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Getting ready for Christmas!

25 replies

islurpmyspaghetti · 05/12/2014 19:13

I thought it would be nice to add a touch of festive sparkle to the adoption boards and I suppose I'm hoping people might indulge my passion for Christmas!

It's DS's first Christmas with us and I wondered what festive experiences other parents have had that they'd be willing to share.

We have been trying to avoid the frenzy of the High Street (it's hard!) and the chaos of buying too many gifts. We're trying to keep our day very very regulated and calm with the normal routine as much as possible. Is that possible?

How are you planning for the festive season?

OP posts:
MyPreciousRing · 05/12/2014 19:40

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HamJAMspam · 05/12/2014 21:46

Our oldest two came home in 2001, we started a tradition of buying a new decoration for the Christmas tree every year. We have a lovely collection now.
Have a fab first Christmas.

Jameme · 06/12/2014 10:19

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RhinosAreFatUnicorns · 06/12/2014 16:45

We kept the first year pretty low key, even though DD had been with us for a few months. Last year, we got more into the spirit of it, with visits to the Santa train, and getting the tree up as a surprise whilst she napped.

We sobbed on Christmas Eve - happy tears- as we built up and wrapped presents. It came over us, that that was a moment we thought we would never have. Our days remain pretty calm, well as much as it can be with DD and Ddog in the house Grin We tend to stick with the same routine, in terms of getting up, naps and bedtimes.

My advice would be to go with the flow; don't have too many expectations of how the day will go. That first year was a bit flat, as DH and I sat there watching TV whilst she napped for 2 hours. But last year we had guests and she enjoyed it more too.

Velvet1973 · 06/12/2014 22:18

I'm hoping lo will have been with us only 10 days by xmas! ?? so it's low key for us. Only putting the tree up inside which I've done tonight, all other decs will wait until next year. We are having xmas lunch at my parents, they're very close so hoping to walk over with lo so he'll be having his afternoon nap whilst we have lunch then we will play it by ear but very low key this year. Next year will be the one for us!

Jameme · 06/12/2014 22:20

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Velvet1973 · 06/12/2014 22:47

Almost 6 months hence them allowing intros so close to xmas. Also foster to adopt until matching panel to try and prevent further delays. We won't know until later this week if it's going ahead as depends on p/o being granted.

Kewcumber · 07/12/2014 21:45

I am planning to be waited on hand and foot courtesy of my lovely mum who is paying for us to go on a cruise with her with some money that she came into this year.

We know how to blow money pointlessly in our family!

apotatoprintinapeartree · 07/12/2014 21:52

Permanent lurker here, just wanted to say what lovely stories and thoughts.
I'm filling up - what a lovely thread and Thanks for you all.

Kewcumber · 07/12/2014 22:15

I took custody of DS 5 days before Xmas in a country where they didn;t celebrate Christmas. HE was 13 months but with being 14 weeks prem and having institutional delays he was more like a 7 month old.

Lowest key Christmas ever!

I didn;t care one bit.

FamiliesShareGerms · 07/12/2014 22:18

I spent two hours on my own on our first Xmas with DD while she napped and DH and DS visited a neighbour. I had full control of the TV, the Quality Street tin and please and quiet. Plus the most beautiful girl in the world. Twas lovely!!

Italiangreyhound · 08/12/2014 01:58

Velvet I did not know you had been matched, congratulations.

It's our first Christmas with ds, although we have been parents 10 years so Christmas with our dd is quite week established.

The tree goes up the second weekend of December, Father Christmas only bring one gift per child in our house and it is proving hard to make ds understand this! He thinks Santa bring them all! It's quite hard as this is the year we revealed to dd that Santa isn't (whispers)... real! She had worked it out about four years ago but every year she asks and we say 'What do you think' and this year she said something like 'I think it's you, is that true' and I had to tell her the truth!

So now dd is a co-conspirator with us! We can't keep all gifts hidden from ds and I do not want to give credit to the old man in the red suit for everything! I also know one mum whose child woke up on Christmas eve to see her mum dropping off Santa's stocking and cried and cried! Our stockings are not from Santa and they appear under the tree for Christmas day, just they did when I was a kid.

