We’re leaving today for our annual family vacation, which is sorta-kinda free. Which is more than sorta-kinda awesome.
Here’s how my family does it:
Instead of buying Christmas presents, Birthday presents, Mother’s Day presents, Father’s Day presents, or any other sort of gifting that should normally take place in a family, we deposit all the money that we would have spent on each other into a joint savings account. Then, once a year, we take a vacation all together, using only that money.
Also, we rotate whose year it is to pick the location, find the perfect house to stay in, and organize all of the little details.
We’ve been doing this for 8 years, and so far, we’ve gone to:
- 2003 – Gulf Shores, Alabama (our pick)
- 2004 – St. Augustine, Florida (my favorite location yet and JC and Lindsay’s pick)
- 2005 – Blue Ridge, Georgia (Mom and Dad’s pick)
- 2006 – Lake Weiss in Alabama (our pick)
- 2007 – Indian Pass, Florida (JC and Lindsay’s pick)
- 2008 – A year off (We just couldn’t get it together)
- 2009 – Chattanooga, Tennessee (Mom and Dad’s pick)
- 2010 – Folly Beach, South Carolina (our pick, and where we went last year for our anniversary.)
We always have a blissfully wonderful time together, except that I tend to have somewhat catastrophic-ish things happen on or before family vacation because of my stellar luck, such as:
2004: It was a week after a hurricane, and the hotel we stayed at on the way to St. Augustine had been flooded and horrifically mildewed. After breathing the nastiness all night, I was struck quite ill for the rest of the week from the evil spores that took up residence in my lungs. But I didn’t let it stop my great time!
2005: Was right after my first foot surgery, and I released myself from the chains of crutches a few days early for said vacation. However, staying in the mountains with a freshly filleted foot didn’t mix too well. I MIGHT have let it stall my good time a wee bit…
2007: I had the most unhappiest, cryingest, screamingest baby ever. And it was our longest car trip. And my Grandmother rode with us, which made me feel awful for her sake to get to hear her Great-Grandchild scream incessantly for 9 hours. Each way. It most definitely took some of the fun out of that trip..
And I’m pretty sure it convinced JC and Lindsay never to have kids.
Thank goodness they changed their mind.
And thank goodness that Ali got much more enjoyable.
This year, though, there shall be no catastrophe!! I have non-mildewed lungs, no recently removed body parts, a happy three year old, and I shall enjoy myself to the max!
I’ll be posting about our trip on my adorably cute baby laptop that Chris gave me last weekend.
(Which is so cute and cuddly just like a puppy or bunny that it really deserves a name – any ideas?)
So, go ahead and convince your family to all quit buying each other gifts that you might or might not have to return anyway, put your money in an account, and steal our idea for gift-funded family vacations! Just try to avoid fungal spores, foot surgeries, and screaming babies for maximum enjoyment.