Every family has certain things that they associate with the holidays. Our Christmas family tradition has become traveling! Last year for the holiday season the more time our family spent together the more we talked about our love of traveling together. We have made so many awesome memories in the past on all of our adventures together. As the weeks went by and decorations went up, stress began to take over! Coming up with gift ideas for our now adult child has become much more difficult. My husband and I decided that the Christmas gift we gave that year would become a “new” family tradition. In place of gifts, we would go back to focusing on what Christmas really means to us as a family: spending time together! We booked our 1st family holiday vacation for the next year (2016).
Do you remember when you were a young adult and struggled to decide whose family you were going to visit over the holidays? I am positive it’s a family debate in many other homes, not just ours. In thinking through these obstacles we decided that our “new” family tradition would need to be flexible and accommodating to our daughter. She would one day face this family divide as well! What we came up with is a holiday alternating concept. For example: Christmas 2016 was a vacation year, then Thanksgiving 2017 then Christmas 2018, and so on. This way every year our daughter would always have one of the major holiday with the other important people in her life and we could still plan ahead!
Once the plans and new tradition was discussed and agreed upon, came the toughest part…Where do we want to spend our 1st “new” Christmas tradition away? Since we would be away from Kansas, it was easy to decide we all wanted a warm weather destination. Someplace we could still have a “white” Christmas but with beautiful white sand versus snow!
Destination decided – Jamaica here we come! Our very 1st Christmas away with no decorations, no tree, not even presents. Nothing but the memories we would be creating together as a family. For the amount most people spend on gifts I can almost promise you could have had a great family vacation for that money. (Yes be honest, go back and look at your gift receipts!) The gift of the memories are forever, never tossed away, out grown or unused. They’ll be forever in your life, memories as a family!
Sandals Montego Bay was where we decided to take our Christmas 2016 family vacation. Easy one stop flights, 10 minutes from the airport, white sand beach, all inclusive… What more could we want? Yes it was exactly what we all wanted and needed – time away from reality and to rest and relax together and have fun!
Activities & Relaxation
We (my husband Dan and I) took our daughter Danyel and her boyfriend Spencer. It wouldn’t have been a family Christmas without our kids! Our days were very laid back and relaxing. Dan and Spencer spent most mornings out diving. Spencer was able to get his 1st dive certification while on this trip and even learned to roll his own cigar! Danyel and I spent our mornings relaxing on the beach, catching up, since she is away at school it was nice to get to just hand out and catch up.
As a group we did a few things like the party catamaran cruise, and went into town to Scotchies for dinner and drinks with our friends from Jamaica. Other than we ate a lot of great food, and enjoyed doing nothing on the beach all day. Was it exciting? Not particularly, but for us that’s the point! We planned it that way, as an opportunity to unwind and relax away from our busy schedules back home.
While on our Christmas vacation began planning the details of our 2017 Thanksgiving family vacation. We will spend it with family we don’t get to see very often. Destination 2017 Thanksgiving: Florida!
Life is too short, cherish the moments and turn them into memories. Traveling has always been my passion and getting to see that desire to experience this love for the world with my daughter is priceless. I am living my dream in my business, CARE Travel. It has allowed me to share my passion to help others have these lifetime experiences as well. Make sure you are taking the time to turn moments into memories!