Advanced search

This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

Share your tips for staying in this festive season - chance to win Lidl vouchers NOW CLOSED

(167 Posts)
EmmaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 18-Aug-16 15:21:37

We know there's still 4 months to go but if you can bear to think that far ahead, we'd love you to share your tips for getting the family together and throwing a great value festive party – in winter!

Lidl would love to know how your end of the year party plans changed once children came on the scene. Perhaps your crazy nights out for NYE went out the window the moment you became a parent (or maybe you're working to a slightly tighter budget!). Whatever the occasion, we'd love to hear about all the new winter traditions you’ve created to have fun at home with the family. Perhaps you have some genius recipes for easy, kid-friendly party food – or maybe you’ve perfected a signature non-alcoholic cocktail so the kids can join in with a New Year’s toast. And of course, we’d love to hear your top family-friendly party games – how do you and the kids like to celebrate?

Share your great value party ideas, tips and recipes below and you’ll be entered into a prize draw where you could win one of five £50 vouchers.

Thanks and good luck


Standard Insight T&Cs Apply

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Thu 18-Aug-16 19:29:37

We tend to have a lot more house parties - not necessarily raucous affairs with loads of guests, but a few friends and their children. We all get involved in biased games / card games and nibbles, then crack open the wine after the kids are in bed. Best games? Dobble, Uno, Rapidough and Scattergories

FeelingSmurfy Fri 19-Aug-16 10:59:39

Ask everyone to bring a dish to share (bought or made)

Let kids have a party on a day before adults party, then arrange sleepovers for the night of your party so you are not trying to arrange things suitable for all ages at the same time

CMOTDibbler Fri 19-Aug-16 11:16:22

Ds doesn't do staying up, so we have a nice dinner with sparkling grape juice in the posh wine glasses, and our signature 'special occasion only' trifle. Then go to bed at the normal time. Just the three of us, and its lovely.

foxessocks Fri 19-Aug-16 11:32:59

I buy lots of frozen nibbly bits and lots of cake and biscuits and we just have a buffet as it's quick and easy! I stock up and then it doesn't matter whether we have lots of people or its just us we still have the same!and leftovers from buffets are the best!

DoItTooJulia Fri 19-Aug-16 11:41:08

I LOVE catering for the festive period. Our newest thing is making a chocolate cake that looks like a Christmas pudding because nobody actually likes Christmas pudding.

ButterflyOfFreedom Fri 19-Aug-16 12:05:17

We used to have a Christmas party in the evening (through to late night...) but since having children we've just moved the party until the afternoon. A lot less alcohol is consumed but the atmosphere is electric with children running around everywhere, music on, buffet food, and party games.
The big hits food wise are mini pizzas and sausages and of course the sweet treats like chocolate log!

MardyBra Fri 19-Aug-16 12:12:53

You're right, there are four months to go. That's a third of the year. At least put it in the fucking Christmas topic.

MardyBra Fri 19-Aug-16 12:13:42

Sorry. Am grumpier than usual due to MNHQ 's insistence on the login issue. I guess I'm not winning the fifty quid.

SideOrderofChip Fri 19-Aug-16 12:17:50

Go retro! cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, vol au vents, pizza slices etc. Brings back memories of parties gone previously and also are kids size.

Make the kids little fruit juice cocktails if the adults are having cocktails.

Have a board games night. One of our best NYE parties was playing jenga for hours

sharond101 Fri 19-Aug-16 12:51:12

We go on a family day out on new Years Day. Wash away the cobwebs and get some fresh air. Also make lots of time to play with new toys.

flamingtoaster Fri 19-Aug-16 14:21:19

Once the children arrived staying up any night (even New Year's Eve) when we could be sleeping didn't seem like a good idea!

We celebrate with the family by having a family meal followed by favourite games - everything from Charades to Jenga. Alternatively we watch a favourite movie.

Best pudding is Chocolate Puddle Pudding which emerges from the oven floating in it's own chocolate sauce - anyone who likes chocolate adores it.

LadyMonicaBaddingham Fri 19-Aug-16 14:31:05

I spend a couple of weekends making nibbly bits to put in the freezer, then I can just quickly cook them from frozen when people drop in. Keep plenty of plonk in for a quick pans of mulled wine and a selection of fruit juices to mix with fizzy water for children and/or drivers.

