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Christmas with teenagers

(65 Posts)
Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:15:02

Not sure if this is in the right topic, but would be interested in your views. I have two teenage girls 13 and 16, the youngest if ok about christmas, but the eldest just wants to be out with her friends. I dont have a problem with that as such, but I would like to make christmas as good as I can. Over the years are family has dwindled, so this year it is just the four of us, we will be going to the inlaws for lunch, but husband and his father do not get on. Also, we have a familty business which means husband is at work until late christmas eve and only off for two days. Should I force eldest daughter to do some things with us in the hope that she will enjou herself, or should I resign myself to them doing there own thing, knowing this is what they really want to do.

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Dec-14 15:19:01

Hi Kaz I have boys of 15 and 13, and i think I have finally accepted that we just have to let them do their own thing at Christmas.

A bit of me is wistful for the Christmasses (sp) in the past where we did loads of family stuff, but I won't be forcing them to do anything they don't really want to this year.

DustInTheWind Sat 06-Dec-14 15:21:52

You could talk to them and work out a compromise, mine are adults now but we still get together for Christmas eve and Christmas day. We have a family meal with grandparents on the 28th as well.
Forcing people doesn't work. Telling them that the best part of your Christmas is some time with them, and believing it, works for us.

Onlyonamonday Sat 06-Dec-14 15:23:51

I agree I have two dds 19 and 17 both home for Christmas but while they will be around here and there they also spend a lot of time catching up and going out with friends ... It's hard I know , but you can't force them to stay ..

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:27:51

Hmm I think its the thought of spending time with parents/grandparents is what puts them off christmas, I guess I will just have to hope that my lovely well manered girls return in a few years. It used to be that my parents came christmas eve, while hubby at work and we had something to look forward to, but mum in Australia this year, so any ideas what me and my girls can do xmas eve, we have a butchers/greengrocers, so dad has been up since 2am and goes straight to bed when he comes home and doesn't really enjoy christmas.

DustInTheWind Sat 06-Dec-14 15:31:12

Again, you need to ask them what they'd like to do rather than trying to fill the time so they don't go elsewhere. What do they enjoy?

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Dec-14 15:31:46

I think Christmas just changes as they get older. I feel a bit sad about it all TBH. They are having presents they know about, Grandparents are giving them vouchers etc. No more mince pies out for Santa, or the excitement of Christmas morning. Last few years we have had to wake them up. grin

Christmas Eve maybe cook a meal together/order pizza and watch Christmassy film if they are up for it? Invite some of their friends round to yours?

Bonsoir Sat 06-Dec-14 15:31:56

If you want your DC to continue to enjoy your company as you and they get older, you have to offer them entertainment they really like. Some teens like ski-ing... Wakeboarding... Musicals... Theatre...

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Dec-14 15:35:37

That all costs £££££s Bonsoir. My teens like football. grin

DustInTheWind Sat 06-Dec-14 15:37:39

We still make and ice gingerbread, mince pies and pfeffernusse on Christmas Eve, and we have a number of naff board games that come out then too.
DD is obsessed with trimmings and home-made decorations so she gets free rein.
We also go to The Burning of the Clocks in Brighton, just as we have been doing since they were tiny.
You have to create something that suits your family, that they want to be a part of

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:37:46

Sparklingbrook, I agree I have been told in no uncertain terms that they do not want any tat, and they would rather have less presents than any cheap stocking fillers, I feel very sad about it all, grandparents take them shopping for their presents before christmas so they know what there getting. I like the idea of a girly evening with some christmas films though, I think they would go for that. I do get upset when their friends are going out with their families, but me and DH just seem to be an embarrassment. Maybe I'm just too sensitive!!!!

DustInTheWind Sat 06-Dec-14 15:39:26

Well, a grumpy dad who dislikes Christmas doesn't sound much fun TBH.

DustInTheWind Sat 06-Dec-14 15:41:41

Oh, last Boxing Day, DS got us all out in the garden, because he'd hidden chocolates around the place and wanted us to do a hunt. He did mull wine to inspire us.

