When we moved from CT in FL in 2009, we had no idea what we would do for the holidays. We knew we wouldn’t be going home and it was unlikely anyone would visit us due to the price of airline tickets around that time. As it turned out, my parents did come down for Thanksgiving. But, they left Thanksgiving Day because the flights were cheaper which made for a stressful day of trying to get the meal ready in time for them to get to the airport. We had a good time but the rushing was a bit too much.
As it got closer to Christmas, we started to figure out what we should do to celebrate. We knew we would be home Christmas Day…I had a nice dinner planned and the kids would be able to play with their new toys. That tradition hadn’t changed much when we moved. After thinking a bit, we hit on a solution. We had gotten annual passes to Disney from B’s parents so we decided to go to Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve. People said we were crazy but it honestly wasn’t too bad. We knew how to maneuver the parks and the lines weren’t too bad for the rides we wanted. Plus, Buggy was still a bit too young to stay for the fireworks so we were able to get out fairly easily. In the end we had a really good time. And the next day we had a nice relaxing day with just the four of us.
I don’t think I had ever had such a stress-free Christmas. Don’t get me wrong…we miss our families at the holidays but what we don’t miss is the stress. With my my parents being divorced and having in-laws to please, it felt like we were pulled in 100 different directions while trying to keep everyone happy. We spent so much time making sure OTHER people were happy that we weren’t able to relax and enjoy the holiday. We had started to make some of our own traditions but it wasn’t nearly as many as I would have liked. Living away from family has enabled us to celebrate the holidays the way we want to without worrying about upsetting other.
We still haven’t established a set Thanksgiving tradition. Last year we spent Thanksgiving week with B’s entire family at Disney and we ate Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant…not something I ever want to repeat (the dinner…not the trip). I ended up making a small turkey dinner for us the following weekend. This year we celebrated with friends up in the Jacksonville area and I have to say…it was one of the most fun and relaxing Thanksgivings I have ever had. I’m not sure if it will become a tradition but it certainly made for some good memories!
Christmas is a different story. Last year we continued our Magic Kingdom tradition for Christmas Eve only this time, we stayed for the fireworks. Ugh, it was a NIGHTMARE getting out of there. So this year, we’ll stay with the Disney theme but at a different park…Hollywood Studios. They have the Osborne Family Dancing Lights which go on every half hour or so and that ensures that we can watch then whenever we want and leave whenever we want. There won’t be one big rush of people trying to leave all at once like after the fireworks. I made reservations for dinner so it should be a good time. and as usual, we’ll have a nice relaxing Christmas Day with just the four of us.
I hate to admit it, but sometimes there are perks to living away from family. Like I said we do miss them but we also like our new, more relaxing life. We fulfilled a lifelong dream for both of us in moving here and I wouldn’t change it for anything.