The things I love most is the glitter and porridge oats 'reindeer food' we sprinkle on the front lawn just before dd goes to bed, and now for ds, and the way we put out a cake and glass of milk for Santa, and a carrot for his reindeer. DD has offered to eat and drink these now!

I love Christmas Eve and going to midnight communion, this year dh can come too and our dear friend is staying with us. Having only one guest for Christmas feels right, it will be a very quiet one for us and this feels totally right.

Christmas day for us is some presents and stockings opened, off to church, home for mulled wine (not the kids!), lunch then more presents, than fall asleep while watching fabulous Christmas movie and then a delicious tea. Boxing Day usually involves some walking to work off the excesses of Christmas Day!

Hope everyone enjoys the day.

Velvet1973 · 08/12/2014 07:53

Thanks Italian although not quite! Complicated as ever, we're linked and awaiting final hearing. If p/o is issued intros start on Thursday for us to foster to adopt until matching panel after xmas hopefully January but possibly February. They're concerned about anymore delays.

Devora · 08/12/2014 22:04

I love everything about Christmas, and we've already started in our house. Trees have gone up, and I bought each dd a £5 3ft artificial tree from Tesco (they come in green and pink!) to keep in their room. My idea is that we will spend the month making decorations for their trees but we'll see...

We'll probably go to the Pottery Café to make some new baubles. Mostly we avoid breakable decorations as the cat loves Christmas even more than me - every night she attacks the trees and pulls them down, then chases baubles around the floor. We have already had our local community 'Lights up' event and we will go to a lot of local Christmas fairs where we always end up meeting the kids' friends.

The girls have written to Father Christmas. They both, sadly, treated it as a bit of a shopping list. dd1 wrote on hers, "How are you doing, hope you're not too busy, I really do believe in you. Now, down to business" and wrote out 45 gift ideas. dd2 wrote down one idea then cried because she thought she would only get one present. I have been having Words about The True Meaning of Christmas in that pointless way parents do.

My favourite bit of Christmas is probably Christmas Eve. We go to church for Christingle. I love seeing the children parade round the darkened church, carrying oranges with sharp sticks, sweets and naked flames attached - what could possibly go wrong? And then they sing, 'All the angels sang to him' and I cry. We go home and leave snacks out for Santa and the reindeer, then we'll probably watch a Christmas movie.

It's all about the anticipation for me: Christmas Day is quite quiet and low key round ours. We will have grandparents round for a Caribbean/British lunch. I'll get the kids out for some fresh air. They will be elves and hand out presents from around the tree. The little one will eat too much turkey and say she has a tummy ache. The big one will sneak too much chocolate and say she has a tummy ache. Round about 5pm I will realise we have actually run out of food (yes, it happens at our house, every year) and dive over the road to the lovely lady who always opens for an hour or two every Christmas Day. After the kids are in bed me and dp will flop about. I don't normally bother with mulled wine, but this year I'm in the mood - anyone got a good recipe?

Anyone who recalls me prattling on about my Jewish heritage may be a bit surprised by my extreme love of all things Christmas. But it's not unusual. My mum always reckoned that if you have bagels and lox for Christmas breakfast it kind of neutralises the whole thing.

Ratracerunner · 08/12/2014 22:11

When we first got our boys, we intended a quiet Christmas but all our friends and family went mad!

The front room looked like a branch of Hamleys but the boys were so excited. It made us so happy, especially as I cried every single Christmas Day before that.

We just went with the flow, the day sort of guides itself.

Just relax and enjoy the magic and the kids will dictate!!

Devora · 08/12/2014 22:13

btw well done all you new adopters who are keeping things calm. dd has been with us for over 4 years now, and she still needs routine and calmness at Christmas. It's another good reason for approaching Christmas as a month of lovely things (but all predictable family traditions) rather than working up to one big day of frenzy.

