EMPTY nest Christmas - ProTeacher Community




      
Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      Teachers' Lounge


EMPTY nest Christmas

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
kahluablast's Avatar
kahluablast kahluablast is online now
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,862
Senior Member

kahluablast
 
kahluablast's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,862
Senior Member
EMPTY nest Christmas
Old 12-17-2019, 05:50 AM
  #1

How does this work?

For the first time ever we do not have children living at home, and my parents will not be visiting as they have for the last 30 years.

Both children are close enough to come home, but one has animals and won't want to stay (unless she brings them and that isn't happening).

So what do you do? They come, you have a meal and open presents?

I am at a loss. Dh isn't much of a game player, but I can force that issue if need be. We do have an escape game that we didn't finish playing that we could begin again. I thought about making cookies together.

We are doing pizza because I don't want to make anything much. And I have the vegan and that just makes everything food more difficult. We are making our own pan pizzas...

What does a holiday look like for other emtpy nesters?


kahluablast is online now   Reply With Quote

annie_g's Avatar
annie_g annie_g is offline
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,975
Senior Member

annie_g
 
annie_g's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 5,975
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 06:04 AM
  #2

My son, DIL, and grandson come over for brunch. We open presents and visit. They go home (they live nearby), and we take a nap.
annie_g is offline   Reply With Quote
amiga13's Avatar
amiga13 amiga13 is online now
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,018
Senior Member

amiga13
 
amiga13's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,018
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 06:11 AM
  #3

I hesitate to describe our plans because, after many years of a houseful of people and big turkey dinners, they’ll seem so meager. The only people left in our family are DS (and his family), DD (and her dog), and me. Until yesterday DS lived 500 miles away, but just yesterday they moved over 2,000 miles away (promotion and her family).

DD lives only 30 minutes away. She and her darling dog are coming to my place for Christmas Day. We’ll open presents and eat and talk and laugh. Last year we went out for Chinese food and had fun so we thought that could be a new tradition, but the restaurant had a fire and is rebuilding. This year I’m providing a pretty extensive charcuterie/cheeseboard & wine (I could easily serve 10 and I’m not done shopping). DD is bringing a baguette and dessert. We plan to open presents and eat a lot of our favorite foods. DD is taking Lyft so she can imbibe. We’ll take a walk by the ocean and appreciate each other.

You asked. Kinda sad, right?

Last edited by amiga13; 12-17-2019 at 06:33 AM.. Reason: Clarity
amiga13 is online now   Reply With Quote
mhugs mhugs is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 12,539
Senior Member

mhugs
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 12,539
Senior Member
Empty Nesters
Old 12-17-2019, 06:11 AM
  #4

There have been years we have gone out for Chinese food and then gone to a movie.

Sometimes I have bought myself a good book to read. DH gets lost in some mindless TV marathon... to his credit as a church musician Christmas season is demanding so he is ready to unwind.
mhugs is offline   Reply With Quote
twinmom95's Avatar
twinmom95 twinmom95 is online now
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,106
Senior Member

twinmom95
 
twinmom95's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 6,106
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 06:44 AM
  #5

This happened to us for the first time last year and it ended up being last minute surprise. We knew dd24 wouldn't be home because she was in the UK with her boyfriend visiting his parents.

Ds24 came home a couple days before but because he depended on a ride ended up having to go back early Christmas morning because his ride got called into work in Boston. Luckily we had a little warning so we could do our presents and dinner on Christmas Eve instead. It did feel pretty weird!

Then we ended up going to my sister's house on Christmas Day Afternoon for a family get-together about an hour away.

This year I have a full house for a week :-)


twinmom95 is online now   Reply With Quote
Hifiman's Avatar
Hifiman Hifiman is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 23,726
Blog Entries: 8
Senior Member

Hifiman
 
Hifiman's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 23,726
Senior Member
I think it comes down to whatever works
Old 12-17-2019, 06:48 AM
  #6

The main thing is to spend some time together. And knowing that Christmas changes over the years. This year I just wasn't feeling putting up our tree. I'm tired of the hassle. I bought a 2 ft. tree from Target with lights attached for $15. That's a christmasy as we're getting.
Hifiman is offline   Reply With Quote
anna's Avatar
anna anna is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 13,701
Senior Member

anna
 
anna's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 13,701
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 07:11 AM
  #7

