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How to have a harmonious Christmas Q&A

(65 Posts)
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 28-Nov-16 11:53:59

While the adverts will have you believe everyone else's Christmas is harmonious and joyful with not a burnt turkey in sight, we all know that the reality can quite often be miscommunications, hurt feelings and at worst family breakdowns. So how can you avoid any unnecessary drama? If you've got a particular situation brewing that you'd like advice on, do post it on this Q&A.

The knowledgeable folk at Relate have offered to answer your queries. Add them here before midday on Monday 12 December

Christinefrance Tue 29-Nov-16 12:03:54

To know you are thinking of him will help pipparj, it's ok to cry don't worry about that. Much better than ignoring the elephant in the room. As Jalima said maybe your son could make the toast ,no need for anything lengthy just to know he is remembered.

carerof123 Tue 29-Nov-16 12:32:27

How sad, i feel for all of you.

I dont like Christmas for all the sadness it makes me remember in my own life.

boggles Tue 29-Nov-16 12:47:30

Site - Sight ? - Can't see the error....

Anya Tue 29-Nov-16 13:10:40

It's been changed to the correct spelling tbgrin

boggles Tue 29-Nov-16 13:27:42

Thank you Anya. I missed it the first time around.

Anya Tue 29-Nov-16 13:43:15

''Twas minimouse aka hawkeye who spotted it!

br0adwater Tue 29-Nov-16 14:00:32

I think it'd be cruel not to toast the one person she is missing so much on her first solo Christmas. Have tissues ready as she may not be the only one to cry.

We toasted my Mum the first (and last) Christmas my Dad had to face without her. He was deeply grateful.

Beware, that won't be the only poignant moment for her. It'll be other things that she remembers him liking or loathing about Christmas - the Queen, cracker jokes, afternoon walk etc. It's lovely that you are including her, and are so sensitive to her loss.

br0adwater Tue 29-Nov-16 14:01:56

sorry, that post was for Pipparj

Charleygirl Tue 29-Nov-16 15:17:22

Am I alone in looking forward to Christmas by myself? I can eat what I fancy, when I fancy and watch rubbish TV if I want.

My local Waitrose is asking for tokens to be donated so that those alone at Christmas can have a nice meal etc I think provided by the Salvation Army. That would be my worst nightmare.

If I was fitter I would not mind helping to serve, wash up etc but I am disabled so that will not happen.

There will be no squabbles in my house! Bliss.

merlotgran Tue 29-Nov-16 18:19:53

I agree with Candlefran. At our age we just go with the flow.

I do have an imaginary thought bubble though as a way of stifling the remarks I'd love to make.

Candlefran Tue 29-Nov-16 18:35:41

I don't. shock Bad mother alert!

I seem to get away with it though.

Candlefran Tue 29-Nov-16 18:36:18

Crosses fingers ever do tightly

Candlefran Tue 29-Nov-16 18:36:41

so not do

LyndaW Wed 30-Nov-16 09:45:12

Well, I've got a question for Relate or whoever else wants to give their tuppence worth? Of my three children, one is out of the country, one is going to spend the day with his soontobe in laws and the other has invited us to stay for Christmas. The dilemma is that this means we will be far away from our own parents for Christmas and this makes me feel incredibly guilty. But I also don't want to miss seeing the grandchildren wake up on Christmas morning and share that with them?

DaphneBroon Wed 30-Nov-16 09:45:31

Come on, be reasonable, grans girls(and guys) we are all of course going to slim down to a perfect 10,("your perfect Christmas body") appear on Christmas morning, perfectly coiffed, sequins at the ready, conjuring brunch for the many "wonderful friends" and family who have been driving home for Christmas bearing gifts, rosy cheeked grandchildren and housetrained golden retrievers, you will have prepared no end of spare beds with special festive bedding, decked the halls with at least 3 tasteful Christmas trees, boughs of holly, mistletoe and fairy lights. Mountains of presents will be exchanged beside the roaring fire/log burner and then while the Christmas dinner prepares and cooks itself you will all frolic in the snow/walk the dog(S) before returning to cocktails, smoked salmon, turkey three ways, five different vegetables, crispy roasties , washed down with champagne and followed by at least three puds.
Cue happy family games of Charades, Pictionary or that one where you each drink a bottle of something very alcoholic and try to remember who or where you are. (Forget that one, it might be true)
Kitchen elves will have cleared up in the kitchen all ready for your gigantic Boxing Day buffet for the entire estate neighbourhood à la Bridget Jones's mummy. tchgrin
Aren't we?

Answers (printable) on a postcard

J52 Wed 30-Nov-16 10:33:33

Oh Daphne, you've been spying on me! grin

Jalima Wed 30-Nov-16 10:36:44

Gosh! You have described our Christmas almost exactly DaphneBroon

Except that on Boxing Day we go for a 10 mile walk with rosy-cheeked DGC who never moan or want to be carried.
Back to the pub home for a gigantic buffet for all the neighbours (the buffet has magically appeared on the table)

Merry Christmas one and all smile

pollyperkins Thu 01-Dec-16 18:14:45

I have a friend, well more if an aquaintance) who once described to me her decorations and especially how dhe lays and decorated thatable for Christmas dinner. Her actual words were - it needs to be absolutely perfect' ! She also described the perfect and elieate meal she would prepare and i thought my poor family have to put up with a far from perfect meal from me. But they dont seem to mind! I couldnt cope with all that!

Jalima Fri 02-Dec-16 11:32:17

And if anyone brings two large dogs dressed up as Christmas elves or reindeer to my house again and lets them wander everywhere including the kitchen when I am cooking, I will find the nearest pub.

granoffour Fri 02-Dec-16 14:41:25

My issue is that two of my dils don't get on. One of them is a bit of a pain but we all try to be polite with her but the second dil takes no prisoners and can be quite...straightforward (really, she says what we'll all thinking but we try keep up appearances). Usually I wouldn't dream of doing seating plans but one year we got caught out when they sat across from each other and had an almighty row. It's tradition that we all have chrsitmas together but I'd be interested to know Relate's suggestions about dealing with two such strong personalities (the husbands are no help btw)

DaphneBroon Fri 02-Dec-16 17:45:05

How about ONE large dog Jalima??

Nelliemoser Fri 02-Dec-16 18:24:01

DaphneBroon That is my nightmare image of the sort of wonderful Christmas the media tell me I"should" be having but I know I will never achieve.

When do us "Find Christmas stressful" Gnrs get to open the doors of our Christmas refuge. From Grumpy OHs who are the likes of the neighbour in the Tesco advert who gives long lectures on the opening times of the local recyling centre.

Nelliemoser Fri 02-Dec-16 18:38:00

Anya you are right there. There is no point in the children squabbling if they don't have the parents around to annoy.

Bags it not just a question of trying to live up to media impressions though. It's how the "company" I will "be with" is no real support at all. As I said I live with that Tesco ad man. B aspergers!

Jalima Fri 02-Dec-16 19:12:18

Oh, they are so cute, they are welcome, very classy indeed.

But don't let them come into the kitchen if I'm cooking or carrying hot dishes from oven to hatch!!

Jalima Fri 02-Dec-16 19:13:56

We had an ex-DH and a new partner sitting next to one another one Christmas (not my ex or new partner). I should have put out place names.
It was very interesting.