I admit it - I don’t always read the holiday posts from other traveling blogs. I’m not sure why. It might be because they tend to read like those humble-brag newsletters that Aunt Millie used to include with her Christmas card every year.
I’m sure you have relatives that do something similar - they fire up Microsoft Publisher (for the first time since last year’s newsletter), choose a “holiday newsletter” template and proceed to full in both sides of one page with family news spun in ways that would make Obama’s press secretary blush.
Added to this are some awkward out of focus family photos from last year’s vacation where everyone is wearing their “happy face”. Then you attend a family Christmas party and the ‘real news’ gets passed by word of mouth, rendering the newsletter so much Christmas dust-bin fodder.
Holidays as Traveling Family
So - here’s our Holiday post. I write this not expecting you to read it - but instead because we find ourselves every year trying to remember how we spent the holidays last year or the year before.
If I don’t capture it here on our “digital memory” (aka blog) we’ll never settle the bets each year.
A couple days before Christmas we moved from the beauty & serenity of Wekiva Springs State park to the bustling busyness of a private RV park in Lutz, FL. It’s not really a place we’d normally return to but it’s the closest RV park to where our friends the Keiters currently live. They are transitioning to the mission field involving a move to Colorado Springs sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
Along with the Shanks Family we invaded the Keiter townhouse for Christmas Eve. There were games, presents, great conversations and that “roomful of voices” buzz that typifies so many Christmas gatherings. The weather wasn’t beautiful but the rain finally broke long enough for a “campfire in suburbia” using a portable fire pit in the driveway.
Christmas day were on our own opening up gifts sent from Grandparents back home.
In between the holidays were a mix of visiting, parental date nights, sunset watches, and days spent on our own.
New Years Eve was back at the Keiters for dinner, movies and games, and another campfire in the driveway.
New Year’s Day we coordinated a visit with my sister her family who are vacationing in FL. We drove to meet them at Clearwater Beach and enjoyed the fruits of their fishing labors.
Holidays can be a puzzle for the newly-nomadic. You give up (or get out of) all the traditions and family gatherings and are on the hook to create new memories. If you don’t take action the days can slide by and suddenly you feel like you missed it. Some holidays can be lonely - I remember Thanksgivings spent in a lonely RV park with just us in the trailer.
This year, however, was as full as it needed to be. It was a mix of new experiences, comfortable friendships and family. It was minimalistic while including a few gifts.
We’re excited about 2015. It will be a memorable year. Our oldest turns 18 and is expressing interest in moving out & into his own life. We are not 100% sure where his port of departure will be and that’s OK. We have a couple of months to figure it out.
In the meantime we are enjoying extended time parked next to friends in Florida while catching up on taxes and making some progress on our Ditching Suburbia book project.