Christmas feels different every year now that the kids are off on their own. I am teaching myself to enjoy the changes .In the future I envision taking a trip with dh during the holiday times ,perhaps overseas somewhere or on the road in our rv. For now we still have both kids come to our home. DS will stay for a week because he lives several hundred miles away. DD and her family live 15 minutes away so they all will be here Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.
anna is offline   Reply With Quote
lisa53's Avatar
lisa53 lisa53 is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 6,552
Senior Member

lisa53
 
lisa53's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 6,552
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 07:59 AM
  #8

For a long time we drew names for stockings at Thanksgiving. Dh and I went to church Christmas morning. Then I got the pork roast in the oven and started the Spanish rice. Kids arrived around noon and went to separate rooms to stuff a stocking. Then we convened for appetizers, ate dinner, and opened gifts. Had dessert, and then opened stockings and tried to guess our secret Santa.

Some years, due to in-laws plans, we had our dinner or gift exchange before Christmas and just had dessert and stockings on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

This year kids are coming to my new (smaller) house this Sunday to put up my tree, go out to lunch, and then decorate the tree. We are downplaying the gift giving and not doing stockings any more since dd now has her own nuclear family to manage. I will go to her house on Christmas Day. Some in-laws may (or may not) be there...

It will change again next year when ds moves to TX. He will be in west TX, not near eldest dd in Houston area. Who knows...maybe I will be there next year...
lisa53 is offline   Reply With Quote
sonoma's Avatar
sonoma sonoma is online now
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,083
Senior Member

sonoma
 
sonoma's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,083
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 08:29 AM
  #9

We go to a movie then out for dinner. Peaceful and enjoyable
sonoma is online now   Reply With Quote
amiga13's Avatar
amiga13 amiga13 is online now
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,018
Senior Member

amiga13
 
amiga13's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,018
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 08:43 AM
  #10

I hope I didnít sound hopeless or helpless. I do miss my Christmas family, but I realize life goes on and itís up to me to make it joyful. Iím truly excited about our plans for Christmas Day.

Hifi, I didnít feel like even my mini-tree this year. I did do lots of other decorations and hope it looks festive here.
Quote:
Who knows
Thatís the best advice, lisa. Iím open to new and changing traditions.


amiga13 is online now   Reply With Quote
GreenBunny's Avatar
GreenBunny GreenBunny is offline
 
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,236
Senior Member

GreenBunny
 
GreenBunny's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,236
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 08:51 AM
  #11

Boy doesn't live with us but he lives close enough for us to see him fairly regularly. It takes about an hour to drive to his place, 1.5 hours by public transit. He lives on the west side of the city, we live in a suburb to the east.

For 20-some years, we spent Christmas with my sister and her family. It was busy and bustling and mostly fun. For the last 5 years, she's gone to her son's home in Alaska and we stay home. We were surprised by how much we love the quiet and unrushed nature of our Christmas. Boy and I make dinner together. We might play a game. We take a LONG time to open presents, opening them one person/one gift at a time so we can admire what's inside and discuss it. Last year, present opening took well over 2 hours and included lunch.

Boy will come probably for dinner on Christmas Eve and leave before noon on Dec 26. This is much longer than last year when he was at home for about 24 hours.

@amiga13, I think your Christmas sounds fabulous. It sounds quiet and happy.

Last edited by GreenBunny; 12-17-2019 at 08:54 AM.. Reason: forgot to add this
GreenBunny is offline   Reply With Quote
travelingfar's Avatar
travelingfar travelingfar is offline
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,116
Senior Member

travelingfar
 
travelingfar's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 3,116
Senior Member
Christmas
Old 12-17-2019, 08:59 AM
  #12

Over the years Christmas has changed a great deal. DH and I used to go to big family gatherings (we don't have kids). Then my parents, aunts, and uncles passed away and my siblings moved out of town.

We celebrated with friends for a number of years, but they recently moved away too. Now DH and I are on our own. He cooked a great Christmas meal the last few years. We decided to treat ourselves to a fancy lunch at a restaurant this year. We might see a movie afterwards.

