Why We Didn’t Travel for Christmas and Why We Will 100% Be on a Beach Next Year

by Courtney El-Ghoul

Happy New Year!!! I hope everyone had the most amazing NYE and that you’ve all had an amazing first few days of 2020! 

I am so excited to be writing my first blog post of the New Year… Spoiler alert: I am totally going to use this post as an opportunity to publicly set some intentions for 2020… Ready for it?

So, I actually started writing this post about TWO days BEFORE Christmas… Like, 12-ish days ago – I kid you not. I was soooo close to just canceling all of the plans and booking a family trip to Miami! I mean, really, I was ready to pull the trigger, but unfortunately waiting until the very last minute to book a holiday trip doesn’t always work out in your favor. You know, I’ve written tons about it, I am all about spontaneity! But, if you recall our most recent last-minute trip to NYC, a Post- Thanksgiving/Pre- Christmas adventure… You’ll understand why I decided to pull back on the reigns this time. I now see, begrudgingly, that you need a little more time to plan/prepare – especially during the holidays. 

So, as I said… this post started 12 days ago and was going to be a “How we organized a last-minute trip to Miami, two days before Christmas”…kinda post.  We didn’t do it, so I couldn’t post it. BUT, we are 100 percent celebrating Christmas on the beach next year! There, I said it. 

2019 Miami vacation
Dinner at Scarpetta

Let’s dive in…

Next Year Holidays on The Beach – The Plan

A little backstory about where this idea came from, why I was waiting so long to try and book the trip, and why I am ALL IN for next year. I have mentioned to you guys before that we are a multicultural family so for us the holiday season is way more than just Christmas. It is amazing but exhausting. Christmas is the tail end of our season like it is for many other families. On Christmas day we always make the 2.5 hour drive to my parents’ house, and every year I tell my mom this is the last year we are doing it! If she would come to our house, it would make things easier, however, she is stuck in her ways and clings to the idea of tradition. Growing up she always told me that “when you grow up and have babies they will always have  Christmas at grandma’s house” it’s just the way it is. I mean, I get it, she wants to spend the holidays with her family. I am not faulting her for it, I just want her to understand, that we may want to start our own family traditions. ( Don’t I sound so strong and assertive when I say it, in writing, ha) 

Exploring downtown Miami

So, every year we talk about traveling for Christmas, and every year I am too afraid to tell my mother that we won’t be at her house! Well, wouldn’t you know… this year I happened to make a passing comment to her about it, and suddenly, she was totally cool with it!? Have I been living in fear and totally freezing my butt off, for nothing?! When I could’ve been in a bikini singing Rudolph on the beach with the girls?! Maybe I have just worn her down over the years? It was incredible though, she was just like… “Yea, do what you want, the girls’ presents will be here waiting for whenever you get back.” WHAT?!  Anyway, as you might imagine I was so excited that I immediately started scrambling checking flight prices, ect.. AHHHH! Really, we were so close to making it happen. The official breaking point that made the plan unravel was the room situation. We waited too long and there were just no good rooms left at the hotel we wanted. If we were spending Christmas away from home, we would have to get everything as close to perfect as we could. So we agreed we were going to plan it, the right way, for next year!

Christmas 2020 Promise

So, here I am saying it “out loud” – to the whole internet. The El-Ghoul family will be celebrating Christmas 2020 on a beach, in South Beach. It really will be the perfect way for us to celebrate and decompress from the other 1000 holidays we celebrate from mid-October to Christmas. Plus, I want to do it while the girls are young. I have a feeling that as they get older they might want to be close to home and their friends over winter break. Maybe they won’t, only time will tell. From where we live Miami is only one non-stop 2.5-hour flight, away. We can have the beach, pools, all the trendy restaurants in no time. I mean really, it sounds like a dream to me. 

The plan, as of right now, is that we will just pack a couple of gifts from us that they can open Christmas morning and we tell them all their gifts from Santa are waiting for them at home when we get back! DONE!!! December 25th will be a breeze. Open some presents in the parlor of our hotel room, have a delicious holiday brunch (that we don’t have to cook or clean up),  and then we can hit the pool or beach after. We get to escape the cold weather for a couple of days and recoup some much-needed vitamin D. I am not super sentimental over the whole “White Christmas” thing, possibly because it is so rare we actually wake up to snow here on Christmas morning… but I really think this is a life-hack we will adopt as tradition for as long as the girls are up for it.

So, keep an eye out, because next year you will get a complete How-To on planning a destination beach holiday with your kids for Christmas!

What about you guys? Up for starting your own family traditions?

XO

Courtney

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