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I’ll be home for Christmas and evidence I am the overlooked middle child

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[photopress:toblerone.jpg,full,pp_image]Christmas is not Christmas unless I am home in Canada. I am fine being away from The Motherland for every other season and holiday but there is something about being home for holidays. Actually, a lot of “somethings” that include oversized candy bars, a rousing game of bum darts and the Pollock rendition of 12 Days of Christmas.

We may not be politically correct but it’s never boring.

If I had my way, we would go home every Christmas but we alternate locations because I married a man who 1) has family here in Colorado and 2) stubbornly refuses to work for the airlines so I can fly for free.

I had been stressing about this Christmas. With the crummy economy and airline tickets that have been jacked up due to rising fuel costs, it was a very real possibility we would not be able to afford it even though it is our year to go home.

I shopped for tickets back in October and the cheapest I could come up with during peak travel times was $800 + taxes. Multiple that by four and it is equal to more than I make in a month. OK, a year.

I stumbled upon a site that compares all the prices from the leading travel sites and I was able to play around with dates and numbers. At first, I couldn’t get it for under $3,200. But I figured out how to save some money by having the kids and I depart one week earlier than my husband and we would then all fly back together.

The upside: We saved almost $1,000 and gosh darn it, we get to go home for the holidays!

The downsides: We still payed a fortune (more than I make in a decade) and won’t have much money left for presents. But the most dreadful thing of all: there are layovers both ways. And one of those “ways” will involve solo travel with The Children.

If you remember my travel travails of last summer (think bird in the windshield), you will wonder if my head is screwed on straight. It surely is, but it’s just facing the wrong direction.

Nonetheless, after weeks of agonizing about it, I was ecstatic to be going home. I called my mom that night.

“Guess what, Mom. We were able to save some money on airline tickets AND WE’RE COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!”

“Oh really? Is this your year to come?”

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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  • comment avatar Jewel/Pink Ink December 1, 2008

    Yay! Good for you!

    I miss Philippine Christmases something fierce. With the milder winter weather around here, I keep fantasizing that we’d have a tropical Christmas. 🙂 We will be saving up for it like you have!

  • comment avatar Kassie December 1, 2008

    Don’t you just love that… HAHAHA!

  • comment avatar Tonya December 1, 2008

    Leave it to family to ruin a perfectly good I’m glad you get to go home for Christmas. It will be worth the grief once you get there.

  • comment avatar Head Nurse December 1, 2008

    There really is something about home and holidays that is irreplaceable. Didn’t you loose your dvd player on the plane last time you went home for Christmas or something?

  • comment avatar Kagey December 1, 2008

    Since NONE of my siblings live near “home” we all have to coordinate with in-laws to all make it home to Kansas at same time. The year my sister couldn’t make it home (new job, no time off), it threw off all of us, and it took a couple years to make it right.
    Now, we’ve learned that my mom is sick, and so even though it’s an “inlaw” Christmas for all of us, we’re all trying to figure out how to get home, for at least a short while.
    But I’ve never had my mom say “oh, is this your year to come home?”

  • comment avatar Amber December 1, 2008

    Head Nurse–ahhhh, good memory on the DVD. That was TWO years ago when we flew home from Canada. We thought we had left it on the plane but found it two months later at the bottom of our stroller. We had gotten deathly ill when we returned home and were sick for seven weeks. It wasn’t until we actually left the house two months later for a walk that we discovered it!

  • comment avatar Amber December 1, 2008

    Kagey–This may well be our last Christmas home for a while due to rising costs. We’ll definitely make it back at other times of the year but peak season travel is just killing us. Neither of my parents are in good health so it is a priority for us as well.

  • comment avatar Dana December 1, 2008

    It’s so frustrating that airline tickets are so darn expensive. My sister-in-law is a travel agent and she has this theory that people don’t fly as much as they used to, and the airlines send half-empty plans all over so the little people are paying more to cover those costs. I don’t know if that’s true, but it does make sense.

    I’m so happy you get to go home for Christmas. What a wonderful thing. It’s just not the same unless you’re with the family.

