An Unstuffed Holiday.

While everyone else has been dashing about to buy the latest and the greatest in the name of a good holiday, I’ve been over here sweating and dragging my feet…more stuff? Ugh. We don’t need more stuff! We have too much to get rid of as it is! Nevertheless, I’ve spent the last few weeks agonizing over what presents would be busworthy enough to make it under our tree.

Then, Eli and I were reading Castle Diary: The Journal of Tobias Burgess (which is part of  Build Your Library’s* literature selection for Grade 2) and learning about castle life in the Middle Ages. We were discussing how different dinner was back then, and I told Eli that there used to be a place where you could go and watch a show with horses and knights while you ate. Always the rule-minder, he didn’t believe me that anyone would ever allow horses to come inside, let alone while people were eating. (“WHAT IF THE HORSES ATE MY FOOD?!”)

Never having been myself, I looked it up, and wouldn’t you know it? Medieval Times still exists! I had no idea! (Seriously…did anyone know this was still a thing? Who is going to these shows?! Have you been recently? What have I signed myself up for?) (DID ANY HORSES EAT YOUR FOOD?!) And there’s one a few hours away from us! Then I realized that the Georgia Aquarium is only about 30 minutes from Medieval Times! (They have otters! And penguins!) (This is getting better by the minute!) We’ve been wanting to go to the aquarium for forever and have just never made it happen. A little bit of time hunting on Airbnb landed us the perfect place to crash so we can turn this experience into a full-fledged, overnight, mini vacation for our family of 6…because our bonus kid gets to come along for the fun, too!

I just need to get all of our various tickets printed out, and then I’ll wrap them up in small boxes and then wrap those in a bigger box. Any excellent ideas for including a representation of our Airbnb stay? The kids LOVE getting to stay someplace else, so that’s just gravy on top of everything else.

I don’t know what I’m more excited about…getting to do these new things with all my favorite people or the fact that I have our Christmas all buttoned up, no frantic run through a mall required. AND! I managed to make it educational. (Sorry, not sorry, children! Welcome to being homeschooled.)

And that’s how we ended up on the “experiences instead of things” Christmas plan. We’re in good company, too! My pal Elizabeth is going for an experience filled holiday, here’s a ton of ideas on ways to make your Christmas full of memory making opportunities instead of just being full of stuff, and a quickie post from The Minimalists that has an excellent list of experience ideas for the adults in your life.

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* Build Your Library is having a sale until December 8th! (I swear none of these people pay me anything…I just like to share good stuff with y’all!)

Dana was once described (to her great delight) as a "rock and roll Martha Stewart". Since then, despite being rather awful at hosting dinner parties, she's tried her best to live up to such a distinction. Armed with the ability to laugh endlessly at her own mildly funny jokes, Dana juggles marriage, motherhood, and minimalism with an equal measure of sarcasm and incessant worrying. She is wife to one, mother to many, and friend to anyone who brings her baked goods.

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