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What to do on holidays when you have no family or plans

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am trying to figure out what to do with my kids all day tomorrow (Thanksgiving) to keep myself and them from going bonkers. We have no family close by to visit and no one to come visit us. My kids are 5 and 2 and being home all day usually entails a lot of fighting, whining, "I'm bored," etc. Not to mention that I don't exactly relish the thought of an entire day at home with DH. We will probably be fighting, too.  I want my kids to have good holiday memories, but I just don't know how to make that happen. 

post #2 of 16

Well if the weather is decent you could do a walk or hike, maybe pull out some games.  Go out to eat?  Park? 

post #3 of 16

We spend most holidays just the four of us and we love it.

 

Today, make a simple plan and buy food. Tomorrow, cook some things with your kids, just being in the moment with them. You don't have to make all the traditional stuff, but doing something you don't usually do, like making cinnamon rolls, can be a lot of fun when you are in the right state of mind.

 

Encourage your DH to take it easy and watch football.

 

At some point, get everyone out of the house to go for a walk, play outside, or whatever is nice where you live this time of year. Spending the whole day indoors even if the weather is crappy is, in my mind, a mistake. Humans need fresh air and are less likely to fight when they get it.

 

Let your DH in charge of the kids for awhile and take a bubble bath.

 

Its just a bonus day -- you don't have to do anything in particular.

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

We spend most holidays just the four of us and we love it.

 

Today, make a simple plan and buy food. Tomorrow, cook some things with your kids, just being in the moment with them. You don't have to make all the traditional stuff, but doing something you don't usually do, like making cinnamon rolls, can be a lot of fun when you are in the right state of mind.

 

Encourage your DH to take it easy and watch football.

 

At some point, get everyone out of the house to go for a walk, play outside, or whatever is nice where you live this time of year. Spending the whole day indoors even if the weather is crappy is, in my mind, a mistake. Humans need fresh air and are less likely to fight when they get it.

 

Let your DH in charge of the kids for awhile and take a bubble bath.

 

Its just a bonus day -- you don't have to do anything in particular.


This is good advice.

 

 

 

post #5 of 16
Hiking to the hot springs. Having a good soak and a picnic. Hiking home. Getting Chinese food. If its too yucky to hike we might go see a movie. The theaters are dead on xmas and Turkey day but usually open.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

We spend most holidays just the four of us and we love it.

 

Today, make a simple plan and buy food. Tomorrow, cook some things with your kids, just being in the moment with them. You don't have to make all the traditional stuff, but doing something you don't usually do, like making cinnamon rolls, can be a lot of fun when you are in the right state of mind.

 

Encourage your DH to take it easy and watch football.

 

At some point, get everyone out of the house to go for a walk, play outside, or whatever is nice where you live this time of year. Spending the whole day indoors even if the weather is crappy is, in my mind, a mistake. Humans need fresh air and are less likely to fight when they get it.

 

Let your DH in charge of the kids for awhile and take a bubble bath.

 

Its just a bonus day -- you don't have to do anything in particular.


This sounds great and very relaxing. I like the cinnamon roll idea! What other types of foods do you make with your kids? I am also trying to figure out what we're going to eat tomorrow because my kids really won't eat any of the traditional Thanksgiving foods.

 

Getting outside for a walk or hiking is also a great idea.

 

Thanks!

 

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Hiking to the hot springs. Having a good soak and a picnic. Hiking home. Getting Chinese food. If its too yucky to hike we might go see a movie. The theaters are dead on xmas and Turkey day but usually open.


Sounds nice! I think we will try to go for a hike since it probably won't be too cold here. I thought about a movie, but my  2 yo is really too little to sit for that long and almost any full-length movie is too scary and overstimulating for my 5 yo. 

post #8 of 16

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatstanley72 View Post

This sounds great and very relaxing. I like the cinnamon roll idea! What other types of foods do you make with your kids? I am also trying to figure out what we're going to eat tomorrow because my kids really won't eat any of the traditional Thanksgiving foods.

 

Getting outside for a walk or hiking is also a great idea.

 

Thanks!


Do your kids like ham? You could get a small one and do a simple honey glaze on it. And your five year old might enjoy helping you by putting whole cloves in after you score the rind. And what about egg noodles? That's an easy side to make and goes well with ham. Or mashed potatoes?

 

post #9 of 16

I'm making chicken breasts with some traditional Thanksgivingy sides since it's just us three this year.  Ds isn't super into pie so we are going to make some maple flavored roll and cut butter cookies (and dh's favorite kind of pie).  I have a leaf cookie cutter that we'll use.  The dough will keep if we don't want to roll it all out and bake it all in one go.  Other years that have been low key when ds was younger, I've taken him to a playground.  It would be a good day to get a little raking done.

