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Old 12-18-2013, 09:42 AM   #21
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Staying where I am, have no family left in my home town. My closest living relatives are here. I go home in the summer to visit friends.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:16 AM   #22
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For many years, if I could get time off at Christmas, I travelled approximately 5000 miles each way "home" to spend time with parents. I found it stressful to deal with winter travel and usually arrived exhausted. The most difficult part was saying goodbye, because there was no guarantee that we would share another Christmas.
I could have written this. Each year, I travel thousands of miles to go visit my family in Europe for the holidays. Travel is stressful, period. But winter travel even more so. So the trip stresses me out, then it's a whirlwind of family celebrations for 10 days, and then come the difficult goodbyes before another long separation. I come back home exhausted. I wish I could just stay home for the holidays.

I am on such a trip right now. I was supposed to fly to Europe yesterday but my plane was diverted to Chicago due to a strong burning smell throughout the cabin. So here I am, waiting for the next flight out, probably later tonight.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #23
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Ugh, you have my sympathies on that hellish trip back home to Europe. Hope you get a flight out soon!
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #24
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I could have written this. Each year, I travel thousands of miles to go visit my family in Europe for the holidays. Travel is stressful, period. But winter travel even more so. So the trip stresses me out, then it's a whirlwind of family celebrations for 10 days, and then come the difficult goodbyes before another long separation. I come back home exhausted. I wish I could just stay home for the holidays.

I am on such a trip right now. I was supposed to fly to Europe yesterday but my plane was diverted to Chicago due to a strong burning smell throughout the cabin. So here I am, waiting for the next flight out, probably later tonight.
We once made a family trip home for Christmas with 2 children from the USA to England. The weather and travel around England visiting relatives was so bad that we said never again at Christmas.

I have since spent 2 Christmas's at home in England as both my parents died just before Christmas. (14 years apart). Both those trips were also plagued by freezing cold weather, ice and snow.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #25
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DS and DD are flying in on Friday night and we'll all be home together until Christmas Eve morning, when we'll drive a few hours to spend Christmas with DH's family. Kids fly back from there on Christmas Day (both have to be at work on Thursday, Bah Humbug). We'll stay a few more days as DH's sister and niece are flying in next Friday for a few days (they don't normally travel at Christmas but DFIL had a stroke recently and they made last-minute plans to come in).

We've done the Christmas Eve drive for most of the last 15 years, since we moved here from Europe. The only part I really dislike is missing Christmas Eve services at our church. They keep asking our family to light the advent candles at that service and every year we have to say no.

Speaking of the travel back and forth from Europe for the holidays - because the kids had a very long school break and finding childcare during the holidays was nearly impossible, we ended up making our annual trip home to visit family each year at Christmas - first Texas and then Florida. Although we enjoyed the family time, the travel itself was hell and at least one of us always got sick. Worst was the year DD had a stomach bug on the plane trip home. Ugh.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:43 PM   #26
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After 24 different homes, we'll be home here in Peru for Christmas. Christmas day, just DW and me... already planned for a pot roast dinner and a cozy by the fire afternoon of Football and a snooze.
The family get together comes on Saturday and Sunday after Christmas with four sons and families feasting and (again) football... Lazy afternoons of football, and laughter.

This morning DW and I kicked off Christmas week with a 15 mile trip from our house to Starved Rock... a wonderful place to visit when you come to N.Central Illinois... It was a spectacular fresh snow covered drive with an hour in the "Lodge" looking out over the Illinois River, and spotting a few of the legendary bald eagles soaring above the bluffs. Quick look here:
Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center | Voted the #1 attraction in the state of Illinois!Starved Rock Lodge & Conference Center

Along the river... watched a huge 3X4 barge going down river... one of the last before the entire river freezes over. He was pushing a 30 foot long pile of ice in front of the leading barges, and moving at about 1 mile an hour.

As the week progresses, weather permitting will take day drives to the small towns in the area... a look back into the 1900's. We don't need much excitement... just some nostalgia for the days when winters began in November and ended in March...

Peace, quiet and nice memories are good!
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:00 PM   #27
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imoldernu, nice memories is right! I went to Starved Rock back in 1962 with my cousins, aunt, and uncle (a geologist). I have great memories of Starved Rock, of the views, and of climbing around on the rocks with my cousins. We were in our early teens. It's a beautiful place.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:05 PM   #28
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Will be here in Ohio by myself. Flying to Florida 27 December; not coming back until February.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:31 PM   #29
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Christmas Dinner...
Enjoy!

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:41 PM   #30
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Before this thread becomes too maudlin, I offer for your consideration ...

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Old 12-19-2013, 06:19 AM   #31
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We'll be at home- hosting family from Arizona and one of our sons will be here as well. Should be a fun day.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #32
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We are in the Hong Kong airport right now on our way to California to spend Christmas with the parents and kids. It will feel like home to be there, but it will be 8000 miles from home. We're really looking forward to seeing the family there. Two weeks and then back to hot and humid home.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:17 AM   #33
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On the road again

Leaving on Christmas Day to drive to Florida to spend a week withg my parents. My DW will fly down on Friday. Looking forward to all the Christmas lights in their mobile home park. Everybody over-decorates to compensate for not having snow.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:47 PM   #34
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I'll be driving 8 hours to Texas to spend Christmas with my brother and sister and their families. Am bringing presents and tamales.
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:53 PM   #35
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I'm doing what I did last year: volunteering for a community dinner and looking forward to spring. This snow is annoying, but I think we've escaped (knock on wood) what much of the country has endured.

The dinner went great - there were probably 300+ people there, all in a good mood. When I finally got to sit down, I landed at the head of our table and mostly talked to the people on my left and right: a man and lady (unrelated) both in their 80s. They were sharp and fascinating. It's nice to meet people like that (hope I make it that far!) because they have calmed down (if not cranky) and have experienced and know so much. They were very, very pleasant
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