Wednesday, December 17, 2008

In Search of Alone Time (repeat)

This was written previously, but never posted on Rocks in my Dryer. It is one of my favorite things about Christmas. This weekend is when my husband and I will do this this year. You can't imagine how much I'm looking forward to my shopping trip/wrapping party/"couples time." Enjoy (and sorry if you've already read it. . .)

Like a lot of other parents, my husband and I do not get enough alone time. [sigh] For one thing, he is often sleeping in another bed at night. . .but that’s another story. (Relax! He works out of town.) To top it off, my husband is a hunter. You may have heard the term “deer widow.” That’s me. My husband disappears every year to go hunt down a creature I’ve managed to hit with a car. . .Anyway, a few years ago, desperate for some alone time with my recently returned husband, I kidnapped him for a weekend. Grandmother watched Kyler (for Kady was a mere thought on the dream at that time. . .), and Kev and I escaped for a weekend away. We’ve made it a yearly event—a Christmas present to ourselves.

Each year, we pick one weekend and arrange a babysitter. Usually, we get up early one Saturday morning and travel one-to-two hours away from home. We shop for most of the day. (Here, I should be clear that in our family, most gifts come from a discount store, such as Target, Kmart, or more likely given our surroundings, Wal-Mart. We shop with a list, and our list is probably less full than most.) We eat out at a restaurant that does not hand you food in a sack. At some point, we usually check into a hotel room that I reserve (although last year we just came back to our house). We are back in our room fairly early, and we spend the rest of the evening wrapping presents. In fact, I even manage to address all Christmas cards during this weekend. I don’t have to worry about the kids seeing unwrapped gifts, or hurrying to get everything wrapped, or fighting the crowds to get to a million places for a million presents. Truthfully, my husband would be far less involved in the shopping if we didn’t do it this way.

I know what you’re thinking! “We can’t afford that!” I’ve found that we actually spend less money and are more accountable for what and where we spend our Christmas money by doing this. Kev and I have basically stopped buying for each other. The list keeps me focused. The hotel is bargain-shopped and haggled over. The meal is at a mid-range restaurant, with other meals eaten on the cheap (continental breakfast at the hotel, etc.) For what we get out of the weekend, it is well worth it to us. My husband and I get a great weekend together, picking out gifts for our kids. . .plus, there’s that alone time that’s so elusive to us parents. . .It works GREAT for us. To see what works for other people, check out this weekly feature at Rocks in my Dryer.

For a great, easy breakfast, check out this post.

8 comments:

Amy said...

Great idea! Husband and I love these little he and I getaways as well!

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

What a cool idea! I bet this way I'd actually remember all the gifts on the list, AND not hide them so well in the house that I lose them.

Love it. :)

Lorrie Veasey said...

Sounds fabulous! When my 7 yo son learns how to sleep through the night...I am So there!

CC said...

We can't even afford the babysitter, let alone the hotel :( :(

I do love the idea though...

Angela Fehr said...

I like that idea. My dh just changed jobs and his schedule won't allow it this year, but I can dream!

Lori Cordeiro said...

I finally saw a deer crossing the road I live on (I prefer them alive).
Yesterday I went to Walgreens and MADE my own Christmas Cards. It was so easy, fun and cheap. My husband and I do these overnight getaways as well (but we have no kids to get away from, LOL). We just do it for fun!

Lynn said...

This is a great idea, especially if you have a relative or friend nearby who'd be willing to babysit for you. It's always hard to get out with your husband to Christmas shop when you have little ones at home.

Carol said...

Sounds heavenly! And good for your marriage. I know we spend less when we're accountable to each other for every purchase. This Friday is our day to shop together. We should have booked a night away, though. Is it too late?

Great tip!