Do you travel for Christmas?
It’s been years since my crew has been away from home on Christmas. We have a lot of family we’re close to, which used to mean a lot of obligations over the holidays. As much as we loved everyone, it was exhausting. My husband and I decided early on that we wanted to keep Christmas Eve and the early morning of Christmas Day limited to us and the kids, and since then it’s become a sacred tradition we all look forward to. In a season that’s often as filled with anxiety as it is with wonder, that slice of time we carve out and safeguard gives my crew of introverts some breathing room between bouts of being “on” for our extended loved ones.
However, we do regularly travel around the holidays to see family in the Midwest, and there’s something special about celebrating the holidays with loved ones away from home. Whether traveling ” back home” or, as in my case, to family who moved away, family traditions feel different when you don’t live with your family of origin anymore. Sweeter somehow, even when the relationships might be complicated or strained. And then there’s exploring the local traditions of the place you’re visiting, indulging in local culture and flavors…
It’s no wonder why holiday travel is a common element in many Christmas romance books.
But then there’s an actual destination Christmas—essentially a vacation or road trip to a locale that isn’t and never has been home. Ski trips, sunny beaches, a private getaway…
I’ve never done a destination Christmas, and with a close knit family and three daughters, I honestly can’t imagine making this a reality. It certainly is fun to dream about, though! I’d love to whisk my crew off to Disney one year. It sounds fun (though I know it will probably never happen LOL).
Maybe that’s why I enjoy the concept of destination Christmases in fiction so much. It gives life to impractical dreams alongside the joy of reading romance and new love. I can revel in exploring complicated family dynamics and need for second chances in someone else’s life on the pages. There are new holiday traditions to vicariously experience, new places to discover and local flavors that inspire my imagination.
How about you? Do you enjoy traveling for the holidays? Do you go “home”? Visit family? Or have you ever taken a destination holiday to somewhere new and exciting?
If virtually experiencing a destination Christmas is more your thing, here’s a short list of suggestions I’m happy to share with you to fill your December TBR and get you into the holiday spirit!
- Merry Ex-Mas (returning home) and A Cross-Country Christmas (roadtrip home) by Courtney Walsh
- Nowhere for Christmas by IR author Heather Gray (roadtrip destination)
- IR author Amy Anguish’s Mistletoe Make-Believe within the Candy Cane Wishes and Saltwater Dreams collection
- The Sleigh Bells Chalet by Jennifer Griffith (vacation for hero)
- Muskoka Christmas by IR author Caroline Miller (destination for heroine)
- Several of our IR authors (among others) have characters traveling to Freedom Ridge for the holidays in the Heroes of Freedom Ridge series
- And of course, Destination Christmas from IR authors Sarah Monzon and myself as well as Chautona Havig and Cathe Swanson, with 4 stories of destination Christmases.
I’m sure there are TONS more, but of course I never want to inundate you with too many. LOL! If you’ve read any contemporary Christian or inspirational holiday travel/road trip/destination Christmas stories recently that left an impression, I’d LOVE to hear your suggestions in the comments. And be sure to answer my questions above. I so enjoy chatting with you all every month!
Until next time,