The solution to your holiday blues? Plan a Trip!
Next year, we'll be headed somewhere for Christmas and New Year's ....but where? Join me as I price and compare my options. Help me decide! For the first time, we CAN plan a trip and we sure have plenty of reasons to get away. We'll take our traditions with us. But, where or where should we go? Let's figure it out together!
3 years ago, this is where we were - scroll down for the 2019 update!
We got some HUGE news this week. After 22 years on the fire department, David has reached the top of the list and he will be OFF for Christmas next year! What should we do? What WILL we do? We're planning a trip!
But, first: A Quick Lesson in Firefighter Schedules, for those who are interested
See, the way a firefighter schedule works... (we get asked this every time someone meets us, by the way. Perhaps I should make reference cards?)... The way a firefighter schedule works is they get 24 hours on, then 48 off - all year long. Because of leap year, if you stay a firefighter long enough, you'll find your repeating pattern where every 4th years is the same as the 3rd. Our double-year sacrifice is Christmas Eve. One year, David will come home on Christmas Eve morning, then he'll sleep at home both Christmas Eve and Christmas night, but leave early the day after Christmas for his 24 hour shift. This is the BEST year for me, but there have been times he comes home on no sleep and we hit the ground running and I'm not sure how much he actually remembers? The next year, David will come home on Christmas morning after working Christmas Eve. This is NO FUN when you're the mom of 3 littles. NO FUN. When we have this schedule, he comes home exhausted, because people do stupid things on the holidays and end up calling 9-1-1 and he stays up all night! And this schedule is repeated for us, because of leap year. We do it 2 times in a row. Then we do the next one - He is gone on actual Christmas Day. I don't have to tell you how awful that is, especially if you have anyone else to work around. And I'm one of thousands of first-responder wives/husbands who live this life and most of us love it. But, now. NOW! Now, we get to have him home. Okay, not this year probably, but next year! He's already found out, because we pick an entire year of vacation days the December before that year. He is off Christmas and New Years next year - for BOTH! Did you enjoy your lesson?
But what about our family at home?
Over the years, our family have either passed away or stopped interacting with us - both David's side of the family and my side of the family. They may live in the area we do, but we don't see them. We've established wonderful traditions and share stories, gluten-free holiday treats and so much more, just for us. But hey! We're portable. Our traditions are portable, too! And the truth is, 2 adults and 3 teens don't have a list of things we *need* each year. Kids need toys, but if anyone around here wants a toy they usually earn the money and buy it themselves. So, why stay?
And the truth is.....
Christmas can be tough. New Year's Eve can be tough. I often have more sad days than happy ones during Christmas celebrations because I, like so many of you, have my share of holiday sadness in my history and it comes back up. I've also lost many people I care about and can't help but think what I would have bought them or what we would be sharing.
So, now we get to CELEBRATE!
Next year, we'll be headed somewhere for Christmas and New Year's ....but where? Join me for a week as I price and compare my options. Help me decide! For the first time, we CAN plan a trip and we sure have plenty of reasons to get away. We'll take our traditions with us. But, where or where should we go? Let's figure it out together!
Life has changed tremendously in the last 3 years. We were at the beginning of parenting young adults & now all 3 of our children are working, driving and taking college classes, with our oldest graduating with his first degree this summer. We were once a homeschool family who could manipulate our schedules and travel in the off-season, but not now! Now, we have to work around everyone's obligations.
Not only that, but our children have growing relationships. I don't know about you, but we love to embrace everyone who walks in the door - both physically and emotionally & finally, we want to give them all the "stuff" we give our kids. Except in our family, the stuff isn't stuff. It's experiences and memories. Most importantly, it's travel.
Shhh. I have a secret for you.....
I'm going to let you in on a secret. We're giving a few of them their own passports this Christmas - the ones who don't have one yet. Why? So we can GO! We can DO! We can PLAY! We can EXPERIENCE!
So now, not only do I have our family of 5 (6 if you include the Grandpa) + more to consider. So, where oh where should we go? Let's journey together & figure it out!