I am a big lover of all things Christmas. And, since we have two kiddos, we have made December into Christmas Tradition Central. One of our favorite traditions was picked up by Learn Vest, an awesome financial website mainly geared towards women. See the article here!
They feature one of our favorite traditions, spending a night downtown Chicago. A few reasons why we do this?
Who has extra money at Christmas-time for a vacation? I think that’s a great question. The reason why we started, was to begin a tradition with just our children that captured the magic and beauty of Christmas-time. A time we all, especially as parents, look forward to. We began our tradition of celebrating the Christmas season downtown Chicago when I was pregnant with my oldest child, who is now eleven!
We all know the feeling, especially as children get older, of spending hundreds of dollars on presents and the unwrapping is done in 45 minutes! This mini-vacation allows us to make our Christmas celebration more than about gifts, it diverts the focus to what we really value, which is an experience and time spent together.
One year, we decided to prolong our celebration and stay overnight, so the kids could swim in the middle of winter. The next year, we hadn’t planned for the overnight and just couldn’t swing the expense. After that, we decided that this experience was too important to us, that we couldn’t let any other spending get in the way of our Christmas tradition. So now, we have a dedicated envelope cash fund that we deposit into each pay period, just for our annual Christmas overnight in Chicago. Once Christmas arrives, the money is there and the stress is not.
Since then, we have made it our annual tradition to go to the Walnut Room at Macy’s, followed by shopping and looking at their amazing store windows. We go to a hotel that has a fireplace, hot cocoa bar and a gorgeous pool overlooking the city. For dinner, we’ve gone fancy and sat at a table overlooking the Magnificent Mile while the snow falls, or we’ve gone casual and sat at Chipotle, making faces at people as they walked by. The next day, we’ve done lots of different things; ice skating outside (or inside at Navy Pier), a children’s museum, a kid’s play place or simply driving around looking at lights. The evening we come home, we finish any wrapping that needs to be done. Then, we bring out our sleeping bags and snuggle together under the Christmas tree, awaiting the excitement of Christmas morning!
I hope this inspires you to take some time out for time spent together this Christmas! What are some of your favorite family traditions? Please shout them out in the comments below. And, if you haven’t signed up for our weekly recaps, do it today! We’ve got lots of fun things in the works for our wonderful subscribers!
Would you like some more Christmas-themed posts?
- Christmas Scavenger Hunt: Christmas Lights & Hot Cocoa (free printables)
- 12 Awesome Gift Books for your Pre-teen/ Teen
- Christmas Home Tour – great ideas for decorating the outside of your home this Christmas
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