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Worried about child growing up, so trying to fit in Xmas activities

(199 Posts)
Greenbutterlfy566 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:17:37

My son is 7 and I’m acutely aware of how fast time is going.

I’m panicking about the Christmas activities and places to go to and things to see before he grows up. I want to get it ‘right’ I worry that I haven’t taken him to many places before he stops believing in Santa. I don’t want to make a mistake of missing amazing things that can only have the ‘magic’ through children’s eyes before it’s too late.

I mean things like big days out to theme parks and Christmas holidays etc.

Is anyone else like this?

Gatehouse77 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:21:19


There is no 'right' way to get it. You do what's right for you and your family.

For the most part, I don't give a shit what anyone else chooses to do either. You don't have to spend vast amounts of money to create 'magic'. I just want my kids to look back and have fond memories of the time we spent together and the traditions we've created.

BillHadersNewWife Fri 22-Nov-19 09:21:43

No I don't think that theme parks are where the magic of Christmas lies OP.

It can be found in the most ordinary places.

My DD is 15 and her happiest Christmas memories are of going to the local village Christmas craft fair, having cake, entering the raffle and buying a knitted mouse.

She also talks about the walks in the cold weather, frosty trees, seeing the lights in town...all the shops full of nice things...making cards and decorations at home with me.

Making biscuits, decorating the tree...carols on the radio.

Neither of my DC got taken to Christmas themed events apart from the village craft fair!

Spinderellacutituponetime Fri 22-Nov-19 09:25:51

You are over-thinking it. Christmas is magical because of the time you spend with each other not which theme parks you go to. We never do anything too exciting. Just bed down, play board games, watch films and eat nice stuff. I make sure the house looks all cosy but that’s about it. Too much pressure for all and the kids are knackered after the bonkers school term.

AuntieMarys Fri 22-Nov-19 09:28:07

You're being ridiculous and getting sucked into the awful consumerism of Xmas.

TakeMeToYourLiar Fri 22-Nov-19 09:28:07

Last year DS went to Legoland, Chessington, abd a grotto

His favourite: seeing the tree's in Tesco with his Nan while eating an apple

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Fri 22-Nov-19 09:29:35

Christmas magic is spending time with family and time together for us.

We have never done Santa and yet every single Christmas has been magical if you ask my grown up son.

SleepingStandingUp Fri 22-Nov-19 09:29:41

I'd stop stressing over the whole #MakingMemories stuff op and just do stuff yo u an afford and both enjoy. Yes Lapland would be cool, and a Christmas trip to Disney Land and a guy dressed as Santa dancing on the roof at midnight on Christmas Eve but they'll still remember all the other stuff that you consider routine and banal

Theflying19 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:30:11

Less is more. It's mainly commercialised claptrap, you do realise that?

Fakeflowersaremynewnormal Fri 22-Nov-19 09:30:51

Christmas will still be a lot of fun once your dc stop believing in Santa. I think you should only go to things you would enjoy yourself, if you love theme parks the dc will enjoy it because you will be happy and make it fun. If you do it as part of an anxiety driven bucket list they probably will pick up on that and not have such a great time.

Elbeagle Fri 22-Nov-19 09:31:02

Gosh no. In fact I’m doing the opposite. The years we’ve tried to cram everything in have been stressful and exhausting, and no one has enjoyed it as much as they ‘should’. This year we’re doing one ‘paid’ activity (a Woodland train ride/grotto at a farm) and that’s it. They have all the school stuff going on, and nice things at home like decorating the tree and making a gingerbread house. That is plenty!

TheElfFellOffTheShelf Fri 22-Nov-19 09:33:05

No. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg to make things "magical". The best and most memorable occasions come naturally and can't be forced. Thinking back to my own childhood, the Christmases that stand out are the ones when 20+ people came for dinner and the dinner was so late it was funny. The magic came from the people, not the experiences.

UpToonGirl Fri 22-Nov-19 09:36:28

On one hand I do get where you're coming from, mine are 2, 5 and 8 - I feel like this is the last year they will all 'believe'. On the other hand I love Christmas time and all the activities and I don't believe so I don't think that takes away from the enjoyment of this time of year.

ChristineBaskets Fri 22-Nov-19 09:37:28

I found Christmas utterly magical as a child and my parents didn't do any of those things with me. Not that they were neglectful, it just wasn't how things were in the 70s. I visited a store santa maybe. We didn't even have any decorations up until Christmas Day, my mom put them up when I went to bed on Christmas Eve!

