While deciding on where to go for the holidays, we came up with idea of Christmas Outings, which we thought would be great as they would help us break away from the busy rat race around us. The ‘uprising' was started by the kids around September itself, when their grandparents that they were opting for an ‘Amazon' cruise instead of the routine Christmas visit. Their decision for starters stunned us.
Their grandparents lived very near, so the statement that they would be missing out on the visit could not be digested. On their behalf they explained to us that a group of their very close friends had decided to go on the cruise which was to last for a month, so we found ourselves at a loss to convince them otherwise. At this point, our little 5 year old Darcy came up with the idea of having our exclusive family-only Christmas outings, but he said that first we need to tell Santa where to find us.
And thus abruptly began our first Christmas outing planning. And sure enough for the relief of Darcy, there was time enough to inform Santa. Los Angeles seemed to be an ideal choice, which offers a unique Christmas season. The temperature is known to lie around 70-80's and even the palm trees are decorated and included in the festivities.
But somehow, it did not suit me and my husband that Christmas wouldn't feel like Christmas if spent in shorts and t-shirts instead of a comforting jacket or quilt. So we started deciding upon a mountain cabin where the kids could declare snowball wars against each other, sled or create a snowman. A family cruise or a visit to Disney World was also a probable choice.
And the season caught on. For what it seemed like the dozenth time, the kids saw "The Polar Express" on DVD. Our 7 yr. old James exclaimed how he wished that instead of the silly looking kid's train at Griffith Park, he could take a real train ride. So my husband starting searching the net for possibilities, and slowly smiled. On the screen was "The Polar Express", the to and fro train ride from Williams, AZ to the Grand Canyon and back. The icing being a visit from dear old Santa himself.
And then in what it seemed like a second, we had our Christmas outings booked at "The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel" which surprised the kids. This provided with a wonderful vacation for our family, and thus slowly turned into a family tradition.
Our original plan was to go in for a place where we could play with the snow. But instead, Williams, AZ proved to be a better choice. The train ride and Santa's visit thrilled the kids out of their minds. And thus we enjoyed our great "Grand Canyon Railway Hotel".
Now Christmas family vacations are such a tradition that each year we decide on a new destination. Even the grandparents are a part now. What makes us happy is the thought that we are creating memories which will never erase and help us bond closer. And each year all will be well, the only condition being that first we let Santa know where we will be.