We’re Planning Our First Christmas Vacation in the US

I’m excited that I’ll be visiting my family for Christmas vacation. Even though it seems like the time here is going quickly, it simultaneously feels as though I haven’t seen my friends and family in a really long time. Technology helps, but a live video chat still isn’t the same as a real hug. Nor is it the same as the kids being able to play with their cousins in person.

And we are making some crazy Christmas vacation plans, because we’ll be like tourists in our former home. Our Thanksgiving, however, will likely be pretty low-key.

For Christmas vacation, I'll probably see some frost and snow, like is shown here: grass and some trees and cattails, covered in frost.

A frosty scene from my house, circa 2010.


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Missing Family like crazy

While all the new experiences are exciting, we miss our family. Yes, I expected it. But there isn’t anything you can do about missing home sometimes. Just like I imagine we will miss Mexico when we leave here. It’s natural. It’s normal.

I find it a little strange how I feel about our upcoming trip, though. I was so excited while planning the flights. Once the flights were booked, I realized it’s a lot of days. What if we have too much down time? Our friends are going to be busy because of the holidays. What if they don’t have time for us while we are visiting?

It isn’t going to be the same as living there. I think it’s going to be a little weird and surreal. My husband has returned to our home city once already for business. He reported it as feeling weird, just as I found it weird that he was there and the kids and I stayed in Mexico. I’m overusing the word “weird,” yet it accurately describes the situation.

a pinecone and pine needles, covered in snow. An evergreen is in the background.

Last year, in December, I captured this snowy scene.

For Christmas Vacation

However, we are going to do some crazy things that we didn’t think to do while we are living there. We are going to head over to my parents’ town and visit some museums. There is a place that is close to their house and I had no idea that’s what it was in all of the times I’ve driven past since it sprang into existence.

I’m hoping to visit COSI again while we are in Columbus and maybe another zoo in Ohio, if not the the Columbus Zoo. Even though I worry too much about things sometimes, our schedule is slowly filling up.

Given that we are visiting around Christmas and New Year’s, we will run into things being closed. It will also be cold during our visit, so outside attractions or meeting up at parks might be limited. Especially since we aren’t going to be used to the cold weather this year!

For Thanksgiving this year

We saw frozen turkeys at one of our local stores and my husband mentioned making turkey for American Thanksgiving. Obviously, this isn’t a holiday here, but they have turkeys.

“I’d rather have tacos,” I said. “We can have turkey while we are home for the holidays.” And mashed potatoes with gravy. Also, gluten free pizza (for me, regular for everyone else). Home is where I am planning to enjoy some homemade food (mostly by my mother in law, because her cooking is exceptional).

Time Marches Forward

Those are our Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation plans. Our first home visit and we’ll be tourists in our home state!

What was your first visit back “home” like after moving away? What do you do about holiday gift giving if you don’t live close to your family?


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