so, how did it all go for you?

Oh look, it's broadly a place to talk about special occasions, party tips and to swap present ideas but let's be perfectly honest, this forum is here because I want to get excited about CHRIIIIIISTMAS from about June onwards.

so, how did it all go for you?

Postby DIMDongMerrily » 25 Dec 2011, 23:43

We had a chilled out, quite calm and, on the whole, good day all round here. My Mum came round for a fairly understated roast. I don't eat turkey so we had lamb instead, although Mum's a vegetarian (although she eats fish, so we had smoked salmon to start) so she just had vegetables. I didn't go over the top with the trimmings so I wasn't panicking too much about getting it all ready! Dylan enjoyed handing out the presents as well as opening his own. It was lovely to see how un-grabby he is. He opened his first present from us first thing this morning (the wooden garage from the Early Learning Centre) and then said he didn't want to look in his stocking or have anymore presents, and kept saying that he liked the garage. Lovely. He did eventually want to have a look at some of his other presents too, but it was nice to see him happy with his one thing.

As it was 'just' Mum round we didn't feel under pressure to perform as hosts as much as we would have done if there had been more people here. We all just sat around for most of the afternoon, doing not much really. Maybe next year we'll go and visit family but it's been nice just hanging out at home. We did this last year too, and the year before, and it's fun without all the stress! Well, there was some stress, but possibly less?

I think Isaac enjoyed his first Christmas. I don't think he really had much of a clue what was going on but he's been enjoying his new toys so that's good. He's tried on his Viking hat (although I did sneakily try it on him when it arrived in the post before I gave it to Mum to wrap up for him) and I've taken lots of pictures. He looks sweet! Dylan has had a lovely, if tiring day. He said thank you so gratefully for all of his presents and seemed to really enjoy the things he had rather than just ripping off the paper and moving on to the next thing. He's a lovely boy!

DH and I got a Kinect from Mum, which might go nicely with the new Xbox 360 I bought for DH. His other one was making a fairly dodgy whirring sound when I was watching a DVD on it the other day so I thought I'd pre-empt it and get him a new one! I got two new slings - Malawi Fische, from our very own Steeler, and Girasol Xela (bronze weft), in case anyone's interested - and Black Swan on DVD. I also got a litre of Baileys from Mum, plus some peach schnapps and Raspberry Sourz. I'm not sure exactly when I'm supposed to drink all of this, given that I'm breastfeeding a hungry little person but at least it'll last for a while!

So, how was your Christmas? What are your best presents? Did you get any naff ones? Any comedy moments?

I hope, even if it's all been stressful, that everyone's managed to have a quite nice Christmas really :D :D
Mummy to the Ragamuffin since 01/07/09 and the Small Boy since 30/07/11 ♥ ♥

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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby fourweewonders » 25 Dec 2011, 23:50

Very well here just a few minor tantrums from b, it was almost normal bedtime and i couldnt make him or nurseydad understand why its wasnt ok for him to play with his new playdough factory, on the floor, in the dining room, unsupervised, with 2 year old e and 14 month old nephew around
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby wacky12 » 26 Dec 2011, 02:27

We had a nice day, just he 3 of us. M enjoyed his presents (see the pressie thread) and I really loved mine too - that I basically picked them, then showed DH the webpages is neither here nor there - that doesn't mean he will buy them! I got a new fabric shoulder bag form Etsy, a 'Cupcakes for Clara' paper doll set (always wanted one and never got one!) and quite a bit of chocolate (in my stocking). We had a phone call from Canada at 8AM!(midnight there) - it was my sister and mum calling to thank us for the pictures and presents M made for them. I had to tell my mum that the button ball M gave her was smaller than the button ball he gave to my Godmother + her DH (his people guys) - but I think she thought i picked them and was lying... she is going to be funny with my GM - will have to warn them!

