Tis' the season of awkward moments and Xmas getaways.
Divorced parents, broken homes, new relationships and everything else that makes an Xmas vacation worth every penny.
Through the years, we have experienced some fantastic Xmas getaways. Our philosophy as a family has been to create a culture of experiences rather than getting lavish gifts (well, maybe we’ve gotten a few lavish gifts through the years 😉). You could say the trips I’m about to share are lavish in nature, and you would be correct for some. However, the unit of measure for this post will be memories, not money.
And what better way than a gift subscription for those that have everything??
When our two children, Kinsley & Carson, were relatively young, we spent the holidays travelling from house to house, celebrating with my wife Nicole’s family and mine. Each of our families had slightly different traditions, so for the most part, the time we spent with each side usually wasn’t in conflict. I’m not insinuating there were no conflicts because Nicole’s parents are divorced, and with my Father widowed, there was always some complication to seeing everyone. Our memories of hauling two small children from house to house would not categorize as good but rather stressful. If you’ve watched the movie Four Christmases, you’ll understand what it was like. On a side note - Nicole and I bonded over this movie and have watched it every year since its release…15 years!
As much as we enjoyed spending time with our loved ones, there were plenty of awkward moments meeting the relatives of a remarried Father or the mother-in-law’s new boyfriend. I suspect most families face similar changes through the years, so these moments aren’t unique, but they are moments nonetheless.
Xmas Vacation #1, 2, & 4
Predictably, we decided Mr. Walt Disney deserved our hard-earned money in exchange for an entry into the happiest place on earth. I will say it was amazing. Those folks know how to throw a party! I guess that’s why we put Disney World, Lego Land, and Universal Studios into the rotation!
After our first Disney World trip to Florida, we had some fantastic weather, so it became our de facto destination for a few years. Mr. Disney had pillaged enough of our money though, so we changed up the flight plan and headed to the 🇧🇸 Bahamas!
Xmas Vacation #3
⚠️ Warning ⚠️
After you read this, you will book a family trip to the Atlantis Resort, spend a bunch of money, and have the most memorable time ever. Your kids will not forget this trip, no matter their age.
Subsequently, you will most likely go back again!! Yes, it’s that good!
⛔️ Proceed with Caution ⛔️
If this is your first time hearing about Atlantis, let me preface this by saying I won’t do the entire experience justice in this post, so take everything I share and multiply it by 💯
Xmas Vacation #5+
Subsequently, our Xmas vacation travel continued to places such as Lake Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and Verrado, where we eventually built a vacation home. We didn’t get the full benefit of Verrado as COVID struck 6 months after we took possession, so we sold it when the flood of Californians hit the Phoenix market.
For 10 years, our small family unit has been carving our own traditions and experiences. Even when forced to stay home through COVID we couldn’t get together with the larger family, so we went skiing to Sunshine instead.
It’s interesting how different phases of life bring different sets of priorities, and for Nicole & I, we are very grateful to have built these memories with our kids. This year, however, we are rekindling old relationships with in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles as we head up to Edmonton for a few days. We are looking forward to spending time with new generations that we have yet to meet and laughing at old stories once long forgotten.
From my family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday and all the best in the new year 🎄
Ryan, Nicole, Kinsley, Carson, and Biggie