This year we decided to stay at home for Christmas. The last time we stayed home was 5 years ago. This time Cameron and Kiara went on their own to my parents, the last time I spent Christmas without them was 9 years ago. Not seeing my family and not being all together was hard but overall we had a great Christmas. It was chilled, stress free and well within our budget.
Was staying at home better than going away? I am still not 100% sure so I have put together a few advantages (and disadvantages) of going away versus staying at home.
Staying home was definitely cheaper. When we visit my mom we stay with her and for the most part she feeds us so we don’t spend a huge amount on accommodation but we need to get all 6 of us there, which is not cheap, even if we drive. Air tickets are not really an option, even with our Multiply discount buying 6 air tickets costs about as much as a small car.
It was a lot less stressful. The drive down to Cape Town is pretty stressful with 4 kids. Our trip last year was great, the kids were awesome, we stopped at the right times and we made good time but it was still stressful. The roads are busy, the kids talk constantly and you have to be paying attention all the time. It was also easier just being 4 of us as opposed to 12 of us. The kids were in their own environment and it was easier to keep them in their routine.
We got to explore our city. It is always fun exploring new towns but so often we get so caught up in life we miss the cool things happening on our doorstep. Emma and I joined David for breakfast at Rosemary Hill, it is a hidden gem with the best breakfast menu (mainly because it includes dairy and wheat free options). David discovered some cool trail runs and we watched the Griffizi Circus, which wouldn’t have done if we weren’t here.
Being at home meant we finally got around to doing some odd jobs around the house. You know the stupid annoying things you keep putting off, well we got around to doing them. We should probably get these things done as they happen but we don’t so having the time now was great.
We were able to spend quality one on one time with Jack and Emma. Emma and I got a lot of quality time together which was just what she needed. When we are with family, we often do everything together so alone time with one kid is virtually impossible. My mom also spent some quality time with Cameron and Kiara which was nice for all of them.
Not to take away from vacations at all but there is nothing nicer than waking up in your own bed and being able to get up when you want, leave your bed unmade and veg on the couch all day. Of course you can do this on holiday but it is more satisfying when it’s in your own space, or is that just me?
Obviously staying at home in Joburg means it is quiet. There is no traffic, no people and the shops were generally pretty quiet and calm.
I am not sure we are ready to stay home every year but this it was what we needed.
Did you stay at home or did you go away? Which one do you prefer?
If you enjoyed this post please share with your friends! You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat (harassedmom) and don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter.