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What do you do at Christmas?

(26 Posts)
TheWaspsAreEverywhere Thu 24-Oct-19 09:45:03

I was just wondering what others do at Christmas, with regards to where children spend their time, when separated. Last year (the first Christmas since we separated) I invited STBXH over on Christmas eve for tea, and then to spend Christmas and Boxing days with us, but I don't want to do that this year. Things are a bit strained between us for various reasons, although we don't argue or anything, but I certainly don't want to have him here for the length of time I did last year.

Our kids are a bit older (11 and 13), and did think about asking them what they want to do, but actually I don't think I want to give them that responsibility, because it could make them feel like they were choosing between us.

Do you do part day with one parent and part day with the other, or does the non-resident parent visit for a couple of hours to open presents, or do you alternate? I'm not sure what the best thing is to do for the kids. He only sees the kids once a week, and I don't think he'd be that bothered about not seeing them on Christmas day, so I'm not worried about upsetting him, but I obviously want to do the right thing for the kids.

OP’s posts: |
Otter71 Thu 24-Oct-19 16:08:38

What options do you have and is ex up for discussing them? I needed to know his plans by end September to allow me to offer something for the Xmas rota but he refused to even say if he is inviting his mother (which would give me some of the info I needed) and just told me the two teenage kids get to choose on Xmas morning what they do that day. Whatever you work out will no doubt work better 🤣

NorthernSpirit Thu 24-Oct-19 16:17:50

Court ordered alternative Christmas & NYE.

This year isn’t our turn for Christmas Day - kids get picked up on the 27th & go home on the first.

And you are right - the kids are too young to make that decision.

StabMeReapers Thu 24-Oct-19 16:20:17

If he was there Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day, does that mean he would stay over in your home? Is that why you don’t want it this year?

I don’t know your arrangements but, being very recently separated with Christmas looming, we’re probably going to have my husband here in the spare room (I realise not everyone has that) to give the children stability and continuity. I don’t want to, particularly, it will be difficult. We get along, though.

I’ve thought about this for the future and all I can come up with is I don’t want a family where the children are torn. My brother and his wife spent ever Christmas coming to ours (my parents), then her mum’s, then her dad’s. It was a nightmare for them, and for their children.

In fact, at my brother’s wedding, my parents had to sit between her mother and father. So much unnecessary stress because adults couldn’t behave like adults.

(Disclaimer—I’m assuming there isn’t a history of domestic violence, criminal behaviour, alcoholism/drug abuse, etc.)

Spoonsmum Thu 24-Oct-19 16:28:09

We do alternate. Dcs are 16, 14, 12
So one of us will have them Christmas Eve (from lunchtime) and Christmas morning, and the other will have them for Christmas dinner and rest of day. And swap the next year. The kids seem happy with this and they spend eow with their dad and his wife. I always work Boxing Day and new year so I let them decide although normally if they are at their dads for Christmas Day they stay til day after Boxing Day. Try and keep it as chilled as poss is my advice and remember it’s only one day. If you don’t see them on Christmas Day there are still lots of other days for festive fun smile

Shodan Thu 24-Oct-19 16:28:32

At the moment we do Christmas Eve and Christmas Day morning at one place, then Christmas Day afternoon and Boxing Day at the other. XH and I still have Christmas lunch together.

So this year XH has ds2 Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, then they're both coming for Christmas lunch and XH will leave about 4pm.

It's ok, although I'd rather not be having Christmas lunch with XH tbh. It's likely to change in a couple of because my DP and I are planning to move in together and he's (understandably) not too keen on sharing lunch like that. But ds2 will be mid-teens by then so it won't be as big a deal as if he were younger.

unicornsarereal72 Thu 24-Oct-19 16:43:52

Last tear I offered the split the day at 2pm. Ex declined and had the children all day Boxing Day. I have made the same offer this year.

Although I appreciate he is missing out he has done zero parenting this year. Spent 4 hours with one dc. And had the other dc 4% of the year so far. So I begrudge him having the joy of Christmas morning.

Clumsywith2leftfeet Thu 24-Oct-19 16:51:00

We've always done alternate years so the DDs get 2 Christmases. One of us has them Xmas Day and the other Boxing Day and following year the opposite with no issues in 10 years. My DH is in the same situation and does the same with his ExW and by coincidence we have our "children" for the same day so one day each year there is a lively hectic 8 of us and the nice next a quiet 3 as we have a DS between us. It's all change this year though as his are now all adults and my eldest DD has moved out and has a DP and DD of her own!

TheWaspsAreEverywhere Thu 24-Oct-19 17:16:05

@Otter71 Both of our families live 400+ miles away, and we don't ever spend time with either family at Christmas or New Year, so that is a complication I don't need to deal with, thankfully!

@StabMeReapers No, he didn't stay, just came and went each day. He's only about 5/6 minute drive away so it was fine. No, no history of domestic abuse or anything like that.

Thank you all for your thoughts. I'm not keen on splitting the day up by having them have half a day here and half a day there, or anything like that. I think he's off work on the 25th and 26th December, and the 1st and 2nd January, so I'm wondering if it would work if one of us has them on one (25/6 Dec) and the other on the other (1/2 Jan), and then alternate the next year? He also has Sundays off (which is his usual day to see them), so he'll see them then too.

OP’s posts: |
FabbyChix Thu 24-Oct-19 17:43:58

Why not one Xmas day and one have Boxing Day. Who has Xmas day doesn’t get New Year’s Day etc

Itsallchange Fri 25-Oct-19 06:05:55

I’ve been thinking about this recently, first year separated and children still relatively young 7,7,11,15
I don’t want him staying in our house due to him possibly trying to have sex with me and me feeling uncomfortable but understand kids will want him involved, currently he’s house sharing so no way of him having the children all together. So I think I’m going to offer coming over around 9 in morning (does mean kids will have to delay present opening) and then maybe doing an early lunch so he can have dinner with them. We then normally go to his sisters for tea so will allow him to take the kids if they want to go and I will pick them up from there

Anotherlongdrive Fri 25-Oct-19 06:18:08

We split Christmas day.

