Friday, December 19, 2008

Weekend Assignment #247: Home for the Holidays?

Hanukkah starts Sunday night, and Christmas is Thursday. Any minute now, people will start heading elsewhere for the holidays. Karen Carpenter is singing in my head, egging me on to ask about holiday migration patterns:

Will you or a relative wake up in a hotel room on Christmas morning?
From my Picasa album Christmas

Weekend Assignment #247:"There's no place like Home for the Holidays" - or so the song claims. Are you heading "home" to family and friends? Are other family members heading "home" to visit you? Are you heading someplace that definitely isn't home, or perhaps just staying home, with no visitors on your doorstep? In short, what are your holiday-related travel arrangements this year, and is that they way you prefer to spend it?

Extra Credit:Tell us a holiday travel story from yesteryear.

John and I almost never travel at Christmas, and it's been at least four years, probably more, since we had holiday company. Even if money were not an issue this year, we would probably still be staying put this coming week. I'd love to bring my dad and stepmother and brother out here for a visit, but the house is in no condition for that, and neither are anyone's finances.

Pepper is dubious about her future Christmas stocking.

Overall, though, Christmas for the two of us plus the dogs is just about right. In May John and I will have been married for 30 years. We enjoy each other's company, and we aren't big on parties and large gatherings. Oh, I like a smallish, alcohol-free party full of people I know really well, but that's not likely to happen again anytime soon, whether I travel or not. John, on the other hand, probably hasn't attended any party whatsoever in a couple of decades. John's parents are dead, and his sister is we're-not-sure-where. My brother is in Cleveland, my Dad and Ruth are in Wilmington NC, and my surviving aunts and cousins in New Jersey haven't seen me since the 1970s. Clearly, our situation just isn't conducive to holiday family reunions. A low-key holiday at Casa Blocher with John and the dogs isn't terribly exciting, but it's comfortable, and relatively low stress - or would be if it weren't for the whole unemployment thing.

It's A Small World Holiday, 2005

We did get out of Tucson one year, and I think only one, since moving to Tucson in 1986. In 2005 we made it to Disneyland, to see Christmas decorations around the park, reindeer at Big Thunder Ranch, and the seasonal versions of two attractions, It's A Small World Holiday and the Haunted Holiday. I loved the former, but the latter not so much, and a hotel room on Christmas morning is a bit cheerless. Nor was I able to get to church for Christmas mass. Anaheim's St. Michael's Church didn't have anything like a midnight mass, nor much of a schedule on Christmas Day. Disneyland was expected to fill up early, and if I'd gone to church I would not only miss a whole morning at Disneyland but in all probability be unable to get into the part at all for most of the day. Ah, well. I felt a little guilty, but overall it was well worth the trip! I wouldn't want to leave town every Christmas, though. Not even for Disneyland.

Your turn! Tell us about your holiday travel this year or lack thereof, whether you're traveling or someone else is coming in to visit you instead. Write about this in your blog along with a link back here, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week with a roundup of your responses. Here are the ones from last week:

For Weekend Assignment #24: Surprise! I asked about any pleasant surprises for you this year. Four of you answered, but one was for the other meme I piggybacked onto the entry:

Julie said...

So, what was pleasant? Selling a story to a major mystery anthology certainly was. I was also pleased to be invited to The Leap Back 2009.

Suzanne R said in comments...

Your doggies are precious. It's amazing what love can do. This is for Feline and Furball Friday. My link is:

Florinda said...

The best surprise this year is almost certainly our aforementioned new home. We were reasonably content in our old apartment. Although we occasionally talked about finding a new place, we knew there weren't too many rental options in our area that had both the space and pet-friendly policies we needed, so we figured we'd be signing another lease there in October. The opportunity to lease a larger three-bedroom townhome in a nicer area of town for a guaranteed term of 18 months and a reasonable monthly payment came up unexpectedly and was just too good to pass up - so we're very glad we didn't!

Mike said...

I have a few, nothing really special. One has to do with our older car. The car is about eight years old now, and fast approaching the 100,000 mile mark. Well, now that Jenn has a job four miles from home, that magic number may take a little longer to reach.

That's it for now! I don't expect a big turnout this week, but I'll be thrilled if you can work in a Weekend Assignment in the midst of your holiday merrymaking. Write about the assignment topic in your blog or journal, and include a link back here. Then leave a link to your entry in the comments below. Please don't forget your links! I'll be back in a week to highlight the results.

A reminder: I'm still running low on ideas here, so I still need your input. What would you like to see as a Weekend Assignment topic? Email me your suggestions (mavarin at If I use your topic you'll get full credit and my undying thanks.



barrettmanor said...

Here you go, complete with an update to a previous Weekend Assignment:

Becky said...

Apparently, there's no place like OUR home for the holidays this year. Christmas is here for the first time since...wait...this is the first time EVER. I had Thanksgiving here one year shortly after we moved in and that was the last time. Hmm. Maybe my cooking isn't as good as I think it is. Back to cleaning up the house in my usual insane panic mode.

Florinda said...

We're not venturing too far from home this Christmas. My post is up.

Happy holidays to everyone!