We are not celebrating Christmas this year.
Let me rephrase that. We are...declining to get involved in the materialistic aspects of Christmas. No, that's not right either... We are...swapping the spending and giving and getting for a different kind of experience this year.
We have opted for 'experience' rather than 'stuff'. We are going to take a family trip instead of exchanging Christmas gifts. You'll laugh in a minute when I tell you where we're going, but here's my thinking on it.
First of all, I think we'll spend less money if we travel.
Two, who in this house REALLY needs more stuff? The boys think they do, but they don't.
Three, we have always defined ourselves as a family with our family trips. They are our best memories; they are the times when we are at our best as a family.
Four, we have so much fun when we travel. We talk, we laugh, we share, we learn, we laugh. We'll talk for years to come about this upcoming trip--the drive, the weather, what it was like to be away from home at Christmas...
There's the biggie--being away from home at Christmas. I figure that the ONLY way this will really work and be successful is if we're not at home on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. If we do our traveling on these days, then we won't be sitting around trying to fill time normally given to traditions and gift exchanging.
Not that we won't stop and remember the reason for the season. I plan to take our Christmas stories, some hot chocolate, and small stockings to fill for the kids for Christmas morning. We're going to that least commercial of destinations--the Mall of America. Told you you'd laugh. The boys will get some money to spend when we go shopping.
Now don't think we're going just to blow all the cash that we DIDN'T spend on gifts, but we will walk around, go to the Aquarium, play in the amusement park, eat out, see a movie or two, swim at the hotel. It's not really a destination for summer, but for a short, winter trip.
We'll see. Wish us luck.