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What is the best thing about having grandparents around for Christmas?

(50 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 28-Nov-18 16:44:43

Christmas - it’s all about family (carrot or otherwise). tchgrin
But what’s the best thing about having grandparents around? More inclined to play games? Extra presents? What are your memories of your own grandparents? Were there any particular family traditions they initiated?
Most importantly, what do you think your grandkids would say is the best bit about seeing you around Christmas?

And if you're not going to be seeing your loved ones on Christmas and are on your own, do pop in to Gransnet's virtual Christmas party for all sorts of festive shenanigans.

rockgran Wed 28-Nov-18 17:03:54

Having someone who will sit still long enough for a cuddle, a game or just to show off a new skill or achievement is probably the best bit about seeing grandparents. Parents, however involved with their children, are often so busy that a grandparent who has time to give them more attention is a wonderful asset. I can't wait to do some sewing and game playing with my two. Also - we laugh at their corny jokes!

M0nica Wed 28-Nov-18 17:28:13

The assumption is that grandparents are the guests. In our family, I am the Christmas host, always have been and intend to continue to be so as long as I can.

We live 200 miles from DGC, who have their mother's family living close by (we all get on very well), so they just love coming and having all our side of the family together for a week and doing lots of things together; pantomime, games, inside and out, watching the DVDs we always watch together at Xmas.

In my childhood, my grandparents didn't spend Christmas with us. My father was in the forces and we were rarely within easy travelling distance of family, especially when everyone was dependent on public transport to get everywhere.

KatyK Wed 28-Nov-18 17:38:28

Everyone comes here Boxing night. It's been a tradition for many years. There are usually about 12 of us and it's good fun. We put on a big buffet and provide the drinks. We play games and reminisce. It's good fun. Our lovely granddaughter, who is 18, refuses all invitations as she tells people 'I love going to my Nan's.' smile

kittylester Wed 28-Nov-18 17:45:12

Mostly me too MOnica on the years it's our turn and on the years it's not. grin

Dontaskme Wed 28-Nov-18 18:09:21

All four of my GPs were dead before I was born but I always imagined it would be just so lovely to have them around, especially at Christmas. They would be kind and soft and smiley and be there to talk to and sit on - laps, not to crush them! I would hope that all children who are lucky enough to have GPs would just enjoy simply having them.
My own GC don't know who I am as we are estranged.
I've lucked out on both ends of the spectrum BUT I'll eat drink and be merry regardless smile

GrandmaMoira Wed 28-Nov-18 18:17:00

I rarely saw my grandparents at Christmas. My children grew up with my father coming to us on Xmas Day and their granny, my MIL, on Boxing Day.
Now I am still the one who does Christmas every year for my sons and grandchildren. Both generations version of Christmas is the one I have created.

Cherrytree59 Wed 28-Nov-18 18:39:17

My most vivid memory is my grandmother sitting by the fire knitting and crocheting, nothing unusual about that except
unbeknown to me in this occasion she was making a baby doll layette and pram blanket for my big Christmas present from my parents (Doll and pram) I still have the black and white photos of me with my beautiful dressed doll and

My one grandchild lives a distance away so unfortunately we will not see him on Christmas day, but will chat to him on the mobiles as he is now able to talk.

The family tradition with our other to DGS who live about 30mins away is an excited telephone call to say come quick Santa has been!!!🎅
Last year it was 4.30 am, So off we went!
Will probably be the same time this year.
We all have a lovely Christmas breakfast amid all the fun and wrapping paper.

We make the most of having small grandchildren who believe in Father Christmas as we know things will be quite different when they become older.
But for now it's HO HO HO

M0nica Wed 28-Nov-18 22:02:18

kittylester, we alternate as well. DD is always with us, but DS and family spend one Christmas with us and one at home with DDiL's family, as they will this year, but they will be with us on the 27th and be staying until the New Year

For my children, their paternal grandparents spent every Christmas with us as DH was an only child. They also did not drive and could not get to us by public transport, so DH collected them on Christmas Eve and took them back on the 28th. When he arrived back home with them on Christmas Eve the children would always greet them shouting
'Grandma and Grandpa are here, Christmas can begin!'

NanKate Wed 28-Nov-18 22:34:49

We never spent Xmas with my grandparents, they didn’t feature that much in our lives.

We are spending Xmas with our DS and our two young GSs this year. We will do all we can to make their Xmas a happy one. We don’t know how they will react to the absence of their mother. They rarely mention her when we go to stay but Xmas may prove to be a step too far. They will be with her on Boxing Day plus a few more days. I find it hard to accept this modern way of life.

Pittcity Thu 29-Nov-18 08:40:18

My Grandad lived with us and so was part of every day, Christmas was no different. My parents prefer to visit in early December and go away for Christmas.
When we are not hosting We enjoy giving time and attention to the grandchildren while their parents are busy cooking etc.

annodomini Thu 29-Nov-18 09:15:31

To answer the OP: I don't know, so you'd have to ask my DSs and DGC. I go to one or other of the two families every Christmas and so far I don't think they've had any complaints!

harrigran Thu 29-Nov-18 09:55:23

I would say in my case that DH and I take all the family out for Christmas lunch so the family don't have to work in the kitchen.
If we visited family after lunch I would prepare all the food for tea/supper and transport it to the other house.
This year everyone will return to ours so at least the food can stay in the fridge.
I think the GC would say that the best thing is that Grandma always manages to get that elusive must have from their Santa list tchsmile

Kim19 Thu 29-Nov-18 10:41:06

As the Grandparent, I don't know what's 'good' for the family about having me around. I suppose I'm a habit but, I hope(!!!) a nice one. I love seeing the GC's reaction when opening 'my' -Santa's, of course, - gift simply to gauge if I got it anywhere near right. Even that's difficult in the melee because at first it's a case of ripping parcels open non-stop. I'm always interested in what they gravitate to one the initial chaos has subsided. All lovely for me sitting back comfortably in an armchair whilst the parents deal with everything that transpires. I remember it well but am enjoying this 'elevated' status. Once there's a space, I'll be down on the floor playing. More bliss. The more I write this the more I realise there's so much more in this for me than any of the other company. So grateful to be included.