Manufacturers and Big Christmas invest millions in making us feel pressure to buy everything and do every festive activity, and that everyone else is doing it, and if we don't keep up we are failures. If anything I think that this overkill takes away the magic of Christmas. Just relax and enjoy the simple things like watching a feel good festive film or doing some simple baking together.

BarkandCheese Fri 22-Nov-19 09:38:04

Sometimes the more you do the less magical it gets. Too much is overwhelming, too many Santa’s create confusion and doubt. Just keep it simple, one visit to Santa, a trip into town after dark to see the lights and have a hot chocolate, find a community carol singing event and join in with that.

MatildaTheCat Fri 22-Nov-19 09:39:34

Children look back on their early Christmas memories as a generic time as in your family always did x on Christmas Eve and presents given at y point.

They won’t remember theme parks and big ticket events with the type of nostalgia and magic I think you are trying to create.

Less really is more you know.

DefConOne Fri 22-Nov-19 09:42:03

Less is more. My girls are 12 and 9. They love a visit to Eden project for ice skating, local NT place all lit up at night. Their favourite thing is ‘cheese picnic’ (wine for the grown ups) in front of the log burner with a family film on. Also making and decorating biscuits and just hanging out together. The 9 year has many a happy hour with the Argos catalogue making her list.

doritosdip Fri 22-Nov-19 09:42:14

Christmas doesn't stop being great once you stop believing.
I have 3 teens and Xmas makes them positively gush about fairy lights, pigs in blankets, trees, snow... You have been conned by marketers that theme parks etc need to be done before he stops believing.

megletthesecond Fri 22-Nov-19 09:43:58

I think you're over thinking it. All the commercialised stuff is the opposite of what Christmas stands for.
Go to a carol or christingle service instead.

Greenbutterlfy566 Fri 22-Nov-19 09:45:02

Thankyou everyone. sad I just think surely theme parks and holiday centres such as centre parcs, bluestone, Disney have their place? The kids always look super happy in photos.

Ragwort Fri 22-Nov-19 09:45:01

No, never did any of the 'commercial' Christmas events and neither did my DS (now 18), we all love Christmas, spending time with family and friends, Carol Services, lovely memories of cathedral Christingle Services, talking part in Nativity plays, volunteering at the old peoples' lunch on Christmas Day, even with a toddler, the old folks loved seeing my young DS and he loved all the attention grin. Traditional meals, board games, the obligatory Christmas Day walk to Church. Community Christmas carol singing, meeting the donkeys in the town square etc - none of these cost money.

My DH did take our DS to a pantomime once, they left at the interval it was so dire.

PlinkPlink Fri 22-Nov-19 09:46:20

The best parts of Christmas are time spent with your family.

I remember, very vividly, opening up our pillowcase stockings with presents on my parents bed, mum cooking roast dinner and us all eating together, reading rubbish cracker jokes, playing toys in the afternoon and watching Muppet Christmas Carol together.

Later on as I got older, we'd all stay up until christmas eve helping with the veg and preparing the meal.
We'd watch the Christmas Carol's on tv whilst we did.

Sometimes we'd go to Midnight Mass or the Christmas dinner at our local church.

But I can tell you for sure, we didnt go to lots of places to feel christmassy.
It was being with each other that mattered.

Elbeagle Fri 22-Nov-19 09:47:14

Of course they have their place. But they will probably remember a £1500 trip to Center Parcs in exactly the same way as a trip to see the Christmas lights being switched on with hot chocolate and cake.
OP were your Christmas’ magical as a child? And did you ever go to a theme park or Center Parcs?
Mine were, and we didn’t!

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Fri 22-Nov-19 09:50:39

We've never done any of the places you've listed OP,tbh I can't think of anything worse.

ThatsMeInTheSpotlight Fri 22-Nov-19 10:02:19

I think theme parks and holiday centres are fine for holidays ie a break away. I don't think they're about creating long-lasting memories of Christmas or special events.

And I say that as someone who took the DCs to Lapland (it was amazing and I'd go back because all the activities (eg sledging, ice hockey, husky rides, etc) are fab) but I have just as fond memories of going to Russia and to parts of Spain with the DCs.

What they remember is when they've been at big family parties, when they've made new friends. Seeing people they love is always their number one priority at Christmas and all the holidays.

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