Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar on Unsplash
Before we start, a quick reminder heading into the festive season. With so much messaging at this time of year around the 'importance of family' and images of nuclear family units everywhere, it can be easy to have a bit of a wobble at Christmas when you're riding solo. Seeing two-parent families around us when out and about can be hard, especially if you're in the early days of single parenthood, whatever your situation. Try to remember that you never know anybody's full story; a glimpse at a happy family outing doesn’t mean a glimpse into a happy life. Focus on yourself and your children and avoid comparing your Christmas to other people’s. Their perfect-on-paper excursions might be the nightmare before Christmas, while your low-key lone parent plans might be filled with love, actually.
Read our Frolo Guide to Christmas as a Single Parent
Want to avoid bumping into big family groups and stay cosy at home? Buy some basic baking supplies and try your hand at making some festive treats. From gingerbread cookies to a fruit cake, this is a lovely Christmas eve activity for children, as they can leave a treat out for Father Christmas.
Check out your local ice-rink and book a pre-Christmas spin with the kids. Opt for an early slot when it’s quieter so you don’t have to navigate so many people on your own. Pack snacks to avoid the pricey on-site food, and don’t forget the gloves!
Find a local charity organising gift boxes for those in need or find an organisation or cause the kids care about so that they can enjoy giving back this festive season.
Rather than splashing out at expensive (and busy) Christmas markets or fun fairs, check out local church and school events that are running. There may be Christingle services, live nativities, or school events packed with games, activities (and mulled wine) all at affordable prices and you’re giving back to the community, too.
Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash
What’s better than cheap? Free! Get your all-weather gear on and get yourself and the kids outdoors for some exploring this festive season. Muddy wood walks and trampling through fields in wellies, get your Santa hats on and wish everyone you see a Merry Christmas. Loudly.
Expensive winter lights shows appeal but want a cheaper option? Find out which areas local to you have the best Christmas lights and wait until the sun dips before going to explore them. Maybe it’s a neighbouring street with a 10ft reindeer or maybe it’s your local town centre’s winding light-lined streets. Task the children with picking their favourites.
Is it time to introduce the kids to your favourite Christmas movie of all time? We think so. Plan a movie marathon and take it in turns picking the film each night. Cosying up in bed or on the sofa with hot water bottles and popcorn is essential. Wearing matching Christmas pyjamas and looking Insta-worthy is not.
Get together with some other single parents and their children for a more-the-merrier very merry meet-up. Check the Frolo app to find meet-ups happening in your area.
Want to plan something special for you and the children? How about treating you all to a theatre trip for a pantomime or musical concert for a festive culture injection.
How about booking the children in for a luxe grotto visit if they’re young enough to still get a thrill from seeing the man in red? Depending on your location there might still be tickets up for grabs, if you’re headed to London you could even grab a ride on the Santa Steam Express!
All of the above can be enjoyed with the kids, but as a single parent you might be looking for something to do when you have a night off, too. If all of your non-single friends have back-to-back family commitments, it might feel like there is a dose of loneliness headed your way. Enter Frolo! Get onto the app and find out what’s happening in your area and online, and sign up for some meetups either with or without the kids. There’s even a Christmas Day Zoom catch up for if you need some company in the evening.
To connect with local like-minded single parents and the wider Frolo Single Parent community for advice, support and friendship simply download the Frolo app.