Dolallytats Fri 19-Aug-16 15:41:24

We used to go to a local pub with friends (until they started charging to get inshock
After the children we would have family round for a small party as it is also my sister's birthday. However, since having DC3, and my family moving away, I am usually in bed by 10pm, my daughter is too young to be able to stay awake, my son tries his hardest but hasn't yet seen the new year in and DH stays up alone watching late night movies. At midnight we get woken up by fireworks and DH will wish me happy new year and I go back to sleep.

Not exciting, but I like it. I always find new year sad.

LifeIsGoodish Fri 19-Aug-16 15:46:12

We do bring-a-dish parties. In our group of friends we tend to take turns hosting, and we have two parties: a daytime one between Xmas and NY, with dc, and an evening one for the adults after the dc have all gone back to school. The evening one is often themed, and if it slips down the calendar turns into a Burns Night!

The daytime one tends to run across two meals, as everyone always brings too much food smile

Mrs5boys Fri 19-Aug-16 15:53:49

Keep new year simple ,,,, stay in with nice food and drink ,, play games and make resolutions that no one keeps haha

Daisymaybe60 Fri 19-Aug-16 16:27:47

Make sure everyone knows what to expect. We used to share hosting NYE with a neighbouring family when our children were just pre-teen. One year at theirs, one at ours, plenty of good food and drink, and all 6 children involved. One year we made the mistake of asking DD2 to pass on the message to the other family that they should have a very light tea, as we were planning to eat quite late. Unfortunately she passed on half a message - that they should eat before they came - and although a bit puzzled by this, they had a full evening meal and could hardly force down any of the feast I'd prepared.

cather Fri 19-Aug-16 16:40:51

We have family round and we always play Bingo. I collect prizes throughout the year and also get some from the pound shop so there are plenty to choose from. My husband comes up with new calls for the numbers each year based on what the family members have been up to and it is something the whole family looks forward to.

clopper Fri 19-Aug-16 17:14:32

We love non alcoholic punch or mulled wine for kids and alcoholic versions for us . The DC use proper glasses which makes them feel grown up. We sometimes have board games if staying in and we usually alternate visiting or hosting friends with smaller children. We often have homemade pizzas and everyone can choose their own topping.

pinkunicornsarefluffy Fri 19-Aug-16 17:48:26

If we get together with friends then everyone brings some food and drink to share. I love all the little party food bits and crisps to nibble on and a big cheese board.

The kids love all the nibbly bits too.

I often go out though since being a single parent, it is preferable to staying at home on my own.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 19-Aug-16 18:49:34


Theimpossiblegirl Fri 19-Aug-16 18:59:29

Bring and share (pot-luck) suppers are the cheapest way to get together. No-one needs to get lots of food, you just choose sweet or savoury and bring a dish. By welcoming children (and putting them in another room to play games/watch movies) no-one need incur babysitting costs.

This year we have really got to know our neighbours so we're planning a street meal- starters in one house, main in the next and so on. With several courses including cheeseboard and cocktails no-one needs to do all of the work and even the main course can be small portions to keep costs fair.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Fri 19-Aug-16 20:27:19

We do lots of crafty parties on the run up to the festive season... I don''t mind clearing craft mess as it stops the kids from destroying the rest of the house wink

Would love to see some crafty offers, decorative biscuits, gingerbread houses etc. Oh and plenty of nibbles and fizz for the parents!

nightnurse66 Fri 19-Aug-16 20:42:45

Christmas Eve drop in for friends and neighbours. Start at mid day .Mulled wine and hot and cold nibbles stay as long or as short as you like with a curfew at 8 to get ready for Santas mince pie and glass of sherry.

Hopezibah Fri 19-Aug-16 21:36:51

we've always loved staying in - even before we had kids. One of the things a friend of ours does which i love the idea of (but would be tricky to manage the logistics of with kids) is rotate to each others houses for starter, then someone else's house for main course and then to the third friends house for dessert. I thought that was such a unique and fun idea! I wonder if there is a way to do it if we left the husbands babysitting and took them a doggy bag from each persons house so they didn't miss out on the food? I'm sure there is a way to juggle it even with kids around.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now