For the third year in a row, we will be away for Christmas and we really cannot wait! For years and years I had wanted to be away for Christmas day. I always loved the idea of just taking the whole day as easy as possible, and to eliminate all the pressures that Christmas seems to bring. Now, with four children and family scattered all over the country and the world, my husband finally agrees! As the children have grown both in size and age, it’s become more and more clear that Christmas day needs to revolve around THEM rather than the rest of our extended family. That might sound selfish; it really isn’t meant to. But we have four little people who rely on us to make Christmas magical and that just doesn’t happen when you’re either stuck in a car all day visiting or you’re away from your presents. So, we go away and this year we’ve booked a log cabin with Forest Holidays! And just to reiterate my point a little further, here are three reasons to go away for Christmas. Who knows, maybe you’ll do it yourself next year?
You get more time and space
Previous Christmas days have seen me on my feet in the kitchen for upwards of eight hours on Christmas day. During those eight hours I would be cooking, cleaning, washing up, filing glasses, serving food and trying to explain to my young children that I was sorry, but I didn’t have time to play with their new toys with them. By the time I got to sit down, it was bedtime and the entire day had passed me by. Other years I would ferry my children to relatives’ houses, only for them to spend the entire time refusing to eat the food we knew they would refuse to eat, and pining for the toys they had to leave at home. Not great, on both accounts.
When we go away, we make sure that everyone gets to put their feet up and enjoy Christmas day- even me. We don’t stress over the children not eating a Christmas dinner- instead we plan ahead and everyone orders their favourite meal, no matter what. We don’t expect one person to spend all day in the kitchen- instead, we share the chores and spread them out over the whole of Christmas day and even Boxing Day if we want to. We don’t have to tell our children we’re too busy to play with them- instead we dedicate the entire day to investigating the new toys, and generally being with each other. And not only that, but we all get time to ourselves. We don’t need to be anywhere, we don’t have a time table to stick to. It’s perfect, and it means that we can really enjoy the day on our own terms.
You don’t have to worry about pleasing everyone
Ok, so there’s a very real chance that you might offend people if you decide to take off over Christmas. But the festive season is for kids, really- and since there are more of them than adults then they get the ruling vote! You can see family on either side of the big day, but devote Christmas day itself to the little ones. Everyone else will get used to it, I promise. And eventually, you’ll realise that you no longer have to please everyone, once they get used to you being away. No more deciding which parents to spend Christmas day with, no more deciding which sibling is cooking this year, no more pressures or upsets. It suits us just fine to stick to our own plans and focus on our own little family for just one day a year.
You get to have adventures at a truly magical time of the year
Ghostwriterdaddy and I work hard all through the year. I spend most of the week parenting solo, working and keeping on top of the house all by myself. He spends most of the week working 12 hour days and travelling all over the capital to make sure we have all that we need back home. We miss each other through the week, so time spent together is extra precious when it happens. Because we spend so much time apart, school holidays are so important to us, and we tend to go away whenever we can so that we can focus on spending good quality time together. Being away at Christmas truly makes the rest of the year worth it when you consider just how much we need this break!
Christmas time adventures mean we get to see parts of the country we wouldn’t usually see, and we get to experience how other communities celebrate too. Yes, we’ve had our travelling nightmares now and then, but you make do. You’re with the ones you love and any mishap just becomes a well loved tale to tell afterwards.
For us, we can’t imagine spending Christmas at home again- at least not for a long time. I cannot wait to sip prosecco in the hot tub of our lodge on Christmas morning, safe in the knowledge I do not have a turkey defrosting in the kitchen or a pile of washing up waiting for me. Bliss!