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Ideas what to do for Christmas day.
First year it will just be me, DH and kids (teen and preteens)

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19 replies to this topic

#1 JKTMum

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:25 PM

Bit of background. My side of the family have always had the tradition of doing one year all together (my parents, sisters, brother, their spouses and kids) then the following year everyone goes to their respective inlaws (we call it a home Christmas or an away Christmas). My DH's parents died when he was a toddler, he was an only child and brought up by his grandparents. His grandfather has died, grandmother now lives in a nursing home and every year she goes up to her son's place 5 hours drive from us, so we pretty much never spend Christmas with them, they have nowhere for us to stay at Christmas with all their family there too. Consequently on the 'away' years we still stayed home and either went to my parents for the day or they more often that not came to us. One of my sisters and my brother now have some of their kids married and have had grandchildren born in the last year or two so it's getting more complicated for everyone to fit in with the plans.

Anyway this year is an 'away' year, so we sort of expected that again my parents would come here or we would go there (live within a 15 minute drive of each other). Apparently though my sister has invited them to go to her place to spend Christmas with her, her DH, kids, their spouses and grandchild, a couple of hours away so they will be gone from at least Christmas eve to Boxing day, maybe longer (which is fine, not a problem) but that leaves just me, DH and the kids on our own this year which isnt something we have done before. We are not sure what to do with ourselves. I think we will feel a bit flat trying to do the big Christmas lunch stuff when it's just us (we usually have a couple of different roasts and all the trimmings with all the adults contributing, but thats going to be a bit of overkill for just the 5 of us). DH has suggested going into the city or a tourist attraction for the day (we are on the outskirts of Melbourne, but not sure there is much open on the day) or maybe the beach, but that will depend on it not being swelteringly hot or wet (both very likely in Melbourne of course original.gif ).

What does everyone else do with themselves if it's just going to be your immediate family unit? We have no friends we can get together with, they all have their own families to go to.

#2 Toodee

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:29 PM

Last year it was just going to be DH, me, DS and DD so we took off to Fiji original.gif


#3 smultron

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

What about booking Christmas lunch at a nearby restaurant or bistro?  I've always thought that seemed a bit impersonal and overpriced but if it means change of scenery and doing something different this year then it might be an option.  Or make a nice breakfast/ brunch at home then do a smaller version of Christmas lunch later in the day.. cut down on the roasts- just one and a small ham or a turkey breast or similar.. whatever suits your family's tastes.    

Could you all watch a favourite movie together later in the day or go to a church service in the morning.. or find a local charity that delivers/ serves meals to homeless people or people without families for Christmas day..?

all the best- talk to your kids to include them and perhaps come up with an idea that involves everyones input- they might then take more interest and try harder to make it a special day.

#4 wonder woman

Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:56 PM

QUOTE (smultron @ 04/12/2012, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What about booking Christmas lunch at a nearby restaurant or bistro?


#5 feralisles

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:07 PM

Hi OP,

We've done Christmas on our own a couple of times.  My kids loved it when we parents were at their disposal all day to play with the new board games or LEGO they got for Christmas.

We did brunch after opening the presents, then allowed them to set the agenda for the rest of the day.  Apart from a quick trip to the beach for a swim, they were quite content to enjoy the day at home.  For us adults it was nice just to have a stress free day!

Hope you enjoy your day, whatever you decide to do.

#6 BadCat

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:09 PM

We often have just me, DH and the two kids for christmas.  We love it.

We have a christmas lunch that suits us, ham, turkey, salads, and some sort of special dessert.  We put out fruit platters to nibble on through the day.  And we play with whatever we got for christmas.

Last year I did a kind of Winter Wonderland theme in the dining room for a bit of fun.  This year I'm doing something else but we are having friends over so I won't go overbaord on theme.

Make your own fun and traditions for whenever you have christmas on your own.  Maybe you have an epic game of Monopoly, or backyard cricket.  Perhaps you go for a drive to look at christmas lights in the evening.  Whatever suits you.  The good thing is that it can be as elaborate or a simple as you like because you have onlly yourselves to please and nowhere that you have to go.   Take the opportunity to relax and enjoy yourselves.

#7 DylJayBen's Mum

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:12 PM

We just hang out at home with our 3 kidlet and my MIL will come over for lunch, we still do a roast and have nibbles out and make it a bit different to a normal day.  We don't get stressed and the kids love the fact that they can stay home and play with all their new toys.  I gave up on playing happy families on christmas day about 3years ago.  One year I would love to take them all to the zoo with a picnic lunch.

#8 Wineandchocolate

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

My DH is working Christmas Day this year and for various other reasons, it's just going to be me and our two young kids on Christmas Day.

I'm planning on having a lunch of Christmas pudding and custard, sitting on the couch with my girls watching the new Tinkerbell movie that Santa will bring them biggrin.gif  Then we'll probably play games for the rest of the day, and I shall sit and watch a Christmas movie in the evening with my glass of Baileys in hand until I go to bed (or until DH comes home around midnight, whichever comes first!)

I can't wait! original.gif

#9 Flickster

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

You could also do some volunteer work with a local charity, such as feeding the homeless, visiting a nursing home, etc?  I think that's a great family activity.  Although, organise it early!  We tried doing it one year (the first year is was just me, my brother and our parents), but couldn't find anyone who needed help!

I definitely plan on doing this with my own family one day!

#10 Zephie Chugger

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

We spend Christmas (every year) camping.

Hanging out, no stress , no family (for us) The kids love playing with new/old stuff, toys.

