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What do you do at Christmas?

(75 Posts)
fiorinda Sun 22-Oct-17 11:50:13

I've got 2 adult children aged 31 and 26 and I've been divorced almost 8 years, and both of us is remarried.

My son lives away, and my daughter nearby with her partner and their 2 boys, aged 3 and nearly 6. They have no contact with her partner's parents.

Christmas can be complicated enough, especially when there are several sets of parents to take into account. A few years back we settled on a solution that seems to suit us all.

My son stays with his Dad and Dad's wife, as they have a large house and his step-brother and step-sister are there. My daughter and her family stay at home, because who wants to trail all the presents for 2 small boys out on Christmas day?! They will often walk round to visit my ex-husband in the afternoon. My husband and I enjoy a quiet day eating lobster, watching films, and maybe a walk in the park.

Then on Boxing Day we have our Christmas. Everyone, including my 96 year old mother, comes to us and we have our huge feast, crackers and presents.

We kind of started this new tradition because my son said his Dad would make too much fuss if he wasn't there for Christmas dinner - but then he would come to us in the evening, and insist I saved him a plate of our Christmas dinner!!

I actually find this arrangement suits us, and love our quiet, lazy Christmas day!!

I'm curious to know how other divorced families handle Christmas with adult children.

Imperfect27 Sun 22-Oct-17 12:09:01

I remarried 3 years ago and inherited 2 stepsons, SS1, 26 and SS2, 23, to add to my DD1 31, DS1, 29 and DS2, 26.

We have had changing comings and goings over the past few years. This year ...
SS2 will staying 23rd - 27th.
DS1 will staying 24th-26th
DS2 who is local will visit for stocking opening on Christmas Day morning, then go to partner's parent's for lunch and back again with partner for tea.
Boxing Day ...we will also host my MIL and DIL for tea, but DS1 and DS2 will be collected by ex H and taken to DD1's. Originally DH, SS2 and I were meant to go too, but due to new job I won't be able to.
I will probably get to see DD1, SIL and GS the following weekend.
Won't get to see SS1 - lives other end of the country, but he and his partner are coming to stay earlier in Dec. Complicated eh?!

Christinefrance Sun 22-Oct-17 12:35:49

Families all do their own thing in UK, we spend Christmas either together or with any friends who are not well or would otherwise be alone. Sadly the latter is more frequent.
We enjoy a peaceful day with a parcel of new books and favourite TV programmes. Christmas is more low key here in France with New Year being an important celebration.

fiorinda Sun 22-Oct-17 13:30:39

OMG Imperfect27! I hope you've got a chart!!!

Greyduster Sun 22-Oct-17 13:31:52

HIDE!!! No, not really though the temptation is there.....
We tend have alternate years where Christmas Day is either at our house or at DD’s. This year, it is ours (so my GS tells me!). They will stay overnight. Boxing Day the norm seems to have become that DS and DiL will come to us and stay overnight. If there is no Boxing Day football match, we will all go out for a walk if possible, otherwise the DiL and I will be left it our own devices. I really don’t like things to settle into a routine and it would not bother me if they all chose to do something different, and have told them so, but at the moment, they don’t seem inclined.

tanith Sun 22-Oct-17 13:51:47

We often have Christmas Day quietly at home just us two then visit either a daughter or grandchilds home for the afternoon/evening for secret santa giving. With some of our grands spending time with parents who are divorced or with partners families it's a bit of a case of whoever wants to come does and we see others when they available it's not like it used be with everyone in one place . We no longer have space for everyone anyway.

kittylester Sun 22-Oct-17 13:57:11

We have whoever wants to come here or all go to DD1'S. But we have Lester Boxing Day on the 27th and any one and everyone comes here!

ninathenana Sun 22-Oct-17 15:34:11

All the time mum was able we took it in turns to cook and host alternate years. Moving on we would have mum to stay here. Mum's gone now so it's just H S and I sitting looking at ourselves. When D married they either spent Christmas day at his or his parents came to them. We have never spent Christmas day with GC sad D has new partner now and will be in Scotland with his dad.
This year is all change though as dear friends have invited H S and I. They live 2 hrs away so we are staying from 24th-27th and their family are all coming Boxing Day. It will be great.

KatyK Sun 22-Oct-17 16:35:04

We have never spent Christmas Day with our daughter and granddaughter either (although I would have loved it), apart from a couple of years ago when they came here as DH had been diagnosed with cancer, they decided they wanted to come for the first time ever! They have always wanted to do their own thing on the day but everyone comes to us for Boxing night.

Imperfect27 Sun 22-Oct-17 17:01:45

fiorinda grin
Actually this will be a very different Christmas for me compared to times past as I shall be working for part of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. DH will do most of the cooking.

My DD1 is just having a new kitchen extension and for the first time, offered to be host on Boxing Day, but this raised several dilemmas as we have hosted my MIL and DIL then over the past 8 years and they would not make the journey with us, but would have been 'home alone.' Also, TBH, I really was feeling reluctant about having to share Boxing day in the company of my ExH and his husband (yes, thereby hangs another tale) - and seeing that as a new 'tradition' for years to come. So having to work is a bit of a blessing in disguise I think.

