Growing up holidays were always a really fun time with my family. Around age 5 or so, we started going to Florida during the holidays to visit Disney World and Universal Studios. We had traditional Christmas’ before that, but due to changes in faith my parents decided to forgo traditional holiday practices and take vacations. It was great because even though Georgia doesn’t get blistering cold in the winter, it does get pretty chilly during the winter months, and going down to Florida was a break from that. We could were shorts, no gloves or hats, and run around like it was still spring.
For a kid, this was great! My brothers and I loved it and looked forward to our annual trip to Orlando every year. Did I also mention that the holidays are the off-season for tourism, so that meant the parks weren’t overcrowded and lines for rides were significantly shorter than going in the summer. Also, the parks put on awesome Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, so things were extra festive. The lights, the fun, the memories…oh man, it was the best. While everyone came back from break talking about what Santa had brought them, I was busy telling them how Santa (Mom & Dad) took me to Disney. I mean Disney is nearly every kid’s dream, right? Well, most of us, especially us 80s babies. Disney was big in the 80s and 90s, and my family and I were right there to experience it all.
Another great thing about going to Florida during that time every year was that I got to see my Aunt Linda and cousins. My mom and my Aunt Linda are only 11 months a part, so they’re really close, naturally. My cousins and my brothers and I are all pretty close in age too, so we always had fun together. We would go shopping, play, and spend time together as a family. It was so cool too, because my aunt worked at Frito Lay and she always had chips and cookies around. She also always sent us back home with loads of goodies. Ha! That was probably one of the main reasons I would look forward to going to Florida and visiting her.
As we all got older, and after my parents divorced when I was in high school, we started back celebrating the holidays in more traditional ways. I honestly like both traditional and non-traditional, because it added to who I am as a person and gave me memories that no one but my brothers and I will have. I really enjoy being home, decorating, and cooking during the holidays, but its nothing like being able to celebrate them in a unique way somewhere else but home. My husband and I will set our own traditions for the holidays, so that we can make for a fun, unique, and interesting experience for our kids. I would like them to experience both, and as long as we have the means we will do them. I think it’d be really cool for our kids to gain an appreciation for the different ways you can celebrate holidays. The most important thing I want to stress to them is that as long as you experience the holidays with family, that’s all that matters. If there is anything I can take away from celebrating the holidays in different ways, is that I always did it surrounded by love and family. That in and of itself is my favorite holiday memory.