I hope you can find an arrangement that works for the holidays.

Last edited by travelingfar; 12-18-2019 at 04:27 AM..
travelingfar is offline   Reply With Quote
SusaninNJ's Avatar
SusaninNJ SusaninNJ is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,681
Senior Member

SusaninNJ
 
SusaninNJ's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,681
Senior Member
Christmas
Old 12-17-2019, 09:07 AM
  #13

Another with no kids. Both my parents and in-laws are gone now. I think mass and then a movie and dinner out for us.
SusaninNJ is offline   Reply With Quote
1956BD's Avatar
1956BD 1956BD is online now
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 27,414
Senior Member

1956BD
 
1956BD's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 27,414
Senior Member
Empty Nester Christmas
Old 12-17-2019, 09:14 AM
  #14

We all meet at my sister's house for the day. It is her family and mine.

We get Chinese take out for our meal. Then open gifts, And as of last year we added seeing a movie before going home.

All our kids are gown, unmarried and no kids (grandkids). This generation decided we needed a movie theater tradition. It was fun last year. We saw Marry Poppins.

My sister has downsized so her home is small and it was nice to not be in a small space all day.

This year I think we are seeing Little Women. But I will leave that for the kids to decide. Anything is fine with me.

Good luck with reinventing what Christmas looks like this year. Have fun!
1956BD is online now   Reply With Quote
tammynj's Avatar
tammynj tammynj is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 20,827
Senior Member

tammynj
 
tammynj's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 20,827
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 09:48 AM
  #15

It does sound like it will be a bit of an adjustment.

Wait, so the kids will be coming, just not staying overnight? (Sorry if I am misreading)

Or are you looking for things for just you and your DH to do?

A movie in the afternoon might be a nice way to break up the day.
tammynj is offline   Reply With Quote
MKat MKat is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,672
Senior Member

MKat
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,672
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 10:51 AM
  #16

Last year we saw our oldest son on Christmas Eve. They live in the City and we went for a walk at the zoo and then had dinner. This year we saw them in November and will see them again probably in January. They were with other family for Thanksgiving too.

Thankfully younger son and his girlfriend were with us on Thanksgiving and he will he with us on Christmas. The close family friends we celebrate with are going through the same thing.

Every holiday is different. We're already thinking of maybe vacationing next year!

Last edited by MKat; 12-17-2019 at 03:59 PM..
MKat is offline   Reply With Quote
NJ Teacher's Avatar
NJ Teacher NJ Teacher is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,448
Senior Member

NJ Teacher
 
NJ Teacher's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 8,448
Senior Member
No kids here...
Old 12-17-2019, 12:34 PM
  #17

I am single, and my best friend is divorced. Her son and grandkids live in New England and they never come down for Christmas. Never have...Her sister and brother-in-law have become surrogate family to me. We will be gathering early in the afternoon because the brother-in-law has to go to work the next day this year. We have a meal and exchange gifts. We chat a bit and then they go home.

I wish they were more the wine and appetizer type, but the sister-in-law doesn't drink and they are not big eaters. Fancy meals are wasted on them. This year, we will be keeping it simple with rotisserie chickens from a gourmet supermarket in town and having simple sides and desserts. They ARE big dessert eaters.

My friend will be going up in early January to spend a couple of days with her son and grandkids. Usually, she comes up there the day after Christmas, but there was a divorce and remarriage, so it's a little different this year.

I hope everyone enjoys their holidays no matter how you are choosing to spend it.
NJ Teacher is offline   Reply With Quote
Janylynne's Avatar
Janylynne Janylynne is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,914
Senior Member

Janylynne
 
Janylynne's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,914
Senior Member
Enjoying the stories...
Old 12-17-2019, 02:13 PM
  #18

Of what everyone is doing. My DH and I still have parents, grown kids, and other family either around our house for Christmas or we travel to my momís so itís still busy. Except, last year there was only my sister, BIL, and my mom at the family dinner due to various reasons. That was weird!

Thanksgiving is the holiday that used to be a big deal and now itís gotten smalleróit wasnít unusual to cram 15-30 people in my house. 3 years ago we had more than a dozen people plus 6 dogs and then this year it was just my DH, my mom, two of the kids and me. My oldest brother and his wife have visited for Thanksgiving for 30 plus years and now arenít traveling due to health reasons. It feels odd not to have them with us (they always did the dishes.) They wonít be at my momís form Christmas, either.

