This is the first year my family has elected to forgo a (semi) white Christmas and go tropical for the holidays. I get it, I should be totally stoked. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend two weeks lounging on the beach and working on my tan while the cabaña boy refreshes my rum and diet and spritzes my body to keep me cool. Unpopular opinion: I don’t.
At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, I can empathize with Kevin McCallister (Home Alone 2, anyone?) – going tropical for Christmas is the pits, and this is why.
1. You spend less quality time with your family.
One would think that if you are all on a tropical island together, you’d spend more time together. One would be wrong. I love my family, like a lot, and with school, internships, and jobs, I’m only able to see my family three times a year (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter). When I see them, I don’t need an activity to be able to hang with them, I just want to talk and catch up.
When going to a resort for the holidays, everyone is in their own separate hotel rooms. We all gather together at the beach, but everyone wants to do something different. My little cousins want to jet ski, my aunts need to supervise the kids, the dads want to drink, the grandparents are playing old people games, and all my sister wants to do is tan. The result is that we end up only actually hanging out with each other at dinner, which is sad considering we literally have no reason not to be enjoying each other’s company,
2. You don’t get any home cooked food.
Sure, you get to eat 5 star resort foods, but what about Mom’s chicken noodle soup? Or your grandmother’s pieroogie recipe that has been in the family since before your ancestors emigrated from Europe. It’s just not the same. I’m barely able to survive off my diet of Chipotle, yogurt, ramen, and grilled chicken. When I come home, I look forward to my home cooked favorites and to helping my mom cook Christmas dinner.
Even if the food is cooked by master chefs, resort food still has nothing on my mom’s home cooked meals.
3. Traveling disrupts tradition.
I’m going to be honest, I’m high key terrified about what’s going to happen to my life after I graduate. The only thing that is keeping me semi-sane is knowing that nothing will change with my family wherever I end up. Our traditions will still be the same. Except now they aren’t. My family has not changed the way we have done Christmas Eve and Christmas since before I was born. I mean, not a single detail or decoration has been changed, and I love it. I love that we have traditions, however silly they may be, that we do without fail. But all of a sudden, that’s not how it is anymore. If they can so easily change out holiday traditions, what else can change after I graduate?
4. You won’t get any Christmas cookies.
Again, I get it; the resort will have cookies and desserts. But they aren’t your Christmas cookies. Your bubby didn’t spend hours putting her heart and soul into those cookies just so she could enjoy the look of pure deliciousness on your face when you took that first bite. They aren’t the cookies your relatives ate however many generations ago, they are just generic cookies.
Moreover, you won’t get to help bake the cookies. You won’t get to eat the better or absurdly ice the sugar cookies. All those memories from your childhood about baking with your mom and gram, yep, you’ll miss out on them this year. I hope you weren’t too attached.
5. Traveling during any busy time of the year sucks.
I don’t care if it’s the holiday season or spring break, traveling during any busy period is the absolute worst. Delays are abundant, flights get cancelled, security takes forever, and there are so many goddamn people, all of whom who have apparently decided to make it their mission to fuck with you.
I’ve traveled a decent amount in my life and I can honestly tell you the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to torture is traveling during Christmas. There is not enough alcohol and Xanax in the world that can make that experience pleasurable and if you value your sanity, you will avoid it at all costs.
The one upside to hitting the beach for the holidays is that you go back to school looking tanned to perfection. Worth it? Yes. Definitely yes. .