Moneyboss Sun 22-Oct-17 18:39:27

We go to our local club for a bar snack with all our neighbours on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day is spent quietly, just the 4 of us, lots of phone calls though as most of the family are spread around the world. Boxing Day is always spent at my OH sister's house with all his side of the family, which is a reet good do.

harrigran Sun 22-Oct-17 22:49:14

We take the family to a restaurant for lunch and then usually go back to DS and DIL's to watch GC open their presents. DD will return to the UK for the festivities.

Nelliemoser Sun 22-Oct-17 23:27:56

I always want to hide.

paddyann Sun 22-Oct-17 23:49:22

it was always at our house until my daughter had her first child then she took over the Christmas dinner,so everyone heads to her house thats us my son and partner and D and MIL there will be 16 for dinner though that might change as she always sends out an OPEN invitation to any friends who would be alone ...just as I always did .So we take a couple of extra presents so unexpected or last minute guests aren't left out .We're all spending Hogmanay together too for the first time in 6 years and that will be fab .I missed having them all here at the turn of the year so it will be great to all be together

cornergran Sun 22-Oct-17 23:52:00

We don't have a 'usually'. Adapt year by year as lives have changed and have always found enjoyment. Recent unanticipated family complications make me want to hide away this Christmas. It will be a difficult one.

Tegan2 Mon 23-Oct-17 00:24:45

Will [hopefully] go to DS's and watch the granddaughter open her presents in the morning and then the S.O. and I will just have a meal together. DD [who lives a couple of miles away] just wants a quiet family Christmas. To be honest, I wouldn't even bother with a Christmassy meal if it wasn't for the S.O. An friend of mine from way back visits us for a couple of days and we look forward to that.

Grandma2213 Mon 23-Oct-17 02:16:58

Nelliemoser I know what you mean! DS's want to have my Christmas Dinner. Now with split families and 'fair' arrangements DGC only meet up briefly then come from or move to their other parent. Partners arrive at different times from their parents so the whole day is spent rushing from one 'feeding' 'present opening' session to another.
This year for the first time I have some DGC Christmas Eve so don't expect to sleep at all that night!

Oh how I envy people who can go for a walk at any time over the Christmas period. Even if there was time I'd be too exhausted! envy

BBbevan Mon 23-Oct-17 05:35:13

When my parents were alive my sister and I did alternate Christmas days and Boxing Day. Whichever day I did, DH parents came too. So with grandparents, parents, children, cousin s etc we were about 15 people.
Now the children have all grown up and several have families and in-laws of their own we do not get together so much.
Last year, as we had just moved we had Christmas with DD.
DS,DiL and the DGDs went to DiLs parents. They are Muslim but still do Christmas with, a tree, dinner and presents etc.
This year as we now have our own house everyone is coming to us. Joy of joys. Can't wait.

Grandma70s Mon 23-Oct-17 07:15:53

I stay with one of my sons. A lot of travelling is involved. There will be sons, sons’ partners, children and their in-laws. Far too many people. It is absolutly exhausting and I would love just to stay at home by myself and have a peaceful day. We could do FaceTime.

Gagagran Mon 23-Oct-17 07:55:22

We are going to DS's Christmas Eve and will stay 2 nights, coming home Boxing Day. I take a big box of my mince pies by request and take other goodies too.

New Year DD and family come here. They live very near to us but she has to have her difficult MinL for Christmas and refuses to impose her on us. She is a drinker and very outspoken and tactless.

I always think it would be easier for travelling if Christmas was not in the middle of winter!

Humbertbear Mon 23-Oct-17 08:21:02

We rent a cottage by the seaside with our single daughter and see our son and his family for a ‘second’ Boxing Day when we come back. We ignore Christmas while we are away having pizza or an Indian take away for lunch on the day. We’ve done this for years and really look forward to a week of doing very little.

gillybob Mon 23-Oct-17 08:25:52

I have always hosted our family christmas but after losing my grandma and mum over just a few months we decided to eat out last Christmas . It wasn't the same. We visited the DGC in the morning as always and whilst it was heaven not to have all the preparation, cooking, washing up etc. There was definitely something missing. My sister is after "going back to the way it was" and eating at mine but that's great for her when she and her boyfriend just swan in, eat and drink me out of house and home and leave me with the washing and clearing up. Not to mention the cost. At least we all paid our way last year. I'm really not sure what to do ? It's a huge expense isn't it ?

Smithy Mon 23-Oct-17 08:57:41

Humbertbear - that sounds like a great idea to me. Its got me thinking..........

Charleygirl Mon 23-Oct-17 09:09:25

I am now on my own- I used to drive to my aunt's for lunch and one of her friends came also. They are dead so I please myself, having a totally relaxed time and choosing exactly what I want to eat. I usually have a reasonably good meal on Christmas eve because on the whole TV programmes are better and I like to watch and dine. I open a decent bottle of wine and that survives for three evening meals. I am comfortable with my own company which helps and Christmas no longer means much to me.

Newquay Mon 23-Oct-17 09:29:32

Christmas is only a date. Retailers have hyped it into something else. I feel so sorry for folks who are stretched financially and get sucked up into all this nonsense. I speak as a practising Christian so celebrating the birth of our Saviour is something special to us. Church in the morning to celebrate with LOTS of church family. For years we have gone to DD1's home which is always fun with their 4 children-lives nearby so not a problem. They come to us Boxing Day. This arrangement is their choice. We usually invite a lady we know who is all alone in the world-she copes very well with all the noise.