If you are the only child, or the oldest sibling in the family, there is an unspoken expectation that you must be there for the important holidays. No matter what your situation is elsewhere, your parents and/or younger siblings live in the hope that you will arrive home in time for Thanksgiving, winter birthdays and Christmas.
Well, those of you that enjoy the festivities at this time of year with family and hate the thought of being anywhere else, fair enough, look no further than this period …
. (<<< There you go!)
However, for those of you that have a slightly devilish, rebellious, or adventurous bone in your body, let me tell you a tale of a guy who let go of tradition before being manipulated into choosing his annual Christmas sweater.
I am actually from Britain- cold, blustery England, where the darkness is there greeting you when you leave for work in the morning and still there when you arrive back home; where the sun has decided it’s done for the year and lets street lamps take over proceedings. If you enjoy the colour grey, by all means, go to England for the Holidays. Somehow I managed to stick with it for twenty-three years of my life. The family would go through the same monotonous process every year to coincide with the outdoor weather; write a list of what you want to be given for a gift, stock up three or four times on wine and cheeses (I say three or four times, because these stashes were constantly being raided in the build-up to end of December), and watch crappy TV in our crappy Christmas sweaters.
I broke this trend as soon as I realised I could. My family had had me there, year in - year out for those twenty three winters, surely I had earned the right to not be there for one of them?
Guess what? Flying to Thailand for Christmas, sipping Whisky-cokes on the beach, and wearing a floppy Santa hat with sunglasses, is an incredible feeling, and exceptionally different from the norm. Trust me, I did it. It gave me a whole new perspective of the Holidays, and I had the best Christmas ever. Not to mention, the tan I came home with.
Look at it this way: If you are prepared to spend your whole year mostly going to work for a living, paying bills and sticking to society’s strict rules on what you can and can’t wear, do and say, why not see the year out with a bang? Why not take your deserved self out of that bubble? Why not treat yourself to a beautiful stretch of sun-glazed beach with some reggae beats, a hammock, and not a care in the world?
I mean, your family got their gifts, right? You remembered to wrap them early and delegate your youngest brother to pop them under the tree whilst you’re gone, right?
If you really need to make the family feel better about your temporary festive diversion, don’t forget to remind them that they will have a full table full of gorgeous home-cooked food, complete with bird and cranberry sauce. All you can muster for Thanksgiving and Christmas, is Vodka Cranberry. They win, right? (Insert winky-face emoji here.)
In all seriousness, being in America (and Britain) during the winter months is a good thing, because this is ultimately a time that families spend more time together and share the love, and remember those that are no longer with us. However, we all need our own time to collect ourselves after a tough and stressful year. In my opinion, I think America and Britain collectively need to get their passports out, clasp hands together, and go to the beach, especially after the year we have had.
Doing something different for a change is refreshing for the body, mind and soul. Therefore, if your family doesn’t fancy swapping the cold and depressing months that are November to January, defy the odds and take yourself and a suitcase full of bikinis or short shorts to a nice sunny beach somewhere else in this big, beautiful world. I did, and I never regretted it.
This was previously published by Elite Daily, follow this link: http://elitedaily.com/travel/not-go-home-holidays-happier/1695979/