5 Reasons to stay home for the holidays

5 Reasons to stay home for the holidays

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Japan

After the hardship of these past two years, the overwhelming urge to get out and take advantage of the holiday season is strong. You can probably count the number of floor tiles between your living room and kitchen, and even with holiday decorations sprucing up the all-too-familiar walls, this year is the year to travel for the holidays. However, when you factor in crowded and canceled Christmas markets, overpriced airline tickets and the hassle of traveling, staying home for the winter vacation may not be such a bad idea.

  1. No jet lag. Since we hadn’t spent Christmas with family in five years, we decided to head back to California last year for two weeks. Luckily, we combined it with a college fact-finding mission for my now-high school senior but let me tell you … the jet lag is real. By the time we finally adjusted to a somewhat normal schedule, it was time to fly back to Europe. And then the vicious hour adjustment cycle began all over again just in time for both of the kids to start school again. By staying put, you completely avoid the jet lag hassle.
  2. No crowds to contend with. With the virus pandemic still here, one of the last places you want to be is in the middle of a crowd. And traveling during the holidays pretty much guarantees plenty of crowds, both indoor (think shopping malls) and outdoor (think Christmas Markets). Also, if you’re thinking of jet-setting to warmer climes, airport crowds can take the jolly out of the holiday.
  3. You’re not living out of a suitcase. Unless you’ve just arrived or are getting ready to move, odds are pretty high you’re not living out of a suitcase. However, traveling during the holidays means packing … lots and lots of packing. Especially if you’re gifting (or bringing back) souvenirs or visiting places with contrasting weather patterns and need multiple layers. The 50-pound limit sneaks up on you quickly and shipping boxes back can add up rather quickly. Remaining at home means the only weight limit you need to worry about is how much homemade fudge you can safely consume in one sitting.
  4. Make new traditions. Once we began celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with just the four of us, we began incorporating new traditions into some of the ones we carried with us from childhood. My kids know they get to open two presents on Christmas Eve — a set of goofy pajamas and something completely random. One year it was a bag of pretzels, the next it was a wrench. Another fun tradition we started was coming up with a nontraditional Christmas dinner. Who needs goose when you can make super cheesy nachos rivaling Taco Bell or Chili’s? Staying close to home helps us create more memories and traditions.
  5. You can relax and enjoy the season. Not traveling means you have more time to explore the area around you and discover to awesome local customs and holiday traditions. You can check out the nearby Christmas markets when it’s less crowded, decorate your house without rushing and stay in your pajamas all day if you want. Since we’ve now spent more holidays staying home, I love the unhurried pace it takes. The stress level is a lot less and it feels much more enjoyable.

With all of the craziness happening, it’s completely understandable to want to escape your house and get away from it all. I absolutely love traveling and admit Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times to go. This year, however, I plan on sticking closer to home for both of the major holidays. No crowds to fight with, decking the halls with the season’s splendor, eating pie for breakfast and staying in my sweats? Sign me up.


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