Lunch was a PB+ honey sandwich for M which he barely ate as he wanted to play with toys, I had a sinus headache and was asleep, and dinner was roast duck, roast pots, parsnips, carrots, braised red cabbage, and romanesca. No dessert, I didn't want any and DH cleared his plate and was too full. Maybe tomorrow. M had 2 roast pots, 2 bites of duck and declared himself full.... he barely ate anything yesterday. He did have a petit filou big pot before bed.... and after tipping over our little tree.

Ches, any suggestions to stop the 'You can't do XXXX! Naughty XXX! Go away, go home, you're not allowed here' commands from M?? He does this if we eat something/do something/not do something/ask or tell him not to do something and he doesn't want us to? Right now we either laugh, or tell him he can't tell us that.
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby TravellingMum » 26 Dec 2011, 03:13

We had a quiet day as a family and it was really nice. In years gone by we have had lots of other expats over - usually singles. This year though we just didn't have energy. DH has been working non -stop so yesterday was our day together.
DH cooked what they have in their home for Christmas (all Indian food...being Indian!!) So we have veg briyani, dahl, mutton curry, roast chicken pieces and roast potatoes, and salad. Wow we were full. And you should see the HUGE pot of briyani still on the stove. DAYS of food left - woo hooooo!!! :)

We got up and had breakfast and then slowly opened our wee gifts. A couple of friends had sent us presents from home, lots of wee things to open which was really fun.
Then DH cooked lunch, Little Panda and I had a loooong nap. We ate, we watched movies. Had trifle in the evening. It was a lovely day. Just what we needed. Kind of funny because we are both very sociable, but this year it was nice not to have to be!

Presents... I found a shop that sells wooden toys (which is nice because all the other toys here are that really really cheap plastic rubbish. Terrible stuff. So Little Panda got some puzzles and other bits. DH and I decided what we really needed were new sofas...so we splashed and bought a really decent set rather than the really cheap rubbish (see the theme?)
My back is grateful for the sofas as a Christmas present ! :)

That was our day! Now DH is back at work and Little Panda has a cold.
Mum to Little Panda and Wee Monkey
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby 3KiwiChicks » 26 Dec 2011, 03:22

Well the early morning was brilliant. The children really had a ball opening the presents and just played together so nicely. We then went off to the IL which was..... stressful. Everyone went way overboard with the presents and then wanted the kids to open them in a very short period of time while everyone watched, Alex got very overwhelmed and started to cry as everyone got upset when he wanted to play with the toys that he was opening. He ended up yelling "dont look at me" and ran out of the room and hid in the garden. I went and sat with him out there and we opened the other presents up the next morning. He wanted to leave. We had a some lunch and then headed off to my family thing.

..... 35 min of Grace crying in the car.....

My family thing went really well. We all sat outside under the trees while the kids played on the slip n slide and threw water balloons at each other. It was a very relaxed and fun afternoon. The kids opened a couple of presents and we took the rest home. It was brilliant up until my 87yo grandmother had a fall and broke her arm.... 30 min wait for an ambulance as its out in the wops. So the end was a bit stressful, but still better than the morning.

We got home about 6 and the kids went straight to bed.

Long day. A bit stressful. Feel like we have been hit by a freight train today. Kids got LOTS of stuff.
Three little chicks, all BLWed. Two at school and one preschooler. Not around much any more, but think of you all often.
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby AB&M » 26 Dec 2011, 06:35

Another chilled one here. Had a lovely walk in the park after presents - fed the mightily hungry ducks! DH cooked th best roast dinner despite it really not being his forte. Then TV :D
Spammer executioner & heads together basher

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Annie aka kitten 1
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby Fuz-Chan » 26 Dec 2011, 07:18

Travellingmum wrote:We had a quiet day as a family and it was really nice. In years gone by we have had lots of other expats over - usually singles.


in a nutshell.

