My kids are 20, 18 and almost 15 years old. I remember when they were toddlers saying “I could have just given them a box, that is all they play with”. One other thing I remember is leaving family Christmas with the car way too full of toys and way too many things. It was when our youngest was four years old we decided to trade in the gifts and surprise our kids with a vacation to Cancun! We jetted off just four days after Christmas.
From that very trip, I knew we would do this more often. I found this made Christmas more simple. Please keep in mind, I love Christmas and all of the family celebrations and traditions. However, I did not want to get caught up in the busyness. Surprising our kids with a trip did reduce the time I spent shopping and wrapping. I also found that I only made one batch of cookies – more so out of tradition and because we don’t need all of the sugar! Besides, every party we go to people are trying to give away all the extra cookies anyway!. I also found myself not needing to send Christmas cards. Why? Because it wasn’t on or in my heart as something I felt really compelled to do. I’m not saying you shouldn’t send Christmas cards. I have so many friends and family who still send them and I am grateful to receive them!
We have not always gifted a vacation to our kids. It wasn’t this way when my kids were younger. The last few years we have gone on a family vacation in exchange for Christmas gifts because we all enjoy having experiences together. Do my kids expect it? No. Actually, last year they said, “We thought we might get a trip, but weren’t planning on it”. So, when they opened a gift and it was the Jamacia flag, they thought it was for the boat at our summer cabin! Their reactions are priceless, and it’s one of the many reasons why I truly love gifting them with a trip!
Keep in mind you do not have to do this just for a family vacation. Maybe you want to surprise your husband or wife with a vacation as a gift. Christmas traditions are different for everyone and it’s what I love about being a travel agent and avid traveler. However, if you are feeling stuck in your traditions, craving something new, or just desire to simplify your holiday season, giving the gift of a vacation might be something fun to do to change it up!