Occasionally I vary the formula a little bit (like going to one panto, or one Santa's grotto) but never by very much. And on Christmas Day itself, it is all kept quite low key and again routine. dd knows that we always have a stocking when we wake up, then breakfast. Then we might go for a walk, then back to greet our guests. Around noon we have champagne and open presents - but only a certain amount, we stop once dd is showing signs of looking overwhelmed - and then it's lunch. We usually have some presents saved to be opened later, when the guests have gone. Presents are opened slowly, only one or two at a time, so everyone can see what everyone else has received and have time for proper thank yous. We never have loud music or loud TV (though we do watch a movie), very little shrieking or screaming.

It may sound dull to some, but my childhood Christmases were very quiet and magical - my fondest memory is of just sitting by the tree, gazing at the fairy lights and making up stories in my head about the fairies who lived there - and this is still how I enjoy them. Luckily, that is also what dd needs so it works for us.

Devora · 08/12/2014 22:14

As my cross-post with Ratracerunner shows, what works for one family does not necessarily work for another Grin

Italiangreyhound · 08/12/2014 22:55

Devora can I ask if dd1 and dd2 chose a green or a pink tree each! I have my guesses!

Also, heard of Saint Lucia? My friend lives in Sweden where girls where lighted candles in their hair! as you say, what could go wrong!!!

Devora · 09/12/2014 10:26

Very predictably, dd1 went for green and dd2 went for pink. Though dd2 has now decided her's is the wrong shade of pink Hmm so I might pack it away till next year, see if her taste has evolved beyond Disney by then.

I HAVE heard of St Lucia! I have a good friend who is Swedish, and back when we were teenagers she acted out the ritual for us, with a wreath of candles in her hair Smile

I love the health and safety nightmare that is Christingle. Our lovely vicar always says cheerfully, "We've never lost one yet".

slkk · 09/12/2014 10:51

Our church has started using glow sticks instead. Sad

Italiangreyhound · 09/12/2014 11:28

ha ha Devora! You said Very predictably, dd1 went for green and dd2 went for pink. I have not even met them and I knew it!!!

The school used LED candle lights for lanterns this November. Brilliant. They look like candles and are completely safe. I am totally anti candle.

I once burnt myself very painfully by touching a spoon that had lain in the flame of a tea light on the table during our anniversary meal. I spent ages in the loo with my stupid finger under the stupid cold tap.

I am one of the ban them' brigade,if such a thing exists!

(I have also nearly set fire to a wall and a dolls house with candles - one as a child - and to a sofa and once a pillow - when I was a smoker - with a cigarette). Maybe I am just very bad around fire! (I once set fire to a chip pan and flicked a burning coal dot onto my own leg- better stop now!)

"Keep children and pets away. Candles should be out of reach of children and pets."

Some scary statistics on that site...USA is even scarier!

"During 2007-2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 10,630 home structure fires started by candles per year. These fires caused an annual average of 115 civilian deaths, 903 civilian fire injuries, and $418 million in direct property damage."

slkk glow sticks are fine by me! Wink

slkk · 09/12/2014 22:55

Until a child I knew bit one and got a mouthful of nasty chemicals....

Italiangreyhound · 09/12/2014 23:47

OK, not candle, not glow sticks, what is safe! A torch! One that you need to pump up to make it work!

Bringonthesunshineplease · 10/12/2014 13:40

Rightly or wrongly with the children only having been with us 3 months we are going the whole hog and so far they are fully engaged and enjoying it. Christmas parties, jumpers, headbands and hats. 8 ft real tree they choose with daddy and it "has to have decorations, lights and Christmas presents under it" so it has. We're making lots of decorations, gingerbread men and houses which we decorated with icing and sweeties and miles of paper chains. Home made Christmas cards, visited some reindeer to give them carrots and did the family visit to see Santa with a photo all with much excitement and no upset. Still a Christmas show and party to go to before Christmas and not to mention the big event each day is opening a window on their advent calendars Wink. The oldest has asked if we can have candy canes on the tree and limited the request to one gift from Santa. We hope to take them to church on Christmas eve (if they will let us in as its a first for us) and have a fairly low key family day with presents and food with just us on Christmas day along with some Christmas movies. Anyway we are very excited and our 2 & 3 year old's seem to be in the moment and loving every minute.

Jameme · 10/12/2014 16:25

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