I guess we need to embrace or at least accept changes, and know there isnít just one right way to celebrate holidays.
Janylynne is offline   Reply With Quote
NJ Teacher
Old 12-17-2019, 02:58 PM
This message has been deleted by NJ Teacher.
rana712 rana712 is offline
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,586
Senior Member

rana712
 
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,586
Senior Member
We travel
Old 12-17-2019, 04:03 PM
  #19

to see our own parents. We will spend a couple of days with SIL and MIL. We will then spend time with my brother and my parents. All told- 1500 miles in 7 days! Fun, fun, fun (not really). We will get to spend some time with DD2 on our first leg as she is working in that area. And hopefully DD1 might get to see us the following week. We will snack, do puzzles, and play cards.

It was WAY easier when the kids were younger and at home. And I do miss spending holidays with them!
rana712 is offline   Reply With Quote
cvt's Avatar
cvt cvt is offline
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,717
Senior Member

cvt
 
cvt's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,717
Senior Member
odd
Old 12-17-2019, 04:05 PM
  #20

It's really odd. It looks like my post about empty nest at Christmas disappeared. Not sure why. Oh, well.
cvt is offline   Reply With Quote
kahluablast's Avatar
kahluablast kahluablast is online now
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,862
Senior Member

kahluablast
 
kahluablast's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 19,862
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 04:13 PM
  #21

Thanks for the feedback! We will be doing our celebration this weekend then heading to the mountains. Christmas day will depend on the weather. I didn't cook Thanksgiving, so I may do a mini meal for dh and I. Then we can munch on leftovers and I won't cook for several days.

I think we might still bake some cookies together and then they can take some back home with themselves. We will open presents and make our little pizzas. If they want to hang until whenever, or spend the night that will be fine.

I don't mind it. It is just a change. I like to hear that there are so many others with similar situations and how you do things. Always nice feedback.
kahluablast is online now   Reply With Quote
overthemoon overthemoon is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 624
Senior Member

overthemoon
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 624
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 04:16 PM
  #22

Amiga,your Christmas sounds lovely. I think we have an image in our minds of what Christmas should look like and it's hard to entertain other options. I'm sure it will turn out to be a wonderful day for you and your daughter. Three of my 4 adult children will be with us on Christmas day. I have each of them make one dish to contribute to the meal. That way we are all hanging out in the kitchen together. I will be missing my oldest daughter and 2 grandchildren who live 6 hours away, but we will Face Time. She wants her children to wake up in their own home on Christmas and I understand that. Plus, travel is hard with 2 little children and she already has enough stress. Hope everyone has a happy holiday no matter what your situation is.
overthemoon is offline   Reply With Quote
Haley23 Haley23 is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,533
Senior Member

Haley23
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 7,533
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 04:24 PM
  #23

Growing up we always spent Christmas/major holidays with my mom's family and they were the side we were close to. My mom is currently the only one left from her original family- her sister and parents have all passed away. Her sister never had children so I didn't have any cousins on that side. I'm an only child and am unmarried so now it's just me and my parents.

My mom still makes a special meal (this year she has said my dad and I are each in charge of making a side dish ), exchange presents, and play cards. No alcohol as my parents don't drink.

I don't really mind the quiet day. Growing up in a small family, it's what I'm used to. I do think my mom gets a little sad about it. I have wondered what it's like to be part of a big family that has big gatherings. My dad's side of the family is slightly larger as he had two siblings who had children, but I was never close to any of them and only see them 1x per year on Christmas Eve.
Haley23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Ima Spedtcher's Avatar
Ima Spedtcher Ima Spedtcher is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,346
Senior Member

Ima Spedtcher
 
Ima Spedtcher's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,346
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 08:05 PM
  #24

Omg Amiga! You just described my dream Christmas Day. Not sad at all.
Ima Spedtcher is offline   Reply With Quote
teachnkids's Avatar
teachnkids teachnkids is online now
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,283
Senior Member

teachnkids
 
teachnkids's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 25,283
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 08:14 PM
  #25

Change is hard. I know my DD is around your oldest DDs age. I'm not ready to give up Christmas this year, but it may be our last as a family for a while.

