6 Ways to Celebrate Christmas with an Empty Nest


Christmas is always a big deal during your young adult years, and when you have young kids around the house. The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years turns into a massive celebration while the family eats you out of house and home. However, the older your children get, the less they are bothered about Christmas and once they have left to start their own adult lives it can become a more simple and structured holiday for you all to share – until the grandchildren arrive *hint to my kids.

If your children have finally left home this year and you are alone for the holiday season, here are some things you can do to enjoy this season without kids!


Skip the Gifts


Presents are overrated for Christmas and we often end up with lots of items we don’t even really want. If you always end up buying a bunch of random gifts , make a pact this year not to bother. Instead, use the money to see a show or for a weekend away instead. It will make amazing memories and it will be much more fun. Instead, of gifts give experiences – a museum pass, a season pass to an amusement park, season tickets for a sports team, or a day at the spa. 

If you are like me and love to Christmas shop, you can consider sponsoring a family through a local charity such as Secret Santa and buying their Christmas gifts. There are many children who go without during the holidays because their parents can’t afford to pay the rent and buy presents.

Go on holiday


Now that you don’t have to stay in the cold weather throughout December it could be the ideal time for you to enjoy a holiday somewhere warm and celebrate Christmas on the other side of the world. It might be hard not seeing your family on Christmas Day but it will allow you to experience new things and feel less pressure to celebrate the big day with a turkey dinner and all the trimmings. It’s also the perfect time to visit Myrtle Beach or Atlantic City.  It’s the off season and you can get great deals and not have to deal with the crowds. We have spent Christmas at Myrtle Beach and it was warm enough to swim and there were no crowds. FYI in the off season, you can take your dogs to the beach.


Eat out


If you have always been the person who cooks and hosts Christmas at home for the family, you are likely very familiar with the idea of spending several days and most of your Christmas afternoon standing in the kitchen making sure the food doesn’t burn. But why not change things up this year and go to a restaurant instead? Now you won’t have to worry about a single thing and you can drink as much wine and eggnog as you want with your meal because you don’t have to clean up afterward! Just make sure someone else drives.

In my family, we have a tradition of cooking on Thanksgiving and going out for Chinese on Christmas.  It’s so nice getting to really enjoy the day and not have to be in the kitchen or dealing with the mess afterward.


Have a party


Now that you don’t have any worries with the kids being at home, there is nothing stopping you from inviting your friends over on Christmas Eve and having a party. Make sure you stock up on wine and beer, make some festive treats and enjoy Christmas caroling unless you are like my family and would cause hearing loss with our terrible off-key singing. Never the less, it can be a fun way to spend your Christmas Eve and it will set you up for an amazing Christmas Day.

Let the kids cook


If your children have their own houses and are starting to build a life of their own with their partner, it might be time to pass the torch and have the kids host Christmas for you! You can teach them how to cook all your great Christmas recipes and maybe even a few new ones. This lets you get your hands dirty without having to be totally responsible for all the Christmas food. While the pots are being watched, is a great time to catch up on each other’s life.


If you don’t want to spend Christmas alone, you can volunteer at a local shelter to serve Christmas dinner or go visit a nursing home on Christmas Day.  You could make someone’s day and maybe make a new friend. There are lots of great charities right in your neighborhood who could use your help during and after the holidays.

How Are You Spending the Holidays?



15 thoughts on “6 Ways to Celebrate Christmas with an Empty Nest”

  1. All great tips. Hubby and I are empty nesters, and we are loving it! We were in our late 20s when our youngest son was born (we have 3), so we missed out on going out and traveling when we were younger. We are making up for it now! 🙂 Our youngest cooked Thanksgiving dinner. All I had to do was make pies. It was a lot more fun than working in the kitchen all day! 🙂

  2. Great ideas! My husband and I have discussed what to do – we always decide we’d travel somewhere. Only thing is our grown kids are still coming to ours over the whole festive period. I feel very lucky and think it’ll be the last year each time. Well, if it is we’ll be ready with a plan … xx

  3. Some times we travel just for us and other times we go and visit the kids. We have parties and always make sure other people that are empty nesters have some place to go. Found you on Blogger’s Pit Stop Link Party

  4. Our kids come home for Christmas – every year it is a series of compromises to make it happen, but when we pull it off (even if it doesn’t happen until Boxing Day) I’m grateful for the time to spend with them – and with the extended family. We often talk about running away from it all, but for me, family will always win in the end – despite the hassles that come with it!

  5. I think, if I weren’t expecting any family at Christmas, I’d go on a cruise. I’ve always wanted to go and Christmas might be a great time to cruise the Holy Land region.

  6. My husband and I have been empty nesters for quite a few years. Some days it’s really nice and some days it can be kinda lonely.

  7. All great ideas! Sometimes, our holidays can be lonely, but your suggestions will be a big help to many! Thanks for sharing!

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