We drove for long time to get to the cabin in the mountains where we spent Christmas this year. I've been itching to have a family vacation before James leaves on his mission. It's our last! The last family vacation with our family as we know it! After this it's all different. <mother sigh> So we left over Christmas. It was nothing fancy - just a place where we could hunker down and be together. And we took my dad, for the first Christmas without my mom.
It was different to not celebrate at home. It was fun to do some different things, and nice to be away from some of our normal daily distractions. Cooking and laundry, however, we took with us. A little less home-y, but still fun. To me, it's more about being together.
Twenty-five years ago, my family went to Disneyland for Christmas. We (er, my Mom) plotted and planned for an entire year to pull the trip off. She pulled strings, called in favors, and hunted for good deals. We were let in on the secret during the summer, and we were all for it. We were ok with spending our Christmas money (and presents!) on Disneyland. I have fond memories of that trip, and the fun things we did together with our family.
Seven years ago, Jay died just before Christmas. The next year, I pulled off a monumental surprise and whisked the boys away for the holidays - to Disneyland. That way, we didn't have to celebrate at home - with the big hole of him not there. It was a good trip, made possible by many good folks. Again, fun memories.
I'm glad we went this year, and made some new memories. Even if we were all sick.