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December 11, 2012

Making holidays special for the traveling family

Celebrating Christmas while traveling

Santa managed to find us even when camped in the desert of Baja

Holidays are most definitely one of the highlights of everybody’s year.  We all have our little traditions we stick to and, as kids, look forward to all of them.  I used to measure my years by all the holiday traditions we had: making our own valentines…  putting up a shamrock tree… the 4th of July parade… Thanksgiving with Grandma’s Cranberry Salad…  opening presents on Christmas Eve…  Magical indeed!

What to do for holidays was one of the concerns I had when we made the decision to make travel a long-term lifestyle.  We quickly decided the smaller holidays wouldn’t be an issue, but the biggies – we had to think of something!  Fortunately, all is well in that department and the kids look forward to holidays just like any other kid in America.

Because we never knew where we might be for any given holiday nor had any idea what the circumstances might be, we learned to be flexible and creative.  We strived to make the holidays special, but how that special-ness came was the exciting part of it all!

Santa always managed to find us, wherever we  were.  As teachers, my husband and I  always had Christmas off from work, and we traveled during the holidays.  Once the boys came along, we continued with our travels and created new traditions for the holiday.

As we are rarely home for Christmas, we didn’t bother with a Christmas tree or decorating the house, but we always try to make the holiday special in other ways.  No matter where we are – whether we’re in the Burmese mountains, a tent in Baja, or our home in Idaho – Santa has always come.  There were times when we wondered how, but somehow it always happened.

Our boys have gotten their treats from Santa in a wide variety of manners – from actual Christmas stockings hung up in a hotel room to decorated bags left outside our tent to on top of a pile of grass – but they always wake up Christmas morning to find some kind of treat.

While on our bicycle journey, we created the tradition of decorating our bikes.  Every year I bought a bunch of garland and mini-Christmas trees and we enjoyed making our bicycles festive.  The boys had a blast decorating them, and we enjoyed having our own little holiday spirit with us no matter we went!

The important thing to remember when traveling with children is to be creative and celebrate the holidays somehow.  Your old traditions of holidays at home will influence what you do, but think of new and exciting ways of making holidays special no matter you are.  Your kids will always remember them.

What holiday traditions have you created to fit in with your traveling life?

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