Have you ever skipped a holiday?
If you have, perhaps it was when you were in college, as I did one Thanksgiving. My family members were all scattering to different locations, and for logistical reasons I can't remember, I decided not to join them. Instead, a friend and I spent the long weekend alone at my parents' house cooking yams (no turkey), going to see the movie Dances With Wolves, sleeping, catching up on our reading, and drawing. I still look back fondly on those four stolen days.
As parents, though, it's harder to imagine just passing over a holiday: children are so fixated on the connections between rituals and the seasons. And yet, it is a tempting thought. Preparing for family holidays is a lot of work, as I hardly need to tell all of you. Can't you already feel the holiday season pressure building? Wouldn't it be kind of great to skip it one year? Think of all the time you'd be stealing away from the grip of tradition and duty.
There are, in fact, several common reasons why families might skip celebrating a holiday—from religious differences to a scattered extended family, or a desire to save funds. Or perhaps you just want to use those precious days off for a different purpose. Whatever the reason for it, a holiday that's not a holiday is something to savor.
So what would you do if you decided to pardon your family's turkey this year, and skip Thanksgiving? We've got a few ideas:
Travel. There's nothing more liberating than skipping town during a holiday, preferably to a place where that holiday is not celebrated. The novelty of travel also helps kids forget about their holiday expectations.
Watch movies. If you can't travel to a different country, then being transported to a whole other world via the movies will have to do. No holiday movies though!
Sleep. Sleep is a country we don't visit nearly enough. A skipped holiday definitely calls for lots of sleeping late and numerous naps. Grown-ups may have to trade off, but hey, we'll take it!
Go to the zoo. Most zoos are open 365 days a year. The animals are always there, and they don't celebrate odd human events like Pilgrims arriving in America. You'll have the place to yourselves. What a treat!
Have a family arts and/or sports day. You are constantly providing your kids with a steady stream of paper, markers and paints, but when was the last time you sat down to draw? And for all of the times that you take your kids to soccer, when was the last time you got to kick the ball? An entire free day seems like the perfect chance to play and make art together.
Tell us your thoughts or fantasies about skipping a holiday, won't you?
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