  • comment avatar One Mom's Opinion December 1, 2008

    I’m happy that it all worked out.

  • comment avatar FFG December 1, 2008

    Being home for the holidays is the best. Traveling by yourself is going to be a mission. Good luck! 🙂 I don’t envy that part.

  • comment avatar Tanya December 1, 2008

    I can tell that they look forward to you visit 😉

  • comment avatar bibi December 1, 2008

    HAHA I’ve gotten that reaction from my mom before too! Don’t you just wonder what happened to all the June Cleaver & Olivia Walton sentiments? Even mothers have become blase…’oh you’re back again then?’

  • comment avatar Laurie December 1, 2008

    Your family sounds SO much like mine with our family traditions, secret santas, competitive gift exchanges, and all. I’m SO excited because we’re actually going to make it home for the holidays this year too. We’ve haven’t the last 2 Christmases because we were in Vietnam adopting our boys for both. We finally have all our kiddos and will be able to enjoy them for Christmas with our extended families!

  • comment avatar Jamie December 1, 2008

    Gosh you are always so funny! That’s why they say you need to have even numbers – can’t have that sad middle child!!! Enjoy your time in good old Alberta!!! Hopefully we have some snow by then!!!

  • comment avatar Liz December 1, 2008

    Glad you are coming back to the Great White North!! Although it isn’t very white at the moment, Chinooking as we speak!!!

  • comment avatar tracey December 1, 2008

    Glad you still get to go home for the holidays! Can’t imagine the travel, though….

  • comment avatar Lori December 1, 2008

    Your mom sounds awesome! So funny.

    There is something special about being Home for Christmas. I like experiencing all the memories with grownup eyes.

    (If you weren’t talking about Farecast, try using it next time.

    I look forward to reading more Crazy Canuck travel stories. Hope this time you have to make them up!

  • comment avatar stephanie December 1, 2008

    Hooray for going home. I wish my mom would react like that.

  • comment avatar Allie December 1, 2008

    That is fabulous to hear that you get to come home for Christmas despite the exhorbant cost to do so. It must be really tough.

    And, don’t you worry – I will be thinking of your trip and wondering how you are fairing when I make my 44+ hour round trip for the holidays this year. The cost is why we are going to torture ourselves and drive ……..

  • comment avatar Nicole December 1, 2008

    I’m a middle child, too. I so get it!

  • comment avatar Laura Moffitt December 1, 2008

    I am so glad you get to go home!! Since we moved to Ohio in July I was worried about the holidays and being with family (in Colorado) and this year at least we are saved and fortunately were able to buy tickets before things got really bad.

  • comment avatar kimberly Raso December 1, 2008

    Yay!! You get to go home for the holidays! 🙂 I can only imagine that makes the holidays “warmer”, even though you are headed to the far north!
    Your Mom’s comment was unexpected – I actually giggled out loud when I read it! Priceless…….
    Makes me wonder if my middle sis often feels the same……..?
    Have a safe and Happy Canuck Christmas!! 🙂

  • comment avatar diana/sunshine December 1, 2008

    i’m sure your parents are thrilled to have you and your family there for the holidays.

    my advice…. don’t take the double wide stroller.

    … and i can’t wait to hear your traveling stories, because we all know something will happen =)

  • comment avatar Richelle F December 1, 2008

    Glad she is so excited to have you. 🙂 I hope your traveling goes well!

  • comment avatar Lauri December 1, 2008

    You are a brave, brave woman!
    You mom and my mom could be related it sounds like!

  • comment avatar Brillig December 2, 2008

    HAHAHAHA. Oh, that’s hilarious. You poor thing. I married a middle child, so I know how middle children view the world. No one loves you. Sigh.

    And yeah– I can’t wait for the upcoming hilarious stories of your travels. I know you won’t let me down. 😀

  • comment avatar yvonne December 3, 2008

    Oh, I’m so glad you found a good deal. Hope it’s a good, safe flight. Have you ever made the drive at Christmas???

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