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Okay. “Quiet Christmas just us” tips PLEASE!(45 Posts)
We have DD (7) and DS (4) who have been desperately missing and looking forward to seeing all their grandparents, and obvs that’s all shot to hell now. I’m trying to think how I can put a positive spin on this / how we can make the day good. (We’re all sick of each other already, which is a great starting point )
So, those of you who are good at quiet no-travel family Christmases, especially for my DCs’ age where they want excitement and relatives to fuss over them... tips please??? What has worked/not worked/what makes a quiet Christmas Day special and memorable?
Ask them what they would like? you can start some new traditions a walk before lunch? We like games
mariokart and a new Disney film in the afternoon.
Every day do:
Quiet time listening to stories/music in bedrooms an hour or so after lunch
Go for a walk/play party games like musical statues if the weather is too bad
Do a Christmas craft
Read something together
Make sure they play with their xmas presents!! Lots of films, walks, baths with toys, drawing, playdough etc etc. Just relax and do whatever works for you all basically - dont put pressure on yourself to make every moment magical
We always stay home at Christmas, I wouldn’t dream of dragging the DCs anywhere Xmas day. We do presents, light breakfast, kids play with presents, grandparents pop in for half an hour (obviously that won’t be happening this year), family brunch, movies, games, kids play with presents, we help build put them together play games then Christmas dinner with games after. I always get crackers with games in them, wind up racing Santa’s, trivial pursuit, guess who etc... also put out a colouring table cloth in the morning with crayons on the table and throughout the day we all colour bits in. We might go for a walk at some point.
Spread out the present opening, make it a bit of a slow thing where someone "plays santa" or you take it in turns to choose a present, find out who it's to and give it to the person. No piles. No presents unwrapped at the same time. See what each person has got and talk about it.
Board games/a walk after dinner. Watch a Christmas film together.
4 people is enough to play Charades or other games like who am I - I'd do with animals, to keep it simple for the youngest, but it can be really silly and fun.
Adults get tipsy, it helps!
Video calls to different relatives is nice as well. We have usually done this as we live abroad. At that age I wouldn't keep the call any longer than 20 mins. But you can do a voice call to anyone you want to speak to for longer.
Pick a film series and watch one every day. Home made popcorn and a mug of hot chocolate.
Oh, and board games/card games.
Place marking as I need these tips too. I haven’t told my girls yet but will tomorrow morning and am dreading their reactions. They were longing to see Nan and grandad.
So far I’m thinking:
Kids film (Netflix)
Pizza delivery on Xmas Eve
Christmas glo disco one night maybe - I have glo sticks
Some great ideas:
Baking - I could make mince pies with them as I had mincemeat already
I will be aiming to spend the entire day just maintaining the “merry” level of alcohol, Bertie, don’t worry!!
I like the colouring table cloth idea, that would be a bit different for us, and as you say, something they and we can dip in and out of.
One of the main presents DS is excited for and the reason I’m charging all the rechargeable batteries is with my DPs unfortunately. Doubt they’ll be able to post it in time but yes, playing with their toys will take up some time.
We don't have much family nearby so always have a quiet one. Morning we generally go to church but appreciate not everyone's thing.
Presents then late lunch, then a walk as it gets dark to admire the Christmas lights on houses nearby, back to play with presents, film on at some stage and snacks available for everyone to help themselves.
I've always made a nice handheld breakfast (usually cinnamon buns or Danish pastries, occasionally maple-bacon muffins), then we take turns to open gifts. We eat lunch at about 2, then, after The Queen, watch a film. We play cards or board games with sandwiches and cake into the evening. Boxing day, we always, ALWAYS go for a walk on the beach. We are v. lucky that it's two minutes away and a pretty quiet place at this time of year. Merry Christmas to all, stay safe 🎅🏼 🎄
Make Christmas Eve an extra festive day to stretch out the fun and anticipation (because on Christmas Day they might just want to play with their new toys all day long).
Plenty of ideas for festive fun on this recent MN thread
On the day itself everyone gets to pick what they want for breakfast, no matter how out there, silly, or odd.
Lunch can be a picnic of favourite party foods - turn out all the lights close the curtains and eat on a blanket by the tree.
Serve Christmas dinner at dinner time - it’s much more relaxed that way and no one needs to stress. Basically just put the turkey in the oven sometime in the afternoon and let it cook until it’s ready.
DD2 was 5 in May and we had an unexpected and disproportionate amount of fun with pin the horn on the unicorn, so I've bought stick the nose on Rudolph for Xmas for about £2 on ebay.
There's lots of trails round here, elves in windows, snow designs in shop windows etc so that should take up a bit of time.
Easy festive baking activity - use any biscuit dough you fancy, cut out tall triangle shapes for trees, bake, then spread with melted chocolate and let them decorate with mini smarties, gold or silver balls and any other sprinkles you have to hand.
How about doing a zoom or Skype session? Or some sort of face chat thing? That way they can still "see" their grandparents.
One day/moment at a time. Be in the present.
Go out every day even just for a welly walk.
Any activity your can do, over Skype! We have played games, read books and done a lot of baking with my parents and sister. She are really up for half an hour of entertaining the children (4 and 9) while I get to sit down!
Normally I lead the baking but this week my 9 year old is teaching them to make mug cakes!!
Do you have board games? My 4 year old has just started getting games. She can do dobble and jenga. She can do picture uno but not the numbers yet. Oh and guess who. It’s brilliant listening to how she explains facial features!
Pen and paper games are great fun as well. Google for some suggestions, do ones you know (hangman, dot squares, consequences etc), make up your own - we invented a squiggly line game DS1 loved at that age. You draw a squiggle and the next person has to complete it into a picture.
Re the present at grandparents, are you able to Amazon Prime a new one to you? Then you can return the one at GP's
to Amazon when you get a chance.
We have never had GP’s fussing over DC on Christmas day and our two have always had a lovely day. We have enjoyed time with the kids had drink with lunch its always been low key and relaxing,
PJ day or favourite clothes day rule applies to adults too.
Choccie for breakfast
Playing board games
Watching films on TV/Christmas telly
Winter walk/cycle (if PJ’s not too obviously PJ’s when our were young we put a coat on over PJ’s and went out on new bikes).
Christmas food indoor picnic
Christmas crafts one day
Lego building or whatever
One friend used to do Christmas dinner on Christmas eve then do turkey and chips for dinner on Christmas day so no stress and she could spend more time with her DC.
You could do a Zoom call and do a Christmas mini talent show, family quiz, Christmas treasure hunt or a combination at an agreed time (with it being a draw) if you fancied. We have always made do with phone calls.
Oddly passive aggressive line in your post
I wouldn’t dream of dragging the DCs anywhere Xmas day
OK good for you but op didn't ask for your judgement.
We've been doing Xmas just us 3 for years.
Get up whenever, but all together. Downstairs in pj's. OH makes tea and turns the oven on, pops in frozen croissants. Open a few presents. Have croissants and more tea. Open more, eat chocolate. Enjoy presents for a bit. Go for showers (OH first as he's the cook). Play with DD or watch a film whilst OH cooks. Eat about 2 or 3pm - OH cooks whatever we've asked for rather than turkey. Watch another film, TOTP, Dr Who, play with presents. Play board games and eat snacky/party food when ready. Drink throughout, eat whatever you want when you want. Chill.
Tell them it's a themed Christmas i.e. re-enact Christmas 1975 - with a power cut thrown in for added interest.