachoob!! My 10 year old would love that! She loves cooking and she loves my dinners. Brilliant idea 😊

Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 21-Oct-19 17:18:01

Also the children don’t really know the prognosis is that bad. They know I have cancer and that it won’t go away but they are all crazy optimistic

Ricekrispie22 Mon 21-Oct-19 17:18:33

I am so so sorry flowers flowers

Raid the family photo album for half a dozen snaps of past Christmases. Stick them on a large sheet of paper with some funny captions, put some tinsel round it and pin it to the wall.
Make your own festive playlist to play throughout the day, and they can play it in the future to remember you.
Hide some of the smaller presents around the house - under the beds, behind the curtains, in the cupboards - and get everyone to go and find them. If anyone finds someone else's, they have to leave it where it is - and not let on!
Fill your own crackers.
Place disposable cameras on the Christmas table so everyone can take funny, spontaneous pictures of each other.
Switch Christmas lunch to the evening and eat it by candlelight. Afterwards, In the evening, settle down to watch your favourite Christmas TV programme with a REAL hot chocolate.


comedycentral Mon 21-Oct-19 17:18:52

Get the older ones to help with planning and cooking, help them to feel part of those traditions. It will mean so much to them in the future.

Record the day if you can. Just the normality. I always just set up the camera in the lounge on Xmas day, we have all these random yet normal moments captured. All the real stuff like the cat messing about in the wrapping or those looks that you give to your children when they open their gifts.

Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 21-Oct-19 17:19:13

Making Xmas decorations is a good one as well. Something they can keep

CMOTDibbler Mon 21-Oct-19 17:19:25

I'm really sorry to hear that. How about making a photo book of 'the sharpandshineyteeth christmas' so you can document all the little things you do around christmas and any recipes you use - the sort of thing that you wouldn't necessarily remember the rest of the year like having hot chocolate in town on christmas eve, or always using a particular spice in your biscuits.
If you have decorations with memories tied up in them, document that too unless you think your ex would know all the stories. Maybe buy all the kids a special tree ornament each?

Rosehassometoes Mon 21-Oct-19 17:21:47

Another thing your younger children might like is a Christmas book advent calendar. You could even write the numbers inside the books so they can read them again in future years.

Have you ever been to a Christingle service? I loved the candles as a child, it felt magical.

Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 21-Oct-19 17:26:38

@Rosehassometoes , a Christmas advent book? Not sure I understand??!?

We went to a lovely Xmas service last year. I would like to go again

itsgettingweird Mon 21-Oct-19 17:34:32

Christmas church service. The children's carols and nativity are usually magical. (Even if you aren't religious)

Make photo frames. I use to buy the clip front frames and back the wooden part. Then add photos and captions etc. This would be a great thing to do between Xmas and new year.

Could you go to a panto or ringo centre - something big that they'll remember?

We have had fun before doing scavenger hunts. It's great if you buy a material advent calendar and out clues in each day where they have to search for something.

Sorry your going through this.

2018SoFarSoGreat Mon 21-Oct-19 17:37:34

SharpandShiny what shitty news, I'm so sorry.

I lost my DM this year - I know, totally different at my advanced age! - but still wish I could hear her voice. Please record something for each of your DC. Hard as that is, perhaps it could be you reading a favorite book, The Night Before Christmas or the like, to them? Even the teenagers will treasure that. In fact, if you all read a bit, then you'd have all of your voices together for the future.

Whatever you do, be sure you can savor every moment. I wish you peace, on this journey flowers

CadburysTastesVileNow Mon 21-Oct-19 17:37:51

Have a photo taken with each child individually, as well as all together

fuzzymoon Mon 21-Oct-19 17:43:41

Buy a pretty pot / jar and little squares of card from a craft shop. Everyone gets a card and they have to write or draw something they'd like to do as a family in the next couple of months.

Make a Christmas pudding together. This is before Christmas but it's tradition that everyone in the family stirs it and makes a wish.

Christmas pass the parcel each layer has a Christmas dare not a treat. Like sing we wish you a merry Christmas stood on one leg. Eat three mince pies in 30 seconds. Etc. The middle prize is a funny Christmas hat.

On each plate put daft things. (Tiger is your friend here) like a pair of Christmas glasses. Silly wig. Hair band with baubles dangling off it. Lots of fun photo opportunities.

The eat chocolate game. The one where you sit in a circle. Roll a dice. If you get a six you have to put on a hat. Gloves. Scarf and eat as much chocolates you can only using a knife and fork till the next person rolls a six then they grab it off them. That's a good fun silly game.

Balloon modelling kit.

Musical Crackers that each have a whistle in them and they are numbered. You then follow the numbers on the sheet and it plays a Christmas song.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas.

SunshineCake Mon 21-Oct-19 17:44:45

Keep the main meal at lunch time. Can't see how eating the roast by candle light would work with the reality of Christmas Day.

For the little one build a bear with your voice and something I can't think of yet with your voice for the older ones. Something with what you always say to each child.

Recipe book, I've done one for ds 1 who has just gone to uni and I have a few meals where I add a secret ingredient that isn't in the recipe books.

I am really sorry you are all going through this.

Themazeoflife Mon 21-Oct-19 17:44:48

So sorry to read.

Do you have the money to buy them all a photo blanket each as a Christmas present?

Find as many photos of you with each child and some family ones to make each blanket individual to them?

Pashazade Mon 21-Oct-19 17:46:37

So sorry to hear this 💐. But yes to recording your voice or a video for them. Lost my mum when I was fourteen and I cannot remember her voice and I would love to be able to. The wonders of modern tech means that it is a very easy to create but very precious gift. I love the idea of all reading a story together and recording it. Buy them each a special decoration for the tree that will be their's to keep forever and have on their trees when they are grown.

Elbowedout Mon 21-Oct-19 17:49:33

I am sorry to hear your sad news.
There are some brilliant ideas here. I particularly like the cook book as I regularly wish I could ask my mum for her recipes. Write it in your own handwriting rather than type it if you can - it will be so much more personal. I wish I had kept more things with my parents' writing on.
I was an adult when I lost my parents but my happiest memories are very much of ordinary every day things rather than special events. I think a normal, happy Christmas Day will be the best memory for them. Take lots of pictures and video so that the ordinary things become special memories.
I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas

Geminiwitch22 Mon 21-Oct-19 17:50:51

I'm so sorry to hear this.
Photos throughout the day
Get everyone cooking
Create a photo book for each child with photos of you them and each other and put captions or messages
Letters for your kids big birthdays or occasions (on your 18th or on your first day of school)
Record Xmas for them to watch back
Big hugs

Livebythecoast Mon 21-Oct-19 17:52:44

Wow, now I'm all teary. flowers
I think the recipe idea is great. I use to cook with my Mum and her roasts were amazing. She isn't here anymore but I learnt from the best, proper Yorkshire puddings, delicious gravy, crispy roasts etc.
Can you give them a personalised notebook too? Not on the high street/funky pigeon do them. They could write you letters or just their thoughts - Maybe the younger one could draw pictures instead. You could write in each individual one, a special message for them.
I cannot imagine how you feel but my thoughts are with you all x

Sharpandshineyteeth Mon 21-Oct-19 18:05:04

I will do the individual cards/letters/recordings at a later date. It’s a bit too raw for me at the moment.

Some brilliant Xmas ideas on this thread though.

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