lovely day, the three of us. some quality moments with Aisha, telling me to hurry up dishing up dinner and starting without us as she couldnt wait, and her timing xmas dinner in her new kitchen to match what I was doing in ours!
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby Seriously_Nutty » 26 Dec 2011, 08:01

Just a lovely relaxed family day :D. Had my folks over for lunch, they live opposite and cooked the turkey, I did the veg.
Bedtime was early for the lo's as arch was so tired from it all but because we were just at home the others had normal naps after lunch so we had a couple of hours of only one child to look after too.
And my folks got beautiful wooden toys for all the children, and slimbridge membership for us! Happy days :D :D
(the only horrendous plastic tat in my house was a purchase I made for William :oops: )
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” - Franklin P. Jones
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby KatGoldLIN » 26 Dec 2011, 08:47

Fab day. Kids loved their pressies and I was seriously spoiled. Through a series of mess ups by Amazon and John Lewis, I got a set of new le creuset pans from my mother. They are beautiful and a joy to cook with.

The food was amazing. And we hardly touched the turkey. Leftovers here we come.
Kat
Mum to E 02/04/2007, G 26/03/2010 and T 30/03/2011
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby Nix » 26 Dec 2011, 09:33

I loved the morning, opening presents with the kids is always so special. From there it went downhill a bit. DH moaned at me cos I wasn't getting ready quick enough for his liking and then when I did go upstairs to get ready he was messing on his iPhone and there was an incident where jasper took a toy from Harvey and so Harvey bit baby really badly on his nipple. It's bruised and sore and the skin is broken.

Went round to mums and my brother was being a little short with the kids. He wouldn't let me make the usual barricades that keep Jasper in the safe room so I ended up chasing him round the house. DH helpfully volunteered to help brother set up his new xbox 360 and then spent all day playing on it. Dinner was rubbish, jasper cried all the way through, Harvey left the table, step dad rolled his eyes when Jasper threw his food on the floor.

Dad said he would come and visit but he came after 7 and we'd already set of home. So we didn't see him.

Evening was good though, watched Juno, ate a chocolate bar and then had a 2 hour chat with my BFF.
Very proud mummy to three little stars:

Harvey born January 2009
Jasper born October 2010
Pippa born January 2013
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby Eli » 26 Dec 2011, 09:46

I survived, hormonal peaks and troughs of mood not helpful at Christmas. In hind sight I should have let Mr Man finish opening his stocking and let him just play but we needed to go to church and the to ILs. Amazing amount of stuff at the ILs,seriously our estate car boot is full, help! Despite succeeding in managing to leave the most irritating and large presents there (their house substantially larger than ours!) Announced pregnancy after dinner, will see if we regret this later I guess but I needed a better excuse for my unreasonable unfathomable mood swings! Is it bad if I say that the dinner was essentially tasteless and 2 hours late, argh. Oh well. Home now, opened presents from my parents, lots of games, very popular! the scooters from us are a hit too!
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby skip » 26 Dec 2011, 09:49

A pretty chilled out day in the end. M was an absolute delight - kept bursting into laughter at the excitement of it all. :D Woke up and opened M's stocking on our bed - little sweetie was just as excited by the pack of pants and socks as he was with the toys. And then the look on his face when we told him there were more presents under the tree downstairs was priceless...

I was really impressed at how patient he was - I mean, he was asking to open lots in quick succession, but he wasn't being bratty or grabby, just swept along with the thrill of a whole stack of presents with his name on, which is fair enough! He LOVED his octopod and I quote: "Oh my goodness, that's the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life!!", and got another gup from my mum and a few more figures from my dad. He's been in octo-land every since, deep in imaginative play.

Presents from my family were mostly from his amazon list which was great - books and melissa and doug threading beads. From the ILs he got a great ELC tractor and some lovely books and bath toys. Nothing hideous or overly noisy. ;)

Glad no one went mad over R either - there is NOTHING we need for him clothes/toys wise. My sister very thoughtfully donated to the special care baby unit at our local hospital instead, which we've done too. Wish i'd thought to suggest it to others as well, though a few people have given us money to put in a savings account for him (note to self, MUST set up an isa or something!).

