Last year for the holiday season the more time our family spent together the more we talked about our love of traveling together and all the awesome memories we have made in the past on all of our adventures together over the years. As the weeks went by and decorations went up, stress began to take over, ideas for gifts we slim for our now adult child, my husband and I decided that the Christmas gift we gave that year would become a “new” family tradition… where in place of gifts, we would go back to focusing on what Christmas really meant to us – our family spending time together! This is when we booked our 1st family holiday vacation for the next year (2016).
You remember when you’re a young adult and the struggle to decide whose family you were going to visit over the holidays …. Yes, I am positive it is a family debate in many other homes, not just ours. In thinking this through these obstacles we decided that our “new” family tradition would be flexible and accommodating to our daughter as she would one day must face this family divide as well. What we came up with, is that we would alternate holidays that we would make “our family” vacation memories, example Christmas 2016 was a vacation year, then Thanksgiving 2017 was a vacation year, then 2018 was a Christmas vacation year and continue alternating this way every year our daughter would always have one of the major holiday with the other families she would one day divide her time. 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? Well since we are from Kansas, it was easy to decide we all wanted a warm weather destination, where 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 (yes be honest, go back and look at your receipts for what you spent) I can almost promise you could have had a great family vacation for that money… AND the gift of the memories are forever, never tossed away, out grown or not used, forever in your life, memories as a family! I mean really, just think about the money you spent last year on Christmas gifts, how many of those gifts are lost, long gone or even forgot about?
Sandals Montego Bay was where we decided to take our Christmas 2016 family vacation. What more could we want, easy one stop flights, 10 minutes from the airport, white sand beach, all inclusive…. Yes it was exactly what we all wanted and needed – time away from reality and to rest and relax together and have fun! And that is exactly what we did!
We, my husband Dan, and I, took our daughter Danyel and her boyfriend Spencer, it would not 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 even got his 1st dive certification while on this trip and learned to roll his own cigar. While 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. We did a few things like the party catamaran cruise, (ummm yeah, we had a good time) and went into town to Scotchies for dinner and drinks with our friends from Jamaica. Other than we did a lot of eating great food, and doing nothing on the beach all day. Was it exciting, no, it was actually kind of boring… but we planned it that way, as all of us needed the down time to unwind andrelax from our busy life schedules back home.
While on our Christmas vacation we began planning the details of our 2017 Thanksgiving vacation. Since Danyel will still be in school during this time we will only have 4-5 days, so we have decided to keep this trip closer to home but to spend it with family we don’t get to see often. Destination 2017 Thanksgiving will be to Florida.
Life is to short, cherish the moments and turn them into memories. Traveling has always been my passion and now to see that desire to see and experience the world in my daughter is priceless. I am living my dream in my business, CARE Travel, as allowed me to share my passion to help others have these lifetime experiences as well. I am blessed to do what I love every day. Make sure you are taking the time to turn moments into memories!