GrandmaPam Thu 29-Nov-18 10:43:19

The annual worry! My son and grandkids live 200 miles away so not for us the simple visit on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day - its all or nothing! In the past 10 years or so, they have mostly been with us but my DIL works shifts and only on 3 occasions has she had to work nights over the Christmas period, so they've all come to us afterwards for a few days. So we basically have 2 Christmases! However, this year, its been muted that we go down to them with a proviso that they might be in and out a bit because of visiting my DIL relatives - of course I understand that, and I don't particularly want to be away from my own home for Christmas. Bit of a dilemma!

jenni123 Thu 29-Nov-18 10:43:19

I never had a close relationship with my paternal grandmother. I was adopted and she never accepted me. My maternal grandmother died long before I was born. I saw my maternal grandad quite regularly but he died when I was about 10. I do not remember receiving any birthday or Christmas gifts from them ever.

Froglady Thu 29-Nov-18 10:46:24

I loved having my Pop and Nanny around at Christmas. Mind you, we used to have to rush Pop to eat his breakfast faster than usual so we could get into the lounge and find the presents. It just made it more Christmassy having them there.

Hm999 Thu 29-Nov-18 10:50:06

As long as they bring their glasses, someone to read the rules of the new game, teach the kids card games or read the instructions on the construction toy

Coconut Thu 29-Nov-18 10:56:41

We didnt have grandparents at Xmas as there were 5 children so it was chaotic. My Nan lived near us, always helped, but at Xmas went back to her siblings in Kent. Am so lucky as my GC tell the parents off if we do not arrange a big get together over at least one of the days .... however, now they are getting older it seems they are more keen to get here as one of my grandsons lives here with me, rather than to see me ( I’m in the granny annexe) I always get asked “why is ....... allowed to live with you and we can’t” !! So I think he is the attraction now, not me !! I just love seeing them all together as they are very close.

TellNo1Ok Thu 29-Nov-18 10:57:50

Actually we are the Christmas Day hosts to our direct family and long may that continue....
Last couple of years twin daughters have insisted they now contribute physically and financially which is helpful... one buys half the meat (the other hosts Boxing Day) and some drink and i do the cooking.... husband prepares the veggies on christmas eve and i do the rest. Daughters husbands and grandchildren and "partners" all bundle round at about 11 eat sleep and mouch about opening gifts, no eating until lunch, drinking, playing games, chatting, teasing each other, and playing on their phones and thankfully go home around 8 or 9 ... phew.
Daughters take turns to host Boxing Day... pretty much the same again ... and we then put our feet up... lovely time and i think everyone loves it. Grandchildren 28,25,21 ... (no GGC yet thank goodness)
Grandchildren appear to love coming round and settle down as if they were at home... i take that as a huge compliment ... why do they come?... they know we love them coming and would not disappoint us... we do our very best to make everyone feel loved happy and excited ... well fed with enough to drink and with loads of big and small and silly presents ...
Unconditional love ..

Patticake123 Thu 29-Nov-18 11:09:56

We always spent Christmas Day at my aunts house and my grandparents lived there. Christmas lunch, cooked by my grandmother was extra special with everyone squeezed around the table. Silver three pennies were in her homemade pudding and all 5 of the children would get one! After lunch we always played games. Everything stopped for ‘the Queen ‘ and then it would be tea time for another feast. After tea more games and the evening always ended with a card game called matrimony. Unfortunately I can’t remember how it was played except it involved two packs of cards and a lot of laughter. Such happy times, I do hope my own grandchildren have lovely memories of Christmas’s with us.

nipsmum Thu 29-Nov-18 11:44:51

I am fortunate. I see my grandchildren every week at least once,but I had a letter from my youngest granddaughter (aged 8) the other day.and she was telling me how much she was looking forward to seeing me on Christmas, she is happy to be able to show me her Christmas presents and hopes I will go to the Carol Service on Christmas Eve. .it brought years to my eyes, especially when she asked me to please send her a reply. There is nothing that touches your heart so much as the love of children especially Grandchildren xx

nipsmum Thu 29-Nov-18 11:45:50

Tears to my eyes.

millymouge Thu 29-Nov-18 12:10:49

We are the same MOnica everyone comes to us. Can be up to 17 - 18 over the two days. But we love it, wouldn't have it any other way. Everyone mucks in and in the end I find I don't really have to do much at all, the girls in the family all seem to take over and make me sit down. Love it all.

nettyandmasey Thu 29-Nov-18 12:37:31

My maternal nanny used to come and stay with us for Christmas, in my eyes pure heaven, we were very very close. Not quite sure if my mum enjoyed the length of stay quite as much! About 23rd December to 2nd January. One of my best memories is getting in bed with her in the mornings, for a cuddle. Then I had to hide under the covers while she got dressed. When I think back now she must have really trusted me not to peek! I saw her every week until she died, she gave me so much time as a child it was my way of saying thank you by visiting her. No one can ever take away those precious memories and that bond, one I hope I am replicating with my own grandchildren