Family day

Christmas is all about family, isn’t? Parents, siblings, uncles and aunties and cousins… You see people you don’t see for the rest of the year. But what about the important people? Your immediate family. Do you see enough of them?

Christmas is a good break and it should be a chance to relax with your own family, but so often it’s about seeing other people, it’s gone in a flash and you realise you’ve had no downtime.

My husband works long hours and never takes a break. Christmas is the one time of year when he really takes it easy. I normally work a day or two over Christmas, but also have plenty of time off. The kids are off school and there’s no activities, so we should get loads of time together, right?

We both worked on 23rd December and my husband worked on the morning of Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve my younger son, daughter and I all went on the Santa train with my parents, sister and brother-in-law and baby niece. Most of us then went to the children’s church service and everyone came round to our house for tea.

We spent Christmas day at my parents’ with my brother. My sister, brother-in-law and niece were there for some of the day too.

From there it’s usually Boxing Day at my parents’ and then off to the in-laws’ for three days. But the birth of my niece on 27th December last year means that we will always have a family celebration that day too. So we were potentially looking at four consecutive days with my family, followed by three with my husband’s. A whole week without being on our own. Then straight back to work for me.

Now I love my parents, siblings and niece, but I need to spend some time with my kids and husband, just the five of us. So we took a stand. We said no to Boxing Day at my mum’s. The rest of the family were there, but we did our own thing. We went to the cinema and we had our tea at Nandos. Nothing special, but we were on our own, just the five of us, relaxing.


I’m at work tomorrow, then there’s just New Year’s Day and my husband is back at work. On the face of it, the Christmas break is almost two weeks, but it’s amazing how quickly that can be eaten up by family commitments. I’m glad we took just one day away from it all to be on our own.

Do you get time on your own at Christmas? Or are you happy to see extended family the whole time?

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Chance would be a fine thing – living on the other side of the world means we don’t see any family over Christmas. But we did sit down 22 friends – 12 adults and 10 kids aged between 2 and 9 – for Boxing Day dinner.

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  2. As you know, I adore my family, they are the reason we moved here but I realised just how big it is and how exhausting it can be to be around them and that was just for 1.5 days (all of Christmas Day and Boxing Day afternoon). Mind you, we are bigger than most in that there were 19 of us at one point (and that was with 6 family members not making it over!).

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  3. I can understand this. I finished work on Christmas Eve and since then I don’t think there has been a day where we haven’t seen one family or the other…usually both!

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  4. As the kids were ill this Christmas, we got to have plenty of time together, just the 4 of us, as we were quarantined! Normally, we have a couple of days with our families, and then most of the time just for us, which is nice. Glad you managed to get some quality time together, too x

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  5. We didn’t have that much time on our own at Christmas, but we did have this weekend. Hubby hasn’t had much time off either.

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  6. It really is important to factor in some time with just your immediate family, isn’t it? We had Christmas day to ourselves which was lovely 🙂 x

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  7. Can totally understand this Sarah, the time seems to fly past so quickly. Really important you all get time together too. Such a good call. I hope you’ve all enjoyed your break. Thank you for sharing with #whatsthestory. Happy New Year *nearly* 🙂

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  8. I think you’re absolutely right, there has to be a balance, and you have to have sometime that’s just for your immediate family. I’m glad you managed to get some time to yourselves xx

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  9. My husband works stupidly long hours too so having him around a little more over the festive period is a joy. Even if we don’t do much, it’s nice to not do much as a family. Hope you had a lovely Christmas despite not being in your new home yet x

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  10. I think that time alone as a family is vital, especially as everyone seems to work such crazy hours! Wishing you a very Happy New Year – here’s hoping for some time our nearest and dearest…

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  11. Sounds like absolutely the right thing and good on you for carving out that family time. Just being together without feeling obligated to anyone else is lovely.

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  12. Thank you all for your lovely comments.
    Shona – I was thinking of you and how different it must be for you. I guess your friends become like your family? Am amazed at you catering for that many people – very impressive!
    Mummy Glitzer – that is one seriously big family! There are 12 including us on my mum and dad’s side now – siblings/ partners and kids and that’s manageable.
    Suzanne – what a fab idea to spend Christmas alone. We might do it one day!

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  13. We make sure Christmas Day is just for us three- as you said it’s important for immediate family time isn’t it, the one day of the year we will ALWAYS be together. We save Christmas Eve and Boxing Day for my partner’s family as they live close to us, and then December 27th is always reserved for my family 🙂 This Christmas Eve was perfect, we took our little boy to the cinema for the first time, had a nice pub lunch and then seen my Father in Law in the evening 🙂

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