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:41:47

Eldest daughter not bothered about the tree or decorations, we will be having the tree, but she will not be bothered about decorating it, it all looks naff to her as I have all the decorations they made in junior school I probably make them out to be horrible, but I think it just the teenage years, we have had some great christmas's I would just like to maybe create a new kind of christmas for the years before they have their own families.

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Dec-14 15:42:24

I can't remember the last time DS1 was seen with DH&I in public Kaz. We haven't been anywhere as a family of four together since our summer holiday IIRC.

My two haven't been quite so rude in their Christmas present requirements, but I am past guessing what they may like so they have chosen exactly what they want.

A little bit of me thought if one of the DSs was a DD it might be different but your posts proves possibly not Kaz.

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:44:01

Well at least I am not alone Sparklingbrook.

Sparklingbrook Sat 06-Dec-14 15:47:34

I am sure there are quite a few families with teens having this Kaz. I think Christmas with teens is really difficult. I just want them to enjoy Christmas however they like at this age.

DS1 has his mocks the next two weeks so he's just looking forward to a break i think.

ImperialBlether Sat 06-Dec-14 15:49:02

Why are you spending Christmas Day with your in laws in your husband and FIL don't get on? Surely each of them would prefer to be in their own home?

On Christmas Eve set your DDs a time, eg 7pm when they have to be home, then watch Christmas films and do some party food.

It's horrible how quickly Christmases change when your children get older.

Your poor husband - no wonder he doesn't like Christmas - it must seem like all work. Does he really want to go to see his dad on his day off?

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:56:52

Well the girls love their grandparents and his mum is lovely and it does get us out of the house for a few hours.

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 15:58:27

Has anyone changed their Christmas with new traditions for older children

Bowlersarm Sat 06-Dec-14 16:10:36

Our teens get a bit moany now about going to relatives on the significang Christmas days, so I tend to get everyone to us these days. Ds1 may not be able to be with us over Christmas - not his choice, just circumstances. But he's only 18 and that does seem too young, and very, very strange. We (and he) are really hoping he will be with us, but that's a big change for us all if he isn't sad

PatriciaHolm Sat 06-Dec-14 16:14:11

Have to say, I was thinking the same as imperial - Christmas Day sounds like something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Why go to a home where there will be tension and dislike? Stay home, have a non traditional lunch if your husband has had enough of Turkey by then. Christmas can be what you make it, not what "tradition" dictates.

Kaz2200 Sat 06-Dec-14 16:22:15

The only thing is that by Christmas day I get stir crazy as I used to do a lot with the girls, now they don't want to do so much, I guess I'll just have to start doing more on my own but most of my friend have their only family stuff to do. I suppose I will have to get used to it but I miss the closeness we used to have especially at Christmas

velourvoyageur Sat 06-Dec-14 16:28:59

She'd probably like it if you insisted on her coming and told her it wouldn't be the same with her etc even if she pretends not to by moaning. She'll end up enjoying it.

Hamuketsu Sat 06-Dec-14 16:31:09

Ours are also dds of 16 (well, she will be by Christmas) and 13. Also just the 4 of us this year although we hope to see a bit of Granny (85) on Christmas Day.

It's definitely changed - for us this is the first year where they know what they'll be getting so although "Santa" will come there will be few surprise presents. We're insisting that the mince pies and whiskey being left out, though, which they've agreed to as long as we also eat the carrot they leave for the reindeer grin.

We've just been to buy some new Christmas decorations and let the girls help choose them, because this year they really didn't want us to haul out all their nursery/school made ones for display. We've also changed it so that instead of me doing the dinner whilst dh plays with Christmas stuff with the girls (which kept them out of the way when they were small) he and the girls are doing the dinner this year. We're also planning to learn some card games for the evening, and dd1 will be allowed a little glass of something. Christmas Eve at their insistence we'll be watching Muppet Christmas Carol, The Snowman and Father Christmas as we've always done.

So basically we're trying to upgrade the traditions we used to have, making them similar ones but more appropriate for their ages. I think we have to say goodbye to the shiny-eyed magical Santa years but hopefully replace them with something that's also good family time.

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