 

I just like to have a mellow flexible day which we can do when there are no external expectations that we are trying to live up to.  It's nice to not have to take ds to relatives and figure out what he's going to eat since he isn't big on most traditional fare.   It's nice not to have to eat food just to be polite like I sometimes did when we went to the in-laws.  It's very very nice to not have to have one Thanksgiving dinner at one half of the family and then go have one at the other half.

post #10 of 16

Yesterday I made sugar cookie cut-outs with my 6yo DS for Thanksgiving (after taking a long walk in the rain, during which I very briefly talked about how/why a lot of Americans celebrate it the way they do vs. what we do [we stay put and nobody comes over]; and despite our slightly non-traditional T-Day, we're still very thankful for a lot of different things--DS enjoyed listing out what he's thankful for, and he did it again w/ DH earlier today).  DS helped measure out and combine ingredients, and after the dough had chilled, he helped roll it out and cut out some leaf shapes.  DS loved having me trace around his hand to make turkey shapes (using a butter knife, so no blood drawn).  Today we decorated them with colored icing.  I like listening to music while I bake, so if you can all agree on the same type of music, that might let your kids take dancing breaks to burn off some energy.

 

Today I got DS outside for some fresh air in between rain showers--he chose to use his tricycle, then do some running.  Tomorrow, since we'll finally have sunshine again, we'll all hit the tennis courts for our daily exercise.

 

Tomorrow will be much like any other day; DH might do some science experiments with DS if DS is still interested.  I'm making a few traditional T-Day menu items, but they're just for me and DH.  I know DS will refuse to eat them.

 

DS had zero interest in helping me make a pumpkin pie today, but a couple weeks ago he couldn't get enough of watching (and helping a tiny bit) DH make his apple pie.  That probably had more to do with the novelty of seeing his dad baking, though.

 

So, aside from special foods (whether traditional Thanksgiving fare or not), maybe you could make some T-Day crafts with your kids (construction paper turkeys, bouquets of leaves--real or paper, Pilgrim hats, cornucopia...I'm trying to remember what we did in early elementary school when I was a kid).

post #11 of 16

Dh, dd and I plan to cook, eat, watch movies and play board games. We are making a fairly traditional meal but dd likes most of that stuff if she didn't I might just make something I knew everyone would eat even if it was pizza. We just might stay in our pj's all day long. :)

 

Maybe you can watch a nature program and let the kids wander in and out.

Read a book together.

Maybe your dh could do something with 1 child while you do something alone with the other one and then you could switch off later.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by flatstanley72 View Post


What other types of foods do you make with your kids? I am also trying to figure out what we're going to eat tomorrow because my kids really won't eat any of the traditional Thanksgiving foods.


 

We do some of the traditional foods because my kids do like them and are old enough to help, but at Christmas we eat out at an Indian restaurant because we all really like it and it's fun for us. Letting go of what we think holidays are supposed to be like and just relaxing together is one of the massive perks of spending them with only immediate family. We are blessed to be able to let go of other people's expectations and dramas.

 

We ended up like this because my DHs job moves us around a lot, but honestly, when I hear some people's stories about holidays with all their extended family, I think its been a gift and a lovely way for my kids to grew up (my kids are now teens). Holidays for us are massively relaxing.

 

Many families like to take time on Thanksgiving for every member of their family to say what they are thankful for. We do this every single night at dinner. We aren't religious as all, but I believe that noticing that everything we have to be grateful for, which is tons of stuff for each of us, is part of how to have a happy life. Just be noticing the specific things we have to be grateful for.



I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

post #13 of 16

We make corned beef and cabbage, watch a movie and go for a long hike with the dogs.  Relaxing for everyone.

post #14 of 16

in our house TG is a day of mourning so we dont celebrate that day.

 

our TG tradition though has been (we live in a large city) to go for a long walk downtown on the empty streets that are constantly busy at all times. usually TG is a beautiful day - cloudy and windy and sometimes with some rain. our tradition is warm pumpkin milk. we bundle up, wrap our cold hands and walk, run, shout, chase leaves, jump on leaves in the middle of the street (the one we can see for miles on both sides and the side streets are far away). sometimes we have friends joining us. 

 

this year we are going on a hike to a hot springs. 

 

you know i would forget about tradition and just go for the fun aspect. you already have some wonderful advice. traditions are not created just on holidays. traditions just happen when you are least aware of it. dd talks about her favourite traditions when she was a toddler and they surprise me coz i never planned it as a tradition. its just something we do. 

 

what is really special for us is having dd join in the planning and do in the moment things. it is a lot of fun. the point is not that it has to be something grand. it can be something really really simple like soaking in the bathtub while listening to music and eating breakfast. 

post #15 of 16

We did Thanksgiving last w/e as my daughter is playing hockey in Phoneix this weekend, and my son is at his g/f's. So I am completely on my own. Had a lazy day browsing the 'net and watching tv. Meatloaf is in the oven. Yay me!

post #16 of 16
I'm too late responding but I wanted to share something we did yesterday that we loved. We went down to a nearby nature path & hiked. We were on the lookout for a special branch and partway through our hike we "planted" our branch in the dirt, then we collected leaves from the ground & one by one stuck them onto parts of the branch. With each leaf we shared something we are thankful for. I was amazed at how much DS (2.5) got into it, saying really sweet & meaningful things. Then we said a prayer together & continued on our hike, leaving our 'tree' behind. It was awesome, one of those moments that brings you to tears...

The rest of the day, we all worked together to create a feast. We even made a tofu 'turkey'... and, we watched TV -- weird choice, I guess, because DS hasn't really watched any TV in his whole life & we prefer TV-free, but this is what we wanted to do. We watched part of the Macy's parade, part of the game, and a movie. It was really relaxing & very different from an average day in our house so it felt special. I also stayed off the computer for the entire day (a huge feat for me lol!) so I could be more present to my family.
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