Changing it up at Christmas!
Every year, I’m always thinking of ways to make Christmas more exciting, fun, and just a little different.
I think it’s fun to change things up a bit, sometimes don’t you? I get that Christmas is NOT about the gifts, although fun. I love to give my kids gifts. Now Let me also say that my kids are also grown. My youngest is 23, still at home and in college. My oldest is married.
We don’t have any grandkids, so things can get a little too quiet around here. Children always have a way of making the holiday’s fun, busy, and sometimes downright exhausting, especially if the children are under the age of 10, and there are several running around. Children are entertaining to watch around the holidays especially. Our little one? An 8lb Yorkie who loves to open presents and every year whines because he can’t wait to get into his stocking. Hey, we people with no small children must entertain ourselves somehow.
So, what exactly can you do at Christmas with All grown-up kids? Rent a beach house, of course!
One Christmas, the very year we moved into our new lake house, we decided to rent a very Nice Beach house in Destin, Florida. Technically it was on a lake across the street from the beach. It had enough sleeping room for about 13 people. I invited everyone on my mom’s side of the family to meet up at the house for Christmas in Destin. It was the first time I had ever tried such a thing and will do it again. We only had seven takers, but it worked out great?
The name of the home was the Endless Sunset. Oh, it had sunsets all right. It was a two-story Mediterranean on a small lake with a pool. In a gated neighborhood, and I love a sizeable Mediterranean home anyway. It had so many things about it that reminded me of the new house we just bought a few months earlier. You can’t believe how long I looked over that house comparing it to mine and what I could improve on my own home.
That’s another article, though. Home remodeling is something we do around here quite regularly. Since I’ve been a licensed Realtor for over 14 years and my son is my contractor.
We made sure we rented a dog-friendly home so our beloved Yorkie Bentley could be with us. We also brought his Play crib with us so we could contain him when he happened to be by himself. Yes, I said crib. When he was a puppy, he had to have 2 knee surgeries, and this was a great way to keep him from jumping and running around the house while he was recuperating. It is just a small Graco Pack N Play Playard that folds up.
We did the usual touristy things like checking out the local shopping eateries and things to see. We quickly decided upon our favorite places to eat. One being McGuire’s Irish Pub. My fav was the Fish & chips, of course, my husband and my dads were the Philly cheese-steak sandwiches.
We saved all our Christmas shopping fun for Destin. One family tradition we have always had is Christmas Shopping and lunch. Destin has a very nice shopping mall. The Destin Commons voted best shopping center by locals was definitely one of our favorites too. We really enjoyed it. Its open-air type of shopping is set up to look like a small-town village and has about 95 stores, restaurants, and even a little entertainment for the kids.
We even ran to the local Big Lots to see what kind of inexpensive Christmas trees we could locate to set up next to the fireplace. We found two cute 4-foot snow flocked trees and set them up. Plugged them In and quickly got to the wrapping part of the occasion. Everyone ran off to their bedrooms to secretly wrap their treasures.
The weather was a little chillier than we had hoped but, it was still a great atmosphere with new places to see and things to do. But we still managed to get to the beach a few times for walks and jellyfish sightings. The water was cold, but we managed to get a few pictures of our toes in the sand.
We had a great Christmas, even with a few of the usual family hiccups that sometimes happen during the holidays. But we got through it, moved on, and stored it away as a memorable family Christmas at the beach!
If ever you have the opportunity to go somewhere different exciting or fun for the Holidays, and your family is on board, go for it. Make some new family memories, and don’t forget to stop by the local souvenir shops and pick up a few keepsake Christmas ornaments for your tree.