There’s no place like home for the holidays, right? You may write your own mortgage payment checks each month, but when December rolls around, “home” becomes wherever you grew up.
Even if that’s 600 miles away.
While the hugs and family photos make it worth the trip, getting there with gifts in hand and sanity intact can be overwhelming. With a little planning and creativity, though, you can make it to Grandma’s without having to strap any of the kids to the top of the car.
1. Always consider the size of gifts you as you shop.
That’s obvious, right? However, I happen to know that there are well-intentioned shoppers out there (ME!) who just might grab a great deal on a piece of furniture that would look perfect in Aunt Sally’s house . . . three states away. To combat this, it’s important to head to the stores with a list of size-appropriate gift possibilities. If a small gift just won’t do, the age of online shopping makes it simple to have larger items shipped directly to your destination.
2. Strategically wrap your gifts for travel.
If you are making multiple stops, use different wrapping paper for each destination. This makes it easy to see and pull out only the gifts you need. Wrapping gifts in boxes works best, as gift bags spill and are easily crushed. Keep bows safe by transporting them in a separate box and attaching them to packages once you arrive!
3. Plan for the ride home.
Check with Grandma before you leave to see if you’ll need room for a new bike or an already-assembled-by-Grandpa dollhouse on the trip home. If you know space will be at a premium, consider borrowing bulky winter clothes from cousins or friends at your destination. If that’s not a possibility, invest in vacuum bags to minimize the amount of space needed for sweaters and coats.
Most of all, enjoy the memory-making moments. One of my favorite childhood memories involves a doll stroller given to me by my grandparents. I do remember pushing it around the neighborhood, but the most permanent and vivid picture that remains in my mind is of our packed-full car, the stroller wheels sticking into the air in the middle of the back seat. I can still hear the laughter as my parents and grandparents teased that we might have to leave it in Kansas.