We have both kids, my mom, siblings from both sides attending this year. All are staying several nights. I'm just sad that this may be it.

DS is likely moving to Europe for several years and DD graduates with PhD next year and who knows where she and BF will end up. Likely not close to home.

It's hard, bit I'm convinced that I can create new memories. I can do Christmas in Europe! I can do Christmas in town x with DD. If need be well celebrate both around the holiday and travel somewhere warm for Christmas. Some people get caught up in the "they spend Christmas with in-laws every year". I vowed never to be that mom and won't be! As long as I can celebrate near the holiday I'm good!

Hang in there. Change can be hard!

Last edited by teachnkids; 12-17-2019 at 09:15 PM..
teachnkids is online now   Reply With Quote
amiga13's Avatar
amiga13 amiga13 is online now
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,018
Senior Member

amiga13
 
amiga13's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,018
Senior Member

Old 12-17-2019, 08:48 PM
  #26

Quote:
Omg Amiga! You just described my dream Christmas Day.
Come on over, weíll have plenty to share.
amiga13 is online now   Reply With Quote
hikinghiker hikinghiker is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 212
Full Member

hikinghiker
 
Joined: Nov 2018
Posts: 212
Full Member
My parents are almost empty nesters
Old 12-17-2019, 09:30 PM
  #27

My sister is well into her later 20s and married and I'm in my 20s and single. We both live away from home, though I live in the same city as my parents. My parents aren't quite empty nesters as they do have my younger brother who is a teenager, but it's much more low-key than it used to be when we had extended family.

Over the last few years while I was in college, my two grandpas (my mom's dad and my dad's dad) died. Then my sister spent a Christmas out of town. So we were down to 4 of us at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we do the same thing, regardless of who is there. We always make some snacks and appetizers (think frozen section of grocery stores) and eat them while we watch Christmas movies.

Last year we made the switch to us all buying things for each others stocking, which as fun since no one knew what was in everyones, since everyone contributed a few items to everyones stocking. We always open one by one while enjoying drinks. Then we do presents and we open one by one too, which always takes a great deal of time, even when there's only a few of us there.

Also, even though I live in the same city, I likely won't stay at my parents because I have a dog and honestly I like my bed too much and don't like sleeping over. So I'll drive over on Christmas Eve, drive back home that night, then head over on Christmas morning again.
hikinghiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Funnystory Funnystory is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 250
Full Member

Funnystory
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 250
Full Member

Old 12-18-2019, 01:04 PM
  #28

This thread makes me sad but last year was our first Christmas as empty nesters. My DD and SO live about 30 mins away and my son is in the military. I have been lucky he was home last Christmas and this Christmas. Not sure how long it will work out and I hate thinking about it.

My DDís SO has divorced parents and so they also split their time there. My DD does a good job of trying to stop by each house for important meals etc. Last year it was a bit awkward they came over Christmas morning and opened presents then we all went together to our larger family Christmas. It was fun but different. My son likes to visit friends and is pulled in different directions when he is home.

I have learned to keep my expectations low (or my DH tries to get me to) so that Iím not too sad when itís just not quite the same. I try to focus on the fact we are all together even if for a short bit. I decorated indoors, but no tree for the first year.

Iím not sure about the future so I try to stay focused on a day or two at a time, happy things- Christmas movies, craft, outing, etc. I need to invest more time in friendships and new traditions for my husband and I.

Happy holidays to all you other empty nesters!
Funnystory is offline   Reply With Quote
BioAdoptMom3 BioAdoptMom3 is offline
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 68,204
Senior Member

BioAdoptMom3
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 68,204
Senior Member

Old 12-18-2019, 08:18 PM
  #29

Our boys and their wives both live in the area so they will come over for gifts and food. We have a buffet set out all day, no formal Christmas dinner. They may or may not end up here at the same time. Mostly we just sit around and talk. We have an open house every Christmas afternoon and often one or both couples is here for part of that.

I am having a hard time with it this year for some reason.

Nancy
BioAdoptMom3 is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
Teachers' Lounge
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:48 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net
28