#11 Justaduck

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

I had a really sucky Christmas with my ex and ILs when we were all on hols in Christchurch. They do the whole Christmas Eve thing, so Christmas day was nothing and everything was closed sad.gif
If we faced this I would probably go to the beach (or if not near a beach a nice park, lake etc) and having a special lunch/early picnic dinner there

#12 JKTMum

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:28 PM

Holiday is unfortunately out of the question, no money to do that, our last holiday anywhere was 4 years ago . sad.gif

We will be doing mass on Christmas eve, the kids are all part of our church's children's choir.

Not sure if there are any charity events around here anywhere to help with. DD1 has Aspergers and ADHD, so I'm not sure she would be able to cope with all that, she gets very stressed in unfamiliar situations and dealing with lots of people. At this stage we are not even sure she will cope with doing the children's choir, she was fine at rehearsals (the choir is only small) and is very familiar with our church (we go most weeks) but at Christmas the place is packed and even last weekend when they did a little performance at a normal mass she got quite stressed and we had to calm her a few times before hand and talk her through it.

Will have a look at restaurants. I know the owner of one of the popular restaurants in our area and they are fully booked out already, so might have left it too late in that regard, but will see what is available in our price range.

#13 FiveAus

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:41 PM

Last year, I had 3 of my 4 adult kids (and one partner) home for a formal, sit down Xmas lunch which I spent a day and a half (and a considerable amount of money) preparing. Halfway through, the one with the partner had to leave because for some explicable reason, the partner and her various exes had decided that 1pm on Xmas day was the perfect time to swap kids.
The others left soon after to visit friends, saying they'd be back for dessert....and we were left with a great big mess to clean up.

This year, I've booked a table at a local bistro, they're putting on a gorgeous buffet with every festive dish I could ever imagine wanting to eat, the kids who are coming are paying for themselves and I am SO SO SO looking forward to it.

So that would be my suggestion......book a table, get dressed up, and have a slap up lunch that someone else has prepared.

#14 FiveAus

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

My other suggestion is to prepare and pack a picnic lunch with all your favourite cold cuts and a really fancy dessert, go to a nice park where the kids can run around and play. Take a camera and record your day, and then spend a couple of hours playing cricket or softball with the kids.

#15 Escapin

Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

I think you can have a fabulous time at home just with the immediate family. Especially as they're old enough to work out a menu with you and help prepare everything. For instance, you could do:

Ham and cheese croissants for breakfast, with a milo/coffee. Prep them the day before so you only need to stick them in the oven for 10 minutes on Christmas morning. And maybe a fresh fruit salad - mango, passionfruit, nectarines/peaches, strawberries, cherries, with a squeeze of lime juice and some good yoghurt.

Turkey roll and baked ham for lunch. Do the stuffing in a separate container so you can prep it before and just shove it in the oven with the meat. Plus a green salad or and baked potatoes. Followed by Christmas pudding icecream (aka vanilla icecream with crumbled bought cake and some extra dried fruit soaked in brandy.

Then ham sandwiches and more icecream and fruit salad for dinner.

God I love Christmas food! This year DH and I are back to our home town, so will be not be doing anything small and intimate, and I won't be doing much cooking. sad.gif

#16 smultron

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:22 AM

Thinking about this again: as pp have said, it can be a different (but good) kind of fun on Christmas day without the extra stress/ work of pleasing other guests.. I think you could embrace it and have the smaller (less work/ less dishes) but still festive meal and make sure you have a good book or a new magazine to enjoy as you sit with your feet up later in the day and enjoy some Christmas choccies or a mince pie while the older kids do their own thing too.  

As a teenager, I remember loving Christmas Day in the afternoon after all the food when we all sat around satisfied and looking through our various stashes of chocolates, new books etc.  Then when we would get peckish, mum would point to the leftovers and we could help ourselves to ham sandwiches, mince tarts etc... when you have other guests, you are more 'on duty' the whole day.. making sure ppl have drinks, cups of tea, etc..

#17 nadi~bicardi

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:29 AM

A couple of years ago when it was just DH and I and my kids and parents, we packed a picnic and went to the zoo.  I was still quite busy, busier than I expected it to be, but not as busy as a normal day.  I packed a Christmasy picnic, with turkey and ham and salads and made lemon meringue cupcakes and we had a lovely time.

#18 Etcetera

Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

The first time we had Christmas to ourselves we spent the whole day telling each other how fantastic and relaxing it was!

We just hang out, play with Lego and other presents, and have finger food that we pick at all day.
Christmas eve we take a drive and look at Christmas lights, put food out for Santa and his reindeer, and have new pjs for bed. We read The Night Before Christmas.

This year we have a baby so that should be fun!

#19 ChelBell

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:24 AM

It is just going to be me, DH and DD this Christmas.  I was a little bit sad over it (just a little), but after all the positive comments on how fun and relaxing it can be, I am really looking forward to it !!!

I know for sure, I'm looking forward to not stressing about cooking for everyone.  A Christmas movie, and just playing with the new toys sounds great.  And of course eating all during the day hehehe !!!

thanks everyone for making me feel better about spending Christmas day with just our little family xxx

Edited by ChelBell, 13 December 2012 - 08:25 AM.

#20 Chalkie

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:34 AM

We have Christmas on our "own" as a family (just the 4 of us) every third year.  They are my favourites original.gif

No rushing, kids (and grown ups) can really enjoy their gifts.
If you can, a trip to the beach is always fun on Christmas Day, or go for a walk after lunch.

Lunch can be as simple or complicated as you like!  You can just do whatever takes your fancy. Personally I wouldn't go out, because I like staying at home and having a nice lunch, but if you don't want to cook - then that could be fun! I usually go simple, baked ham, roast pork loin, roast potatoes, then a few nice salads so lunch and dinner is sorted for a couple of days.

Maybe include a book each or a new game you can all play.

I am jealous - I love a quiet Christmas with just my family.

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