This Christmas, we took a trip. We sailed away on the Disney Magic. This meant no big Christmas tree at
home, just a little one. No decorating and going all out. Fewer gifts bought and lots of planning for how Santa would deliver gifts to the kids. Before booking the trip, we made sure the kids were okay with not being home for Christmas. They were. We made sure they understood that on Christmas day, they wouldn’t get big gifts from Santa because we had to pack light. There isn’t a lot of room in a state room when cruising. They were okay with this too. We made sure they understood that our gifts to them wouldn’t be huge either. Our gift was the trip and the excursions. They said they understood.
That was months ago and when the questions were asked but on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, it was another story. We had to remind them so they weren’t disappointed. We had to still have stocking stuffers and make sure that Santa came. This was no easy task in a small state room where little ears can hear everything.
To make it possible, I had wrapping paper pre-cut for the three gifts we bought them. I had Small gifts that I wrapped when the children were swimming with dad and Christmas bags for Santa stocking stuffers. Each child had a small bag with little stocking stuffers from Santa (gum, Disney survivor, candy) and note from Santa that explained that when they got home their 3 Santa gifts were under the tree. The note explained to the kids that “mom” (me) had sent an email explaining that we had to pack light. The kids thought it was cool and loved that they had something to look forward to when they got home. This took a lot of planning and organization on my part so be prepared if this is something you do with your family and your children believe in Santa.
All was good in the world.
I pulled it off without a hitch, hiding in a small bathroom to put the bags together while sipping a cocktail.
All was good in the world.
The Disney Magic cruise was again, fabulous. The children were entertained and busy with Gingerbread house decorating, meeting princesses, exploring Mexico, enjoying delicious meal, swimming, resting in hammocks, building sand castles, fishing and the list goes on. Though it didn’t really feel like Christmas the way we’re used to, it was special. I attended mass and sang Christmas carols, while the children dreamed of sugar plum fairies.
Would I book a trip and be away for Christmas again?
No and not because it was a bad experience. It was fabulous and I love sailing Disney. It had its pro’s and con’s. For starters, I had a break from the entire cookie decorating, baking, cooking and cleaning up after meals and holiday decorating. That was a big pro for me because it’s a lot of work but I found that I missed it. Yes, I missed the baking and decorating my home. Of course the other positive was we gave our kids experiences for Christmas and made new memories on Christmas day. That was very special and we’ll forever remember our Christmas 2014 because of this.
For me, the biggest con was missing my sister’s and family because I always host Christmas day and plan the meal and gathering. It was hard to not even talk to them on Christmas day. The cost to call home was over $6.00 a minute and my family would talk for far more than one minute! Not seeing my niece open her gifts and have us all together on such an important holiday was tougher than I ever imagined. I found myself crying over it in private but then wiping my tears thankful for the sunshine, warmth and having a safe and magical trip with my husband, kids, sister-in-law, mother-in-law and niece.
I think if we ever travel during the holiday season again, the gift will be a Christmas morning gift and we’ll leave after Christmas. I lost a week of holiday shopping. I wasn’t able to see my family, decorate, bake and enjoy celebrating Jesus with my church. Though I went to mass on Christmas Eve I missed my own church family.
Have you ever traveled over a Christmas holiday with your family? How did you handle the gifts, Santa, missing your family and everything in between?
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