The kids stay with me christmas eve, which has always been our favourite anyway. We do all our usual traditions.

Open presents the next day and have a nice lunch and then exh picks them up. Does presents with then and then they go to his sisters as she always has exhs parents and they have the evening and boxing day there.

PrettyPurse Fri 25-Oct-19 06:33:38

My DC have chosen what they want. Christmas day at home with me every year and Boxing day with their Dad.

I have asked them if they want Christmas day with their Dad and they said no.

They also want New Year Eve with me.

Mine are 16 and 12.

stucknoue Fri 25-Oct-19 06:42:06

I think you need to ask the kids, but ensure it's in a neutral way

Napssavelives Fri 25-Oct-19 06:45:15

I don’t know if I’m mean but my kids are still very little and I do most of the parenting. He has them for 1 night a week on a weekend and that’s it. He doesn’t do any of the hard stuff, he bloody walked out when I was pregnant leaving me with 3 under 6 . I get Christmas, I don’t want to spilt it! I know it’ll cause upset if they went to his half way Through the day, it would also caused upset if he came for a few hours and left so if I let him come he’d be here all day and j don’t want to start something that I’m not willing tk continue. I don’t want to spend Xmas with someone who has hurt us all so badly. I was going to suggest I had Xmas eve and day then he picks them up Boxing Day morning and has for them a couple of days. It’s a no brainier this year as baby is still very young and stays with me at all times and I’m not separating my kids on Christmas Day.

Fishcakey Fri 25-Oct-19 07:08:25

I insisted on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day when DS was little and ex gets Boxing Day. He has never argued cos he is a bit shite anyway and also his family do a big Boxing Day get together which DS enjoys so it all works. DS is 14 now and has never wanted to change things.

Toomanycats99 Fri 25-Oct-19 07:24:19

Last year which was first year it was Xmas eve and morning at home the Xmas afternoon at dads (15 minutes down road) the idea was this year it would reverse but he's still in his parents spare room so cannot have them overnight. He will have Xmas day morning.

I went for this as his job can involve working Boxing Day so didn't want to do xmas boxing day split and then he says wants several years in a row Xmas as working Boxing Day!

Alarae Fri 25-Oct-19 07:36:01

My parents split when I was 12 and I have always spent Christmas Eve/Christmas morning with my dad, then Christmas evening/Boxing Day with my mum.

I am 27 next month and have done this arrangement since then, except I have added in seeing my OH's family in the Christmas afternoon slot.

Downside is that no one gets the best of me and I am always in the wrong place for Christmas Dinner, but I couldn't imagine not seeing everyone on Christmas itself.

Have you asked your children what they wanted? My sisters did Christmas different to me, this was my choice and both my parents respected it which I appreciated massively. I would feel resentful if someone made a decision on where I had to be without asking my opinion first.

thistooshallpass2018 Sat 26-Oct-19 12:43:39

Our first Xmas seperated this year, I am having dd Xmas eve and Xmas day and ex is having her boxing day overnight. We intend to the same each year, it's a bonus for me that he is a bit rubbish and doesn't mind not seeing her Xmas day.

sassbott Sat 26-Oct-19 22:57:40

We split 4 days over Xmas and then 4 days over NY alternating years. Gives each parent the option to take the DC away to see family / go on a break over either Xmas or NYears.

I’ve never thought it’s fair to tie us all to a location near to one another when we can use the time off to travel.

Works really well for us.

Drinkciderfromalemon Sat 26-Oct-19 23:51:34

Ex moved far away. We alternate - Dd will be with him 23-27th this year, last year 30th-3rd with him. It's crap but you get used to it.

Finchy19 Sun 27-Oct-19 00:00:31

Ask your kids what they want to do, it's got to the stage now where hubs and I are going abroad for Christmas because we both have divorced parents and spending our time off travelling to various houses over that week is just not fun for us.

FredaNerkk Sun 27-Oct-19 09:22:19

OH splits the two week school holidays into one week with mum, one week with him. It alternates each year so Christmas period falls with one parent, and new year period with the other, and then vice versa the next year. Co-incidentally this is also my arrangement. So we have a big xmas with all the kids every two years, and a smaller xmas altogether celebrated 27th/28th/29th in between. As parents, we are happy with this. The kids have two christmases every year, and they don't have to swap houses during the Christmas period.

Sparrowlegs248 Sun 27-Oct-19 13:45:32

My experience is from my step brothers. They would spend Christmas with their mum and step dad, then come to us (their dad, and my mum) on around the 28th. My mum did a second Christmas day for them on new years day, and they went home in the evening. This worked really well for everyone I think.

I'm not sure how I will deal with it. My children at very young. The 1st yr I did the same as you, their dad came here. Last year he was supposed to have them boxing day (Ok I offered for him to come here) but they were ill so he didn't.

I don't know what will happen this year or in future. He and his family don't really "do" Christmas, and it upsets me to think of the children missing out.

SuperMeerkat Mon 28-Oct-19 10:15:51

I genuinely don’t see the obsession with Christmas Day. We have three between us. Two girls and a boy, no children together. The kids are ‘officially’ with us every other Christmas (it’s not our turn this year) In fact, it’s very flexible and DS doesn’t want to see his dad this year So is with us. His choice. We don’t enforce anything, especially now they’re older. After all, there are so many more days during the year and over the years to spend together.

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