We asked frolos to share their tips for having the best Christmas as a single parent. Whether you’re planning a big one or adjusting to a quiet Christmas alone, our community has shared some rather useful coping strategies and traditions that you can adopt to make it your best single parent Christmas yet! Read on for our tips for a happy single parent Christmas...
'Spend within your means, don’t start your New Year sinking with debts.'
'Keep it simple, focus on what is important - sharing moments and having a good time! It’s something to focus on to get us through the dark winter nights.'
'Adults can make Christmas special too, I happen to absolutely love Christmas now I’m a single parent. I don’t buy into the adverts but I do my best to make it a great day for myself and my family.'
'Let the ex cover Christmas and just do your own thing! (Be a Grinch or hang out with a friend.)'
'Try not to get stressed out about it! Enjoy the day and it will be what it will be, laugh, love and just have fun.'
'I use a planner, I start shopping around July and am usually done by September. I wrap in October leaving November to breathe and December for all the fun. I start my Christmas food shop in the summer by starting to buy a couple of items a week of longer life items. When it gets to Christmas week I only need vegetables. Meat is purchased and frozen the week before, if not 2 weeks. I use an app to track gifts purchased and to-do lists and work to those. I know in my heart what means the most to me and my boys and we prioritise those. But most of all it’s the memories and you can make them simply.'
'Christmas brings out the kid in me! Hot Chocolates, Christmas PJs, Christmas Movies and the odd Baillies for mum when the kids are asleep.'
'Each weekend we have some DIY Christmas decoration activities. On the 24th I have a Christmas dinner, I invite some friends and my ex. Half way through the evening once my daughter is not looking I put a wrapped up book (about Xmas) at the bottom of the tree on her shoes. We read it that night before bed. Then it is time for me to put the gifts out before going to bed at last (last year I had to stay awake till 3am putting up her doll house... last time ever) On the 25th, we sleep/snooze/play with her new toys and eat leftovers- rest time for me.'
'Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year as mostly everyone is in a good mood. I usually start my shopping early as I can to spread out the cost. Christmas tree and decorations go up on the 1st Dec which is mine and the kids’ tradition along with Christmas movies and hot chocolate whilst we decorate. Christmas Day is always spent at my mum’s as she can cook! I try and make it as exciting as I can for the kids with Christmas Eve boxes and a few other added traditions. To me, Christmas, like any other special occasions is what you make of it, nothing is wrong or right, make your own traditions too so you can have more fun with the kids. Presents don't need to be big or expensive, even small sensible ones but a good few of them. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing, just make your own special memories how you feel you can.'
'I absolutely love Xmas. It is different for me now, but I still love it. I do miss having family around. We still have Christmas together so we both get to see the kids whilst they are young. Might be the last year of that, but let's see.One of the new traditions we started was a day up in London. We go up, head to F&M and buy a new bauble each and some of their cookies and mince pies. They are AmazeBalls! So good! We then head into Chinatown for dinner and finish off with a Christmas movie in Leicester square . I'm so pleased we created this tradition for the three of us and I hope we always continue it even when they are adults themselves.'
'Spend within your means, don’t start your New Year sinking with debts.'
'Focus on the kids whilst they're with you and make the most of the Christmas spirit on those days. Relax and enjoy the downtime as best you can whilst they're with their other parent. Treat those days like any other day. Relax and focus on you whilst you can. Though I have to say I'm not looking forward to that so much this year for some reason....'
'I love making our own traditions, whether it's a Christmas eve film, PJ party or indoor picnic, hot chocolate, Christmas eve boxes and getting excited about the big day. I only spend what you can afford, I read a tip about blowing lots of balloons up if you want to make the presents look more special plus we all love balloons! I think Christmas, like every other day, is what you make of it.'
'Consider if your child gets overstimulated by Christmas. This is common on the Autism spectrum. If so, minimise activities, events and outings as you will spend a lot of time with a built up idea in your head of how fun something is going to be and when the time comes, your child is having a full on meltdown. Check your preconceived ideas - because we think Christmas means loads of family, tons of gifts, turkey, giant trees, whatever - this doesn't mean our children have the same ideas. Young children in particular are a clean slate so focus on what your family is now and build traditions on that.Your kids will not grieve what they don't know.'
'Start thinking about presents early (August) then when you start buying presents, you already know roughly what to get. Put money aside throughout the year or buy gift cards so that you can get expensive presents on Black Friday deals and money is already set aside for that. Put the Christmas turkey in a big slow cooker before breakfast and forget about it while you enjoy the morning with the kids. Think about buying decorations in October, presents in November and food in December so that costs are spread apart into feasible sections. Look out for shops that allow you to pay in instalments with a Christmas savings club so that you can pay gradually and collect the item nearer the time (no need to find hiding places at home) This works for food too, eg local butcher, saves finding storage for the turkey. Look out for local notice boards online and locally, there's often lots of family events that are either cheap or free. Having fun together is what's important, don't worry about being flashy. You make it what it is with your own attitude. Plan to play party games and get some small prizes. Traditionally it was charades, I hate charades but l've organised competitions and races for the kids, had a Christmas lucky dip for prizes and good behaviour. Even bigger kids enjoyed it. Great for when the boredom sets in and you need to wake everyone up a bit. Make your own traditions, don't necessarily try to maintain the ones you used to have. Moving on into a different situation means new traditions. Eg. I buy a new ceramic tree decoration each year.'
Frolos are an insightful bunch! We’ve a finance group chat on the app worth joining if that’s the angle you’re going for this year. And if Christmas happens to fall on a day when you’re child-free, be sure to attend a Frolo Meet or connect with other frolos that are on the same boat.
A updated version of Frolo is now available for the best possible app experience, with features on that include enhanced discovery settings, 'Find me on Frolo' and the ability to share meetups and group chats outside the app, plus the ability to post anonymously on Community and to see all your likes in one place with unlimited likes on Dating mode.