How are you managing your own expectations re Christmas?

(60 Posts)
lofthouse Wed 18-Nov-20 06:11:12

It's been and continues to be a deeply shitty year for many. I have been hanging on for a decent Christmas and seeing my family but it seems pretty unlikely - I'm really struggling with this.

DH and I both work full time, we have a 6,4 and 2 year old and the 6 year old has additional needs. As we are in England under the rule of six, we haven't really seen or done anything with anyone for two months. Work is stressful with 12 -14 hour days.

I have been holding on to seeing my parents whom in a normal wold I see once every 6-8 weeks. I have seen them once this year. They are in their 70's fit and healthy but dad has a benign lung condition which could make him more susceptible. They live in a different part of the UK 5 hours drive away. We therefore self isolated for ten days before seeing them in the summer. Planned to do it again for Christmas (now for 14 days). Looks like that won't now be allowed (or the period when it will be allowed won't give us enough time to self isolate).

I am bereft and wondering if I should take the kids out of school, so we can isolate ? I am so conscious at my parents age that we just don't know what could happen and the next time we could isolate and see them will be Summer 2021. On the other hand this would mean the kids missing all of their school Christmas activities and us missing the one activity I had booked for them at the start of the Christmas holidays.

OP’s posts: |
FortunesFave Wed 18-Nov-20 06:30:45

Yes take the kids out and isolate. They're won't affect them. My Mum is currently in hospital and she has COPD and a positive COVID result and I'm in Australia.

I have no way of seeing her and probably won't now, ever again. It's no use me getting maudlin about it but if I could see her just by taking my kids out of school then I would. Good luck sounds hard havving to work those hours.x

Sussexroadleyst Wed 18-Nov-20 06:33:56

I'll be taking my son out of school 2 weeks before Christmas and self isolating with him so we can see my mum for Christmas.

Mindymomo Wed 18-Nov-20 06:35:18

I think like you many people are taking their children out one week early so they can isolate and see grandparents at Christmas. I would if I had school age children, it will be more important as a whole family to get together.

justanotherneighinparadise Wed 18-Nov-20 06:36:15

I’m not fussed about Christmas and only have a tiny family so it makes no difference to me. I do feel bad for those who have huge extended families and really make the most of the festive period.

User158340 Wed 18-Nov-20 06:40:44

There's a pandemic on that spreads the more you socially mix. Therefore I won't socially mix outside my household.

No different to now.

ChasingRainbows19 Wed 18-Nov-20 06:42:10

I can’t isolate I work in a hospital. Both my siblings work in high risk areas too. We won’t be having our normal Christmas. Our dad is vulnerable and we couldn’t risk being that close after keeping him safe all year.

We all will be doorstep visiting throughout the day. He is completely onboard and would rather be here next Christmas. Plans in place to all catch up properly next year when things aren’t as crazy/ vaccine has rolled out hopefully.

Will still see people but it’ll be shorter and outside/doorsteps. We’ve been in restrictions in GM since July so kind of got used to it anyway.


WhentheDealGoesDown Wed 18-Nov-20 06:42:29

There is usually just DH and I and adult DS comes down usually for about 4 days by train, he lives about 150 miles away. This year DH will go and pick him up instead of DS using the train. So just the 3 of us as usual.

Jroseforever Wed 18-Nov-20 06:42:59

If I were your parents I would be desperately encouraging you not to isolate so that the children didn’t miss all the fun run up to Christmas.

I have booked ice skating and panto and know that my children’s schools were try to do as much as they can to make the build up festive and fun.

I’d see my parents in the new year.

ChasingRainbows19 Wed 18-Nov-20 06:45:06

Interesting though reading a thread this morning that schools may close as some are struggling badly, people in that thread are the opposite. Schools can’t close as they can’t work if schools close etc they have to carry on. Yet on this thread people are taking their children out of school to celebrate Christmas confused I’m sure the frazzled school staff won’t complain to be honest.

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Wed 18-Nov-20 06:47:44

We’re expats so I haven’t seen my family in more than a year. We did manage to get to DH home country in the summer and at October half term, so we’ve seen his family at least. Hopefully DFIL May be able to travel to us for Christmas but it’s still unclear. So many things like Christmas markets and the kids carol concerts have been cancelled.

We’re trying to focus on the things we CAN do and the time we have together as a family, Such as cutting our own tree and decorating together, lots of Christmas crafts, cozy Christmas movies etc. Which we may not always have time to do because we’re always so busy. I think taking time to appreciate the less-busy aspect of this Christmas is also important.

We’re also putting together a Zooming schedule for 24th and 25th to spread out the family calls and ensure we’re not disturbed or disturbing whilst we’re trying to cook/eating/present opening etc.

