Let's face it. Most of us have too much stuff.
The holidays are about spending time together. But how many of us remember last Christmas when everyone woke up at the crack of dawn, opened the presents in a split second, then went their separate ways to play with their new toys? Mom and Dad are left to clean up the mess wondering, "What just happened? How did this much mess get here in less than an hour? How could Christmas be over that quickly?" We are glad our kids are having fun, but we reminisce of times gone by when they were tinier and couldn't run to the phone to tell their friends what they got for Christmas. How many of us have heard, "I wish I got this instead," or had to return a blouse that was two sizes too big (or too small).
That is why our family tried something different last Christmas, and it was wonderful! Our family agreed that we would each get one small gift for under the tree. The big gift was a trip with each other! We went to Los Angeles and stayed at a great hotel. Then we saw the play "The Lion King" at a professional theater. The next day we went Grauman's Chinese theater and saw a Disney movie. Finally, we walked down Hollywood Avenue and watched all the people dressed up as movie characters. We even heard a street band from Greece. As an added bonus, the latest Muppet Movie was going to be taped that night, so we watched as the city closed down Hollywood and Vine to the public for the set. Wow! That was amazing to see!
Are you wondering how you can afford a holiday vacation? Think of how much money is thrown into presents that are forgotten in a matter of months. Here is a list of tips to save money.
Find lodging that:
- allows kids to stay free. We love Choice Hotels because kids always stay free!
- will help you plan your trip. This website has a great list of places to see and visit while you are away in all fifty states.
- provides incentives. Sign up for bonus point programs such as free mileage or stay again for free deals.
- offers discounts for advance reservations. Choice Hotels offer up to 20% off for advanced booking, seniors, AAA and AARP members. Booking online through ShopatHome will always get you the best rate AND a rebate from their company for using the ShopatHome service.
- offers something extra such as free breakfast, a gym, free parking, or free wifi.
- is a home away from home.
- a company that pays it forward.
My son doesn't remember the games with pieces that were lost in the couch or victimized by the dog's mouth, but he will always remember the time we spent with him in Los Angeles for the holidays! Time is a memory that counts, and it will keep on giving forever.