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Window Seat or Aisle Seat: Family Travel Over the Holiday

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You only have one Christmas vacation and each year families have to weigh the options between staying home for the holidays at home or going on a family vacation.  Kerri Zane weighs in on how to negotiate family travel over the holiday season.

Home for the holidays. The sentiment can conjure up warm fuzzy thoughts of great joy and a much-desired reconnection with loved ones. Or it can send you spiraling into an overwhelming abyss of “to do’s,” as the responsibility for upholding rituals will inevitably exhaust you. If you find yourself in the latter category, I suggest you take your holiday season on the road. Of course, proposing to break long-standing family traditions may upset the proverbial “holly cart.”

Betsy Brown Braun, child development and behavior specialist and author of Just Tell Me What to Say and You’re Not the Boss of Me, advises that with a few gentle thought-altering modifications the shift can be made with ease and grace. The first step she says is to introduce the idea of a home away from home holiday as a “Plan B.” In other words, it is not a replacement for the traditional family celebration.

“Trying to replicate longtime customs will only lead to disappointment,” she said.

Instead Braun suggests you present the vacation as an alternative or a new way to celebrate the season, which can create an exciting expectation.

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