Sussexroadleyst Wed 18-Nov-20 06:47:51

Interesting though reading a thread this morning that schools may close as some are struggling badly, people in that thread are the opposite. Schools can’t close as they can’t work if schools close etc they have to carry on. Yet on this thread people are taking their children out of school to celebrate Christmas

Wow stop press: everyone is different and has different circumstances!

Peppafrig Wed 18-Nov-20 06:48:41

Yes take them out to isolate I wouldn’t give it a second thought . They won’t miss much at school with festivities. Our school has cancelled everything . Church services and pantos etc. So they won’t miss out.

Tumbleweed101 Wed 18-Nov-20 06:51:19

We’re planning for a quiet Christmas, usually my parents and brother come over. My children aren’t happy about it but hopefully we can drop off gifts and say hello outside and maybe see them properly for new year once everyone has been off school and work for a couple weeks.

ChasingRainbows19 Wed 18-Nov-20 07:51:02

@Sussexroadleyst no need. School can’t shut for children’s mental health, their friends/socialising , education. All very valid points) It’s bad for children not to leave the house when self isolating.

On the other side some are happy for children to isolate at home for ten to fourteen days prior to Christmas so they can spend time with family at Christmas.

I’m not saying either is right or wrong. You are correct everyone has differences. It just showing how different attitudes are towards the pandemic/schooling and Christmas. I’m sure we would all like the opportunity to isolate for two weeks so we could spend time with our families safety. Unfortunately most of us can’t and won’t be able to see them in a normal way.

DancingGuru Wed 18-Nov-20 08:08:59

I think if you can self isolate for 2 weeks then you should. My kids are older so we’ve decided not to take them out of school but that means we won’t be seeing my parents over xmas. It’s just too risky - they are 6 hours away too so have only seen them once this year.

Angel2702 Wed 18-Nov-20 08:17:00

I’m trying to make the best of it but I’m really upset. We’ve never not had a family Christmas. It’s the first Christmas without my Nan and not only has my Mum got to deal with that we can’t even celebrate with them.

It’s a case of trying to keep it nice for the kids but I’m dreading Christmas stuck at home in a tiny house with 2 autistic children and no support. We can’t even fit a proper table in our living room so even Christmas dinner will be shit.

Most of the Christmas traditions we can still do but they feel empty doing it without family.

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Wed 18-Nov-20 08:23:32

Regardless of the Government guidelines, we'll self isolate when they finish school, and see our families. We aren't working outside of the home or going out for any shopping. We're prioritising time with grandparents over other socialising or visiting any venues (not that I imagine there'll be much of that available).

IceCreamAndCandyfloss Wed 18-Nov-20 08:26:54


There's a pandemic on that spreads the more you socially mix. Therefore I won't socially mix outside my household.

No different to now.

Us too. Not worth the risk.

We will have a quiet Christmas. I’d rather forgo activities in the run up and keep us and and others safe.

Imagine what schools and workplaces will be like in January if everyone has attended events, activities and mixed households indoors.

starfish4 Wed 18-Nov-20 08:47:48

We decided in the summer Xmas would be simple. Dd is home from uni early so at least we have her. I work in a school so can't isolate two weeks before Xmas. A tough decision has to do made over having DM - in all fairness she's said she'd like to see us at some point even if just for a walk individually so lucky to have that option.
None of my DH's family are mixing this year, so it'll be a case of getting presents to them and zooming two lots. We might suggest a walk with the other family, even if just one of us goes.

I think for me, trying to look forward to keeping it simple and being selfish doing it our way, and holding onto the fact things will improve. Also, the fact no one in our immediate family has caught it, although, I do know some that have and all struggled with it.

Tickly Wed 18-Nov-20 08:50:16

Can you have a delayed Xmas so they do end of term activities then isolate and return to school late instead?

User158340 Wed 18-Nov-20 08:52:12

I find it very concerning that the government are briefing about what would effectively be a 5 day amnesty, encouraging everyone to mix and meet up.

The messaging should be to self isolate before Christmas Day if you mix with other households.

We'll all be paying for this from January.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 18-Nov-20 08:56:37

I think it would be mean to make the kids miss Christmas activities.
I am just accepting it and hanging on in the hope of seeing them at half term. They are older than yours though so more chance of them having had the vaccine by then.
I have never had Christmas without my parents but it’s not the end of the world. Everyone staying healthy is more important.

frozendaisy Wed 18-Nov-20 09:12:33

We are going to get the solo living alone grandparent at some point before Christmas and they can stay for however long. They know the risks especially if children in school. But there's not a lot we can do about that.

justanotherneighinparadise Wed 18-Nov-20 09:49:32

Is there the ability to take the kids ice scating/panto in the uk this year? I would assume not but maybe there is abs I didn’t know 🤔

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