My mum came over for a few hours but spent most of the time on the phone to my sister in Australia. Had pancakes for brekkie and then some olive foccacia mid morning before going over to ILs for a roast. All a bit noisy over there - TV on, radio on, both at high volume (but no one listening/watching them :? so I switched them off...), everyone talking in shouts to be heard, SIL repeating herself over and over again, BIL treating M a bit like a dog to be teased and then shouted at... But it was fine really. Ate, thanked, went home! Dinner was cheese and crackers and chutney, followed by my first glass of wine in about a year! R spent all afternoon/evening in a feeding frenzy but thankfully tailed off at about midnight so we actually got a bit of sleep last night. Somehow DH believes he's tired (why is this not illegal in DH's of newborn mothers?) and so has gone back to bed this morning, despite M sleeping through til 5am and then coming in with me in the spare room until 7. HUmph. So I'm aimlessly browsing the sales online and ignoring the laundry and washing up.

Today we're having crispy duck and pancakes for lunch and then heading over to SIL's for a mini Christmas with them as they weren't around yesterday. Although 8 adults and 3 kids in a 1 bed flat might be a bit of a hellish experience... will prob escape to the park with the kiddos at some point.

All in all, feel very lucky for my sweet family, my gorgeous big boy who is becoming so polite and observant, my littlest boy who I had a little cry over last night for simply surviving his terrifying birth, and my handsome husband who has come so far this year in dealing with his anxiety and depression. I though this year would be "the year" for certain things but 2012 is looking good too...
Mama to the marvellous M (July '08) and R-bear (Oct '11)
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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby AwayinaChive » 26 Dec 2011, 15:06

Totally chilled out. Just us 4, kids got a nice amount of presents, nothing too big or ridiculous (not counting the skateboard wall hangings). Nice roast with everything we wanted in the afternoon. Didn't leave the house, kids were happy playing all day with their new stuff.

Today we met some good friends at the seafront and our 4 year olds rode their bikes while dd2 slept on me. Nice, relaxing times!
DD1- 7/2007, DD2- 2/2010, DS- 7/2006- in heaven

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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby AB&M » 26 Dec 2011, 16:43

Currently in the thick of PIL visit... Not too bad they have actually played with Bruno FIL mostly. MIL asked why I wasn't expressing my milk - why would I if I didn't need to? The disapproving comments about kitten attached to me all the time aren't too bad either - I choose to wrap her so Bruno & I have a life!

As for the disgust at only getting the Bruno photo album :scream it cost lots not to mention time & did I mention I've just had a baby??! Of course her son could have got presents....

PIL now hiding in DH's den with music while Bruno & I watch tv & DH hiding in kitchen drinking. Sounds about right - roll on 10am tomorrow!!
Spammer executioner & heads together basher

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Re: so, how did it all go for you?

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 26 Dec 2011, 17:16

Is it just me that hates making a roast then? Just the four of us so should have been relaxed but we hadn't done the prep I wanted to on Christmas Eve (We were both working till the last minute then DH had a hair appointment on Christmas Eve and hadn't wrapped my presents yet, grrrr) and I find all the last minute stuff for a roast a complete pain in the neck, especially when you are trying to open presents with kids as well.

Today has been much more relaxed despite having to pop into work. Leftovers is much easier to deal with, a tasty pasta dish for lunch made with sunblush tomatoes and left over chipolatas (which we forgot about on the day :oops: ) and stir fry duck for tea and the girls have time to enjoy their presents.

Present haul was good, lots of books for everyone, no plastic or electronic tat and only MIL getting an inappropriately young present for DD2. Now time to sort out Dd1's birthday party in two days!
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

DD1 Dec 07, DD2 June 09, DS Sept 12
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