Consider a Trip | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Consider a Trip

A quick holiday cruise can be relaxing for parents while stimulating curiosity in kids.

A quick holiday cruise can be relaxing for parents while stimulating curiosity in kids. Photo by Kelly Bryan Smith

One way to get away from the holiday hustle and bustle is to literally get away. Some families like to get out of town and experience new adventures together instead of presents and parties galore. Getting away for the holidays, whether it is to a state-park cabin or a Caribbean cruise, can also be a great way for families to make new memories together, especially if they have experienced a loss in the previous year such as a death or a divorce. For some, getting out of town can be healing rather than carrying on with the usual traditions as if nothing had happened. For others, familiar traditions bring comfort and stability.

One excellent family-friendly vacation is a cruise. Several cruises embark from New Orleans. Even the least expensive stateroom is likely to offer free gourmet meals, free 24/7 snacks and (non-alcoholic) drinks, a stateroom attendant to make your bed every day, pools and hot tubs, on-ship sports and activities, shows and live music, free toy loaner bags, a library and many more entertainment options for all ages.

Most cruises also offer excellent child care on board (often free), so parents can have a little alone time, too. If you are able to splurge a bit beyond the basic cruise package, you might enjoy a little extra pampering in the ship spa or at an on-board specialty restaurant. And when you dock in an exciting locale, there will be a wide variety of adventures to choose from for all ages, interests and budgets. So book your trip, set out the passports, pack some layers, bring a few snacks, throw in the sunscreen, and go! Just don’t forget the stroller if you have little ones. Trust me.

Low-Key Holiday Traditions

• Host a blue-jeans potluck party.

• Sing Christmas carols around the guitar or piano.

• Draw names instead of giving gifts to everyone.

• Give one thing away for each gift received to reduce clutter.

• Drive around with a thermos of cocoa to look at local Christmas lights.

• Decorate a tree for the birds with peanut butter-birdseed pinecones, popcorn chains and the like.

• Eat candlelight family dinners in December.

